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Listen to Me, Love me

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There is a whole formulaic process is laid out for us in the love process: Boy meets girl (or vice versa), the exchange of numbers, awkward phone calls, uncomfortable first dates, remarkable second dates, the kisses and hand holdings. They reach a high point, and steadily, eventually, the relationship loses the excitement and thrill it once had. Then time comes and the relationship separate, one of the two would wonder what went wrong. I thought we were in love.
Those are the rules to the game of love. I unconsciously followed these rules – multiple times, actually. I thought it would never end, the long string of relationships I had. That is, until I met Ben. I know that this sounds cliché, and has been said many times before, but he was unlike any other guy I have ever met. He literally took my hand and showed me how to love.

I was a sophomore in high school, in this uncomfortable, intimidating place where we were supposed to place all our hope and hard work into in order to make a living for a better future. In college, you trust nobody, for we all are selfish and striving to be the best. It’s a never-ending competition to be the best – the top of your class. If your best friend is the top in class, you are not. If you are not the best, then you are nothing at all. So nobody had best friends. We had “friends,” but they were there to help you pass time. That was me. I was uptight, edgy, and doubtful, never trusting anyone. Until I met Ben.

I remember the day clearly. I was in the school library, scribbling notes furiously, cramming facts in my brain for the exam the next day. I happened to glance at my watch, noticing that the bus I was supposed to get on left about two minutes ago. That added to my frustration, and I closed my book loudly and groaned, forgetting that I was in a library. I heard a chuckle, and looked up. He was sitting across from me the whole time, when our eyes met; he didn’t look away like most people would’ve. Instead he smiled knowingly and whispered, “Tough day, eh?”

I hesitantly admitted, “Yeah, exams tomorrow. I realized I just missed my bus.” I glanced at him quickly, not wanting him to know that I thought he was stunning. He had gorgeous brown hair that hung over his dark, penetrating eyes. I found myself telling him things, and he listened without interrupting or judging me. After a few hours at the library, I realized that I just confessed all my worries and fears to a complete stranger.

It’s been a year since I’ve met Ben, and still, I view him as perfect in every way. He showed that not everybody is out to compete with you, that there were so many amazing things to learn in life that you cannot learn out of a book. I remember asking him what he thought of me when he first met me, and he gave me the knowing smile and replied, “You looked so adorable, trying to be cross with everyone, pretending you knew everything. Everyone could see right through you; you were uncertain, just like us. But most of all, you were lonely. You held everything inside of yourself, and you had this massive load of emotions inside of you, but all I had to do was listen.”





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