Love was never in my cards. I had never received a Valentine’s from a secret admirer. It happened for other girls my age, but never for me. If I had to describe myself in six words I would describe myself as some one who is versatile, nerdy, diligent, quiet, affable and quirky.
Quirky…My quirks are a large part of my personality. Like my offbeat humor, my belief in conspiracy theories, or my preference for old school books over electronic ones. My quirkiness while unique and loveable has always made me slightly awkward, especially around my peers.
Socially, I have managed to find a diverse group of friends. But when it came to guys I was totally lost. I did not have the slightest idea about how to flirt. I was always missing out on the social cues. It was my social ineptitude that caused me to miss out on potential relationships. By elementary school the popular kids had already started dating. In middle school more kids started pairing up, holding hands in the hallway.
In eighth grade, there was this really cool guy from Columbia. He had a great smile and a beautiful personality. Every school dance, he would request the for the DJ to play Micheal Jackson and then we would dance to three or four songs in a row. This happened up until our high school graduation. He never asked me out but we remain friends.
Then there was my friend from the ninth grade. From orchestra to Cross Country, we did everything together. We even went to Senior Ball together. He asked me out in college, but by this time I had moved on. The two of us are still friends though.
I guess I should have expected this. I did not get my first kiss until I turned eighteen. By age twenty, I met my first boyfriend just before my twenty-first birthday. And our relationship lasted almost a year before I met my second boyfriend five months later. It was a long distance relationship that did not last too long. Yet somehow we remain friends. This brings us up to my most current boyfriend…
In all my romantic interests something felt off. I felt that there was a void. All the guys I met were sweet and unique in their own ways. Yet something was missing. I suppose it was the rejection from having uttered those three words that can doom a premature relationship: I love you.
And that is why I am so anxiously waiting for my boyfriend. I asked my boyfriend to stop by to drop off some of my belongings that had accumulated in his car. He pulled into my driveway a little discouraged from the day, but still relatively animated. I walked up to to his car and climbed in. I asked him if we could go somewhere to talk. He agreed and we drove downtown and parked adjacent to Spot, a local coffee hub. I wanted to talk about the kiss we shared last night.
I danced around what I really wanted to say. It felt like my Tae Known Do days, when I was sparring grown men. I had to anticipate. I had to get close but not too close as to betray my intentions and open myself up to an attack. I learned how to mask my emotions, to use my agility to avoid pending attacks, and when to be deliberate with my attacks. Those skills that I learned in my fighting days seeped into other areas of my life, as well as my love life. So naturally, I was always on the defensive. (The best offense is a strong defense. Am I right?) After all a wounded tigress always attacks when threatened. And I felt threatened by the words that I would say. In the past, my words have always left me with scars. But I felt the need to say them anyway or at least try to say them.
I started off with, “That kiss last night. It was different the way in which you kissed me. It was real, there was a lot of emotion behind it. Passion, you know. I mean the way in which you held my face when you kissed me. You looked into my eyesreally deeply and then kissed me. I never been kissed like that before. Why did you kiss me like that? What made you kiss me like that?” He looked at me and smiled, “Talibah, I just really care about you. So I wanted to kiss you like that.”
“And then you kept closing your eyes while you were kissing me. And then you would open your eyes when we weren’t kissing and look into my eyes very deeply before kissing me again. I don’t date just anybody. I have standards, I try to date someone with the whole package: personality, intelligence, humor, good looks. I try to take my time, because I am an emotional person. That’s why I took my time to try to get to know you before we started dating.”
“I know. But it was worth the wait, baby. Getting to know you and spending time with you. I really enjoyed it,” he responded smiling thoughtfully. ” I looked at him feeling encouraged but scared all at the same time. I continued cautiously, “I only date guys that I think that I can have a future with….Guys that I can fall in love with…” I paused as I slowly pulled myself from starring out the window. I was preparing for the worst – rejection. I was ready for the tears to flow. Still I tried to look at him so that I didn’t appear weak or vulnerable.
He looked at me still smiling with a warm glow exuding from his cheeks. He leaned in and pulled me in close and said, “I love you too, Talibah.” Right before he kissed me with his soul. It was the same passionate kiss that he kissed me with the night before.
I tugged myself away smiling and giggling like it was going out of style. After I simmered down a bit, I told him that I loved him too. And we continued to kiss as if time was of no consquence.The snow began to fall thickly as if to cry frozen tears of joy. We walked inside of Spot to grab a cup of something hot. And we talked and laughed about recent events passed. Of a time that seemed so forever ago that it might not have even existed.