On New Year’s Eve, I expected to see a happy, excited, and affectionate man. I also expected us to share our first kiss at midnight.
I received neither. Instead, I got a pensive and sulky boy, and a hug.
Before my friends joined us, we talked a lot about the past year. We talked about your awful last relationship and the awful way it ended. We talked about how quickly she moved on, and how she’d already been living with someone for several months. We talked about how you still hadn’t found work since graduation, and how disconnected you felt from your time as a grad student. We talked about our broken resolutions before we’d even had a chance to make them.
One of my friends finally showed up, late as usual, and we left to pick up my other friend. All of us went to my favorite brewery, where we curled up by a fireplace and played Cards Against Humanity for hours. You had never met my friends before, and I was worried about how things would go. I had no cause for concern though; it was like you all had known each other for years. In the spirit of broken resolutions, I shivered outside in the cold as you smoked an unfiltered cigarette, the smoke rising into the heavens overhead.
Little did we know that night that we were airing out the bad to make room for the good.
At midnight, we all hugged each other into the new year and headed home. Keeping with my traditions, you slept over at my house with my friends. We all slept on the floor in sleeping bags, you and I falling asleep beside each other. Even though we were in separate sleeping bags and had plenty of distance between us, I had never slept this close to someone I liked before. The sensation was weird and welcome. The next morning, I hugged you goodbye, and that was that.
I thought NYE was going to give me the answers I was looking for, but it only served to give me more questions. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long to learn the truth.
I can no longer remember how many times I saw you between the start of the new year and the start of our relationship. Once? Twice? Five times? All I know is, I came over not long after the holiday, and you invited me up to your room to watch a movie. This was a new feeling, a new experience; the high school part of me felt like I was doing something wrong. Nothing like that happened, of course, but the sensation remained. You asked me if you could put your arm around me, and we laid curled up together on your bed. This continued the next few times we saw each other, until eventually you stopped asking and started doing.
Then, on the 17th of January, a new question…”Can I kiss you?”
I can’t remember ever hearing a better question. What should have been a simple, short, and sweet first kiss between new lovers soon exploded into a different kind of kiss entirely. We were absolutely desperate for each other; I had never experienced anything like that. After that, without even needing discussion, you and I became you-and-I. A couple of days later, we went on a proper first date, and so began the first month of our relationship. For the first time in my adult life, I could look forward to having a valentine on Valentine’s Day.
Over time, the absolutely unlikely had become the somewhat probable, and the somewhat probable had become the surprisingly likely. Now, finally, the surprisingly likely had become an unbelievable reality.