The third time they ever saw each other, he put his head on her shoulder, someone he barely knew. He was shocked by his reflexive display of obvious attraction, to her. She noticed because he quickly removed his head when consciousness caught up with him. their thighs had given it away as the sat next to each other. This wasn’t just chemistry, it was all the art and all the science she needed to know he’d be a big part of her life. Something shifted in the galaxy that night, that much she knew.
They’d met barely two weeks prior and shared one, maybe two conversations. He didn’t stand out to her at first. Perhaps she didn’t notice. But after this night, her heart would pause for just a beat every time he walked into a room, as if to acknowledge God for such a marvelous creation. With him near, Karen always came ablaze and melted – all at once, fire and ice. His smile forged dimples she believed were carved just for her kisses and even now, as she scurried to her apartment, she hated herself for feeling the way he always made her feel: safe. But her heart wasn’t safe anymore, not with this man – Darien. How dare he say he loves me?
Karen pulled her phone from the back pocket of her shorts and texted her sister. “He says he loves me!”
In 20 minutes her sister was letting herself in as Karen paced up and down her apartment. Ette was a freshly minted medical resident. Years of medical school abroad meant long distance relationships with her family. Today, Karen was grateful her sister chose to complete her residency here in Philly.
“Girl!” Karen half screamed as her Ette pushed the door open.
“I know! Some nerve he’s got!”
“What’s worse is I couldn’t say a thing!. I froze Ette!”
“Like, How? Why? … When did he even get into town?”
“I don’t know.” She’d seen him through the window as she was sitting at Café Du Jour. He waved at her and she waved back not fully registering who was standing there. Just as her gaze shifted back to her novel, it clicked. She lifted her eyes and it truly was him. Her face fell and immediately, she gathered herself and stormed out of the bistro and right past Darien. “I’m not sure when he got in. I saw him and all my sensible brain cells went to sleep it seems, because I couldn’t muster up one word! Oh Gosh! Why now?” She plopped into her favorite lounge chaise; a peach beauty that sat just beneath the large french windows bathing her brick exposed apartment with sunlight. Her head was spinning. Ette sat next to her for a few silent minutes before asking; “Are you going to tell him?”