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It’s a long story. You know, the story of you and I. And yet, I’ve known you for what is it? Three months?
Right. Three whole months.
I saw you again this weekend. I couldn’t focus, not even on the job I worked so hard to get. The job that’s not only changing the lives of others, but my own. The job that’s so important, it could change everything. Okay, so it’s not really a job. It’s volunteer work for a non-profit organization. But that’s a long story too.
At any rate, I only get to do it once a month. All the same, I only get to see you once a month. Sitting in that room, I was constantly glancing at my watch, knowing you were standing in that hotel lobby. The only thing separating us was drywall and utility closets. Our story’s been one in the making. It was chance that I saw you on my break.
I bet when you saw all those other girls, you didn’t look the way you did when you saw me in the hallway outside the conference room. I bet you didn’t have one of those cinematic-type moments where you run into each other’s arms like we did too. Probably not.
I didn’t let you see it, but when I made it to the hotel lobby, I couldn’t contain myself. I was laughing and grinning, oh god, I was smiling like an idiot!!! I sort of hate you for that, seeing how the next forty-eight hours went. I didn’t expect that the next two days would make for a pretty long story too.
Saturday, the next day, I had my drama. Life was rough. But that night, we were going to party. All my friends. All my family. And you.
Through increasingly uneasy eye-contact and spontaneously in sync dancing, I realized that neither of us knew what to say or do. We never have in the presence of each other. God, it’s like every time I see you I expect you to say one thing and yet it’s like you expect me to say it first. We stumble through small talk and anything past that is just sweeping glances; every time one of us is caught looking at the other, we have to play it off right? Because of course we didn’t just lock eyes.
Of course not. Not us.
There are three other girls, maybe four, that must feel the same way about you that I do. I know that, because when the music turns up, they all flock in the same direction. They post up on you, because they’re going to dance with you. And I know that I can beat all of them out of this game, except one, maybe. The young one. The one with the watery-blue eyes that wear those irises better than all her brothers do. The one that sheds the sweats every time we start dancing. You know, the girl in the tight pink shorts. One of my best friends. You know the one.
For a short moment, you found her eyes, the way you’d found mine so many times before. Until then, I wasn’t worried because surely she wasn’t a threat. But then reared her head back and smiled at the girl beside me and I could’ve sworn I’d heard her say, “just as soon as I break up with mine.”
At first, I was angry. At first, I wondered how she could assume so much. At first, I was jealous. The emotional turmoil I’ve been through since has been another long story within itself, but I won’t bore you with that.
The next day was a long one, and I got a chance to get close to you. You saw my happy tears. I saw you staring in my direction out of the corner of my eye. You heard me sing. I heard you compliment my lineage. We hugged and we hugged. I told you that I’d better see you again the following month, in February. You had an extra shirt, and I’m wearing it now. The significance of all that isn’t one I’d venture that many would understand; it’s just you and me, right? Long story, right?
At the end of the day, when goodbyes were to be said, I saw the way they followed you, like a trail of ducklings behind the mother duck. I passed your way once or twice, sure, but I have never, would never, will never become like them. I’ve been accused of desperation in my life once and once is enough. And it’s funny, because I’d like to consider myself closer to you than any of them. We’ve been through more, been together more. We’ve had more beautiful moments to consider in the grand scheme of things.
I don’t want to be so easy like them. I’m attainable, but I’m not going to pounce right into your lap. I’m sorry, but I deserved to be sought after. Not chased… Achieved. Yeah. I’m someone you achieve. I’ve learned that I’m at least worth that. And you are too, so don’t think I’m giving you the cold shoulder. I’m just not smothering you like they are. I still don’t have your number because I’m not going to ask for it. Again, I am an achievement.
All the same, by keeping my distance I’m afraid that I’m sending you the wrong messages. I do love you, but I’m okay with loving you from afar. And right now, I’m okay with being friends. To be honest kid, though we don’t talk much and you live in the middle of nowhere while I live in the city, I consider you one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had. And I’m okay with things staying just the way they are. Who knows? I met blue-eyes’ brother this weekend an now we’re good friends too. Maybe I’ll get him and you’ll get her and we’ll be in-laws a couple years down the road. I’m down with that too. Just as long as you’re in my life.
You’re something, you know that? Well, if you don’t, all my friends do. You are sort of all I talk about these days. They’ve put up with this “long story” since November now.
And when my friends ask me about this weekend, about us, I’ll probably just tell them it’s too long a story anyways. They’ve been rooting for us for a while now, sort of like we’re some modern fairytale. However, the only thing groundbreaking that happened this weekend was that I realized that I do deserve you, and whoever else may come along, and that there’s no reason to speed things up. Whatever happens, happens. And we’re both deserving of whatever the future may bring us, together or apart.
For the time being, I’d still like to think that the individual story of you and I will become one; I’d like to believe that in the end it will be “our story” instead of just yours and mine. I bet one of these days we will tell our story. I’m just not rushing anymore because I know the story of our lives won’t be easy. I know it’ll be unique. It’s a story that’s too remarkable to happen overnight.
The story of our lives is going to be a long one.
And suddenly I’m okay with that.