Cat and Mouse
I’ve contemplated writing this for some time now. My main objective was to keep a journal of our entire first year together, but we never did quite make it. That is okay, though I knew this day would come and I tried to prepare myself for it best that I could; even though, it’s still awfully painful. I guess that just has to do with the fact that I truly loved you more than life itself. But, the main purpose of this article is to tell you all a story of the first girl I have ever loved.
The overall amount of time that I have known this woman is approximately two years, four months, five days and around six to 7 hours. (For the most part, I did keep track of how we met, when we met and how long we have known each other. It is not completely accurate, but it is extremely close.) The first two years were more or less just liking pictures and trying to get the other person to notice or at least send a message first. We are both shy people so this method just dragged the situation out. (It was to the point that she would like pictures from months ago just to get me to notice her and I found it cute, but intriguing.)
It was my freshman year in college when she first started following me in 2014 and of course, I unknowingly fell for her two years ago. I had just gotten out of a relationship from high school, so talking to someone knew wasn’t really on my to-do list. So, we just liked each other’s photos on Instagram for the next week. At the time I didn’t pay any heed to what was going on, but I seemed to like this game of social media cat and mouse. The game would start at honestly any time throughout the day. It was always one like here or another over here, but whoever started it first the other person would always be there to like just as many photos as the last person.
More importantly, my feelings grew more intense with the passing of each month. Well, up until my second semester of college when I finally realized how fond of her I was. For me to have fallen so deep into a noncommunicative ritual seemed almost absurd, but so delightful at the same time. It was almost like constantly going into your favorite store and picking up the pair of shoes you’ve always wanted; just to put them down and never purchase them. Enough was enough, so instead of just outright messaging her, I laid a trap on Instagram just to truly see how she felt about me.
To elaborate, I posted a picture that said, “Like this picture for a to be honest.” (I know this was a complete cliche, but I am a shy person and I didn’t want to just confront someone else who is just as shy as I was.) It was more or less fishing at this point, but without actual fish and the bait was a post that had to be liked. Plus, she was an extremely beautiful woman. How is one such as myself suppose to approach someone like that? I do understand that she was liking my photos as much as I was liking her’s, but couldn’t that just be common courtesy? My self-esteem is at a decent level for someone my age, but just looking at her made me feel a little weak and dazed.
Then, a couple of minutes have gone by and still nothing on her end. Not even so much as an accidental like. After a while, I was kind of giving up hope and then a random notification for Instagram pops up. I am hesitant to click the box to see if it is from her or not. I take all my remaining courage and click the box and sure enough, it came from the only woman I wanted liking the picture. I sit for some time and think of all the things I could possibly say to her and I am truly speechless for once in my life. (I say this a little bit more dramatically because I am a writer and I couldn’t think of anything to say.)
Besides, could I really mess up my first words to a woman like this? From what I recall I bring up the fact that all we do is like one another’s photos for months, but we never say anything. Her response was pretty adorable, “I didn’t know how to approach you, so I just liked a bunch of your photos so you would text me first.” All I could do is just smile at how shy she was and I said, “I am a pretty nice guy, saying hello would have worked for me honestly.” I continue to flirt with everything I have and finally come out and ask for her phone number and if we could hang out sometime. She agrees to both and sends her number immediately afterward. I was actually in my Intro to Fiction class when all of this was taking place, so did a little “sigh” of relief. Only to realize that my “sigh” was a little too loud. The professor had stopped doing what he was doing to look towards the back of the room to see which one of us had made the sound. Granted I was a little embarrassed that some of the other students looked at me, but I obviously didn’t care because I finally got her number.
Subsequently, everything from that point forward seemed to go smoothly without a hitch. We texted from the time she said good morning, till around the time she fell asleep around seven to eight in the evening. There was only one problem we always seemed to come across and that was we have been texting for about a month; but we still haven’t hung out one time, even though we’ve made plans tons of times. I was beginning to wonder if it was me or maybe she just didn’t like me as much as I assumed she did. Was I not intelligent enough, attractive enough or maybe I just didn’t have any appealing features overall. With overzealous anxiety and nights spent wondering. I finally come out and ask the question that has been on my mind for days, “do you not want to hang out with me because you don’t like me?” Time goes by and she finally responds with, “I am scared to meet you because I normally don’t like someone as much as I like you.”
Perhaps, I jumped the gun a little bit because most people normally hang out when you like one another. She was honestly scared of meeting me for the first time and I have never had a woman say that to me before. I pondered about all of my options and then I finally came to the conclusion that she might have had a lot of bad relationships in the past. I know it has to be a stretch, but you shouldn’t be scared of meeting a guy you clearly like, right? So, I do some investigative work and start asking her a lot of inconspicuous questions about her past relationships and how long she normally stays in relationships. My evidence was inconclusive and didn’t really lead to the answers I wanted. I tried one last ditch attempt and asked, “did you ever get used for a one night stand?” The conversation seemed to go south quickly because her next response was a simple, “I will text you later.” My heart sank and I felt awful about asking her something so sensitive. I had no right to delve into her past the way I did, but how else was I suppose to know that she was used in the past by other guys?
Furthermore, I think I ruined my only chances I had at being with her. I didn’t hear from her in a couple of days and then finally I got a response from her. She asked me if I truly wanted to hear about her past with different guys and if I would be bothered with it. I don’t think I have ever responded to a text faster than the one she just sent me. I told her that I wanted to hear everything about her because I really liked her. So, for the next hour or so she texted me everything I wanted to know. I asked her just about anything and everything I could. I finally came to the realization that she was somewhat like I was. Used and forgotten by the people that either cheated on us or only wanted one thing from us. I have never met a person like her, especially one I could relate to. Every time I explain my situation to a girl I am speaking to or dating, they never seem to fully grasp what it feels like to be cast to the side and used. Well, until I came across this phenomenal woman and starting accepting my true feelings for her.
However, we never did get to see each other because she just up and vanished for months. I couldn’t tell you where she went or what I did, but she didn’t come back to almost the end of the year. Coming to find out there was someone closer to her than I was and they got into a relationship. The most upsetting part was, I truly liked her for her. Of course, I have seen her face and body through pictures, but our connection came strictly through our words and minds. Which, is my favorite way to fall for a person I am interested in. I love interacting with people through words and conversations and creating a bond from those same intangible thoughts. After a while, I moved on because I didn’t think she would ever come back to me.
Besides, waiting for her to come back hurt more than anything else. So, I took it upon myself to try to forget about her. I hung out with more friends from college, went on dates and even went out to a couple of parties. Months go by and I end up in another relationship the fall of 2015 and still no word from her. I just went on with my life like she had never existed, even though I knew deep down that my feelings for her were still strong. The year 2015 comes and goes and I lost yet another relationship to cheating and deceit. So, I entered the new year alone as per usual to my lifestyle. About maybe a month or two into 2016 she reappeared out of the blue. We weren’t following each other on social media anymore, but I woke up in the middle of the night to a follow request on Instagram. I was curious about who this could be, but I didn’t get my hopes up so I didn’t even look at it. I went back into my room and slowly started falling back asleep.
I was in a daze because when I awoke the next morning the notification that I ignored last night was the only girl I think about. I quickly added her and followed her back to see if she had any new photos of herself and sure enough I wasn’t disappointed. So many wonderful smiles and beautiful poses. I couldn’t help falling in love with everything she was and everything we could possibly be together. She started her usual routine of liking all of my photos she hasn’t seen before and I followed suit. Within a couple of minutes of us double tapping our screens, I got a text message from her saying, “hey” with a smiley face. I immediately send my text explaining everything I have gone through since she’s been gone and asking her how she has been. She then replied with everything that happened to her and we basically had the same story at the end of the conversation. Our usual, getting in a relationship, thinking things are different and then getting used or just completely left behind.
We could only grow closer together at this point because our relation to our hurt feelings was bringing us together. Who better to be in a relationship with than someone who knows exactly what you have gone through? Well, it looked like I spoke too soon again because she vanished again without a trace from my life. It was around the same time again and exactly for the same reasons again. She was too terrified to see me in person for the first time. So, as usual, I went on with my life like nothing ever happened again. I vowed to myself from that moment on to abstain from being in any relationship until she comes back to me. I wanted to prove to her that all I want is her and her only, even though I never knew what she wanted.
Months come and go once again and I was still single with the exception of some in between tomfoolery. But, I digress, nothing could shift my mind or feelings from this mystery woman. She just shows up in my life and shakes everything up and then she vanishes just like like the snow outside around Spring time. I was just starting to give up hope until she came back October 28th, 2016. Just three day before Halloween and about eight days before the first time we hung out.
When we started texting again, I told her about how I felt and how I wanted things to go this time. She finally opened up and admitted her feelings for me were about the same as mine. I told her that I want to see her and I don’t want any more games between us. After some weird pause in our conversation, she asks me if I live in Kokomo still. I told her I still live here because of college so of course. She told me if I wanted I can come to her house and pick her up and drive around. I got cold chills and got extremely anxious about meeting her in person for the first time. I was beside myself on this, even though this is the moment I have been dreaming of for almost two years at this point. I agree to this and I get ready and with my destination being her house. But, before I showed up to her house I told her she owed me a kiss for all the times she dropped plans when it came to hanging out with me. She actually agreed to my terms and it made me feel even more anxious than I already was.
After about ten minutes of driving, I arrive at her home across town. It’s a dark neighborhood, but her home seemed warm and normal amongst the rest of the houses around. I text her that I am outside and she comes outside for me to see her for the first time in person. I quickly jump out of the car and open the passenger door for her. She kind of stopped a little bit and awkwardly asked me, “oh, did you really have to open the door?” I told her that’s just common courtesy and I just like being this way with an awkward smirk on my face. She gets in and I shut the door behind her. I jump in the driver side door and start putting my seat belt on, but then I slowly stopped because I could smell her faintly. It was one of the most intoxicating smells I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. I put the rest of the seatbelt on and started the car back up. We took off down the road headed back to the main road to just do a couple of laps while we talk.
The first couple of minutes were spent awkwardly sitting in silence because we truly didn’t know what to say to one another. I finally broke the silence and asked her about her family and why it took her so long to hang out with me again. She sat for a few and finally started talking about her family and who she lives with. They all sounded like interesting people and hopefully one day I would have the pleasure of meeting them. She then spoke softly about her ex and the fact that she was still scared of seeing me in person. So, her not wanting to see me didn’t have anything to do with me, which was great news. For the next couple of hours we rode around and just talked about anything and everything like this was the first time we have ever spoken to each other. I never thought that night would end up being one of the most important nights of my life.
I glanced over at the time and it was getting closer and closer to midnight and she seemed to be getting tired so I told her I was taking her home. By the time we pulled up to her home she was dozing off and waking back up. I stared at her and started chuckling softly to myself and she said, “it’s not funny, I am just tired!” I paused my laughter for a little bit and told her I just came up with the most perfect nickname for her. She oddly looked at me and asked me what about so-called “nickname.” I looked at her and smiled softly and said, “I am glad we got to hang out tonight, Sleepy.” She smiled at me and told me that it was never going to be her nickname, even though I could tell she liked it. (This nickname literally stuck with her for the next couple of months and it has defined how much she means to me as a person.)
We sit and silence for a few after we got done laughing and talking about how “sleepy” she looked. She finally broke the silence and said she going to head inside to go to sleep. I said, “I think you owe me something before you go.” She stared at me for a couple of seconds and finally started up again and said, “Are you serious?” I told her I was being dead serious and I wanted what I was owed. She told me it was fine and leaned in and grabbed the side of my face to pull me in closer. Our lips locked for the first time and that feeling can’t be explained or described in a million words. My brain shut off and for the first time I honestly felt powerless to do anything, but kiss this woman with all of my emotions. After we separated from the first kiss she pulled me in for two smaller ones and said, “We always have to kiss three times, okay?” Obviously, I didn’t say no because I could barely think hard enough to do anything else but nod my head yes.
The passenger door opened and she bid me a goodnight and closed the door behind her. I got to see her walk away for the first time and I wasn’t disappointed. Her hips swayed back and forth and her hair was almost in a trance-like dance with the way her hips were moving back and fourth. It was almost hypnotic to see a woman like this walk away for the very first time. I took the car out of the park and backed the car out of her driveway and started down the street to the main road to my house. My phone was playing music through the car and one of my favorite songs came on. It was The Frays, Look After You song. I turned it all the way up and started screaming at the lyrics while I drove down the road with high spirits. This was the start of my first adventure towards true love and a story full of romance and pain. I didn’t know that this would be the first time I would truly ever fall in love and maybe the last time too.
(If you ever need me, I will always be here for you. Don’t ever forget that.)