“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police played faintly from a makeshift stereo system in the corner of his two bedroom apartment. They were kissing on his bed now. It had been eight months since they’d last seen each other for coffee but that was merely a meeting to smooth things over and make sure they could remain cordial.
Nothing about what was happening now was cordial. Clothes were getting removed and one of them whispered: “I missed you.”
That they hadn’t seen each other in eight months was not something he wanted. This was a sabbatical imposed and enforced by her so she could get on with her life. It felt like a movie to him in that moment – this kiss a final scene to end the movie, with the audience walking out assuming that they’d be together forever. But remember – this is not a love story.
Four years earlier…
Self-sabotage. Getting shafted. These were things he had learned to deal with during his formative years in high school and college. He had never had much trouble with girls back then, but something always seemed to go wrong for him at an inopportune time. This, of course, would lead to breakups and usually one very distraught young man. To put it succinctly, he always seemed to be the one who was left to pick up all of the pieces.
By the time he finished college and met her in that dingy basement, he was used to getting the short end of the stick when it came to relationships with women. Whether or not this led to the trust issues which he dealt with whenever he met a new person was anybody’s guess, but he knew one thing for certain – he would not fuck this one up.
She was special. They got along in a way that he couldn’t fully explain to other people verbally, but when one saw them together they knew immediately. It was love.
Jealousy and paranoia can turn even the strongest of men into shells of themselves, though.
At 26, to surmise that he was a mature adult male would be a bit of stretch. He suffered from bouts of depression and social anxiety.
Just a few months younger than him, she was clearly the more mature one in the relationship but she had problems of her own. She had all of the confidence in the world but was prone to emotional neglect when things became the slightest bit uncomfortable.
Shutting down was her go-to move. He suspected that something had happened to her in her past which caused her to be this way but it was never brought up out of fear that it would just start a fight.
These problems were not yet visible, still bubbling under the surface at this early stage of the relationship.
In the infancy of a romantic liaison, there isn’t a whole lot to fight about. One tends to have a permanent smile on their face for the first few months when they become involved.
There was an ache in his stomach whenever she wasn’t around and a flurry of emotions when they got together.
He fell in love with her quickly. It would take the better part of three months to finally tell her exactly that using his big boy words, but she knew in the first couple of weeks that he did in fact, love her.
The telltale signs of true love were all there – an errant kiss on the corner of a busy street.
A long embrace when they were forced to leave one another’s company. He loved her and she loved him.
A juvenile crush slowly but surely turning into something very real. They went on like this for a while. No real fights to be spoken of and a mutual trust which showed no signs of being broken.
The honeymoon phase was in full swing, and the two of them would often fall asleep laughing together in a warm embrace, talking about the future and the furniture they would buy for an apartment in a new city far, far, away from the one they currently resided in. .
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