Word

I told him. I told him exactly how I felt. In a letter. Just kidding. I’ve done that before. Trust me, it does not work. I’ve also been written a letter, and that also does not work.

If you want I’ll tell you about it. No time, no time. No this time, I told him in person, face to face, soul to soul.

I don’t know, I am trying to tell you about when I told him I liked him and about my day, but the things are just not flowing. They’re not. So lets start at the beginning.

It was right before lunch, two days before the coffee incident. I could see the sun through the landscape window in Lilac’s office, above everything. My fingers started to thrum the table, keeping beat to the grumbling in my stomach.

Jeremy walked past. He stopped right in front of my desk.

And then I said, “Let’s be adults about this. I wouldn’t mind having sex with you, and I possibly like your soul. Would you want to maybe hang out some time?”

It was an awkward thing to say, but I said it. I said it, and I meant it, and the only thing I would regret is not saying it, and that’s exactly why I said it. What if I never said it, and then it would be too late, I mean next week, he could hate me. Next week, he could move away and never talk to me again. Today is always the day.

He turned to me and said, “Sure, how about tonight.” How about tonight? Tonight! My heart started hammering, and I got really nervous, which makes no sense because I just told him I wanted to have sex with him.

“Sounds perfect, come by my desk after work?”

“It’s a date.”

And he nodded off in his continued direction like nothing had happened, like I had not told him that I was in to him. His beige chords wavered away, and my heart followed after him, sneaking into his shoes and painting his toenails pink.

Later that night, Thursday April 19th, 2012, when there were only five people in the entire office, and the moon was making friends with the glass panes, and my head was submerged in a short story by Samantha Emily, rifling through the overused adverbs and obnoxious, yet brilliantly juxtaposed adjective, Jeremy tapped at my desk. I looked up. He was wearing his blue and green- checkered sweater vest over his beige chords. My favorite.

We made eye contact. My cheeks flushed and I felt woozy.

“I’m kind of really excited for tonight.” Did he say that, or me? No, Jeremy definitely said it. Out Loud. I started to count backwards from 14 just to calm myself down and stop from dancing to “Mamma Mia” by ABBA in my head. Yes that was a John Tucker Must Die reference…

“Me, too. I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while,” I said.

“I’ve been wanting you to say that for a while.”

“Now that’s just cheesy.”

“You know what else is cheesy?”

“What?”

“Mac n’Cheese.” Wait, are we witty bantering? We are! We are witty bantering. Wings are emerging from my temples as my brain takes a mini vacation to the clouds, luckily, I am able to keep up the facade of a person focused and intrigued by the witty bantering frothing between us. “Sammy, would you like to go to my favorite restaurant ever?”

“Would I? I would be exceptionally delighted. More than delighted, I would be enthralled, but I just got to say. You know that thing I said earlier today, you don’t have any expectations for tonight, right? Because I hate expectations. They kind of make me nauseous and I always want to run in the opposite direction or prove you wrong, either one.” I shrug like I’m joking but I’m not.

“No, no expectations. Although, I would like the communication waves to stay open. I’m really enjoying this blatant expression of thoughts that are better said but usually not.”

“I would be delighted to continue on as such. Chords are my favorite, they are so soft, may I touch your pants?” Did I just ask to touch his pants? I did. And I stand by my question. Is that ironic? That I just implicitly implied that, no sir, I will not be dining in your pants tonight, but might I by chance stroke my hand upon your leg and feel the soft chords? It’s a little ironic. Now that’s something, Jeremy would have enjoyed me saying allowed. Let’s give this a try.

“Jeremy,” I said, “Before you answer, I just had this dialogue in my head about my asking to touch your pants, and I was interested in perhaps telling you what it was, although you may find it rather awkward, you may also find it rather humorous. May I proceed?”

“You may, dear lady. Although, I am not in entire understanding of the off-endish British discussion and possibly intellectual backwards way of saying things, however, you may continue you.”

And so I said it. And he laughed. And then, I reached across my desk and touched his pants.

And it was marvelous. Mostly the part when I looked up and he was watching me stroke his pants, and when our eyes met, they twinkled with such amusement it almost made me giggly.

Then, I stood up and said, “Finished. Let’s hit it.” He looked at me, and said the four letters that would change my entire night. I’m not going to say world, but in reality, Sammy Land had a new national holiday.

“Word.”

I grabbed my purple pea coat and wallet, stood up, my knees shaking even though I was trying so hard to be confident and calm. I even came up with a mantra, just-a-boy, just-a-boy, just-a-boy, a three syllable simplistic statement that would have been helpful in ninth grade.

“So, any hints where we’re going?” I collectedly asked.

“Sammy, I gave you the biggest hint back there. Although, I’ll admit, it’s in a pretty sketchy part of town, we’re going to have to take the metro.”

“The metro? There’s a metro. Jeremy, we’re in Los Angeles, remember?”

“Look, just because I still have a slight Scottish accent, doesn’t mean I don’t know where we are. If any one should be talking, it’s you.”

“Actually, I only attended university in Scotland, and lived in London for a few years as a child, but Los Angeles was my home for a good fifteen years. I even consider it my hometown.”

“Where’d you go in Scotland? I have a bunch of friends who went to university over there.”

“University of St. Andrews.”

“Ah! Do you know Charles Henry? Goes by Chucky.”

“Chucky! Yes, he could drink anyone under the table. One night, I even went against him, and I just couldn’t do it. I mean, I weigh 95 pounds, but still, I thought I had some game.” Jeremy laughed, and I felt too unreal. I kept having to remind myself that I was walking with Jeremy down the hall, that we were waiting for the elevator, that he was taking me to one of his favorite restaurants. Bing!

The door slid open, and Jeremy waved his hand over the door, presenting it to me to go first like a proper gentleman.

“Thank you,” I nodded, and whispered into the door. The doors closed, and down we went. Three floors. We were both silent. The instrumental techno music, classic elevator jams filled the moment. The first silence of the night. It was nice. Comfortable.

I looked up, and he was looking at me. I smiled. And then he said, “Elevator music is my favorite.”

“Me too. I used to want to get it on a CD and play it in my car when I was a teenager. I thought it would be so funny.”

“Why didn’t you?” I looked down at the floor, my voice caught on a hanger of the gold beaded dress I wanted to wear to prom but was not confident enough to.

“None of my friends thought it was funny.”

“Well, I think it’s funny.” Our gazes held hands, and heard the tip of his converse slide forward towards me, and thought, is he going to kiss me?

His hand reached behind my shoulders, and our lips were three inches away. Bing!

I jumped, and yelped, “Ah. The doors open.” Then hopped off from his embrace, and awkwardly smiled at him. Then, I started to run, just a little bit. I regret writing this because it’s just so embarrassing. I ran down the hall, my former instincts kicking in, of that night on the cruise, and of Peter at homecoming, and running away from a picture, that was actually me getting candy, but no one believed me.

Half way down the hall, I stopped myself. I turned around and saw him, not to far behind.

“Sorry, about that. I got nervous.” He didn’t say anything. “I really want you to kiss me, though.”

He just kept walking, until he was right next to me. “Sammy, your shoe is untied.” I looked down, casually. Hm. It was untied. Usually, I hate when people tell me that. It’s so annoying. I mean, I know it’s not tied, I just choose not to tie it. But, when he said it, I knew he just wanted to keep me safe. I bent down to tie my shoe, wound the white laces around my finger, bunny style, looked down proudly at my bow, and when I stood up, he was right there, two inches from my face.

We looked into each other’s eyes, his blue oceans, his weak, exciting smile. I felt the sexual tension like a glass wall, so thick and unbreakable. I felt his eyes on my face and my neck and my nose. I felt him glazing me with his gaze, and I too turned into a glass statuette.

And then he kissed me. Just a peck, but it was enough to spin my world like a shiny marble on the floor.

“Bing!.” I laughed, and kissed him again, my smile still smudging his lips. And then it kind of turned into something more, and more, and more, and MOREEEEEE… until we heard a loud footstep, and jumped.

He rushed his hand over his hair, and took my hand.

“Well, let’s be going,” he said with a lopsided grin, he held the door open on to the still warm streets of Los Angeles, the thick, grey sky filling our lungs, for our hearts were already drunk on running away.

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