“Tell me a story.”
Her request was only odd in contrast to the comfortable silence that preceded it. After sharing the couch without a word in peaceful serenity, words felt like strangers in the room. Familiar strangers, however, and they were always welcome among the pair.
“What kind of story?” He continued to run his finger aimlessly across her legs resting across his lap, tracing invisible patterns idly. He could see that she had no answer when their gaze met and she began to scan the room for inspiration. After a moment of glancing their surroundings, her focus returned him and she shrugged.
'Tell me how we met.” And back to silence they went, for several moments.
“You were kinda there.” He knew of no other way to reply. She might as well have asked him to tell her the color of the sky or the day of the week. At least the day of the week is something that is easy to forget as the calendar changes. The time they met was something that couldn't change.
“Tell me a story about how we could've met. Tell me a story where we met a different way.”
“Okay, here goes...”
This isn't the story of how we met, but it could have been.
Let's say we met in a bookstore. It's a place we both like to go.
I notice you as soon as I walk in, and of course I think you're cute. But there are plenty of cute girls, there was that one girl with the pink streak in her hair and the glasses. I might have talked to her instead, but she was thumbing through 50 Shades of Grey with more than ironic curiosity. No, you would have to be more than cute to keep my attention. When I first noticed you, you were over by the Anime. Or maybe it was the Manga, I always get those confused. You looked my way, and for about half a millisecond there was eye contact before you looked away again. Cute and shy, now you had my attention.
Still, I didn't approach. I was there for books, after all, and pretty girls distract from books.
We might not have met that day. We could have continued on with our lives, never crossing paths and blazing a trail together. We would not have become friends. We would not have become more. Would either of us have known what we were missing? I like to think we always knew. I like to think we always were; it was just a matter of us becoming us.
But we did meet. Our paths crossed by the Disney merchandise. I compared you to a Disney Princess that day. You were torn between being creeped out and amused, maybe even flattered, but even then you were comfortable around me so amusement won. You were nervous that day, you hid your scars but the pain was still there. Yet you stayed and talked; you wanted a friend. You found one.
There were no sparks that day, no fluttering of butterflies. There was no inferno of passion, or descent into lust. What started that day was a tiny glimmer of light, a flickering ray of potential that whispered of a brilliant future.
That wasn't the day we fell in love. It was the day we started growing in love.