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  • Jay


Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Once a sunny evening, turned overcast with light drizzle before morphing into its final form – dark thunder clouds and full-on downpour. If I parked any further from my building, this well put together first date ensemble, including two hours’ worth of hair prep, would be a mere drenched distant memory.

Struggling to close the umbrella without completely soaking my raincoat, I’d finally arrived inside. It felt so good to be home, despite the sounds of bickering neighbors heard from ‘cross the hall.

I winced as I struggled to remove my sparkling open toe BCBG stilts from very angry 5.5’s, releasing the deepest sigh of relief. A quick glance in the mirror before unbuttoning my favorite pleather pants which as of recently, have become so tight they looked painted on. If my granny could see me right now, she’d be preaching about how all the women of today must dress “half nekked” to feel sexy. Her sermons made me laugh, being that I was always fully clothed. I guess that half naked and skintight were synonymous in her mind. I would never argue the difference with her, so I just let her preach on.

“Alexa, play Carlos Henriquez’, Bronx Pyramid.”

The bass crept up my spine before becoming the shimmy in my shoulders as I walked barefoot across the hardwood floor. The DIY mini wine bar, a product of one of my latest thrift store adventures, called out to me. Arriving beside her, I popped the cork on the newly gifted bottle of red, poured a small glass, and allowed myself to become one with my thoughts again.

Temptation laughed on my left shoulder while the angel representing my better judgment shook her head as if to say "I told you so". Of all the places to find a date, I bit the apple that was society’s new norm – online dating.

Another wince.

“Get back out there”, my girls would say, “Your husband will never find you if you’re here hiding behind these walls all the time.” Indeed, a fact that I hated to accept. I’d thumbed through my messages and agreed to a night out with a sweet guy who seemed an appropriate match. To my surprise, the experience wasn’t as awful as I’d expected it to be. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that I had a good time. He was so kind and respectful, yet I wasn’t sure about the possibility of a romantic connection at the end of it all. You can usually tell when there’s a mutual romantic attraction between two people, but I never felt it.

In my mind, if I have to question it, it’s quite likely that it doesn’t exist. Still I couldn't help but wonder - did the encounter truly lack the romantic connection or did I miss the signs because he wasn’t you?

True. I had my reservations, but I’m a woman who seeks all levels of romance in courtship. I want the eyes across the table from mine to twinkle when I look up and catch him mid stare. Flowers when I arrive and “I’m just thinking about how beautiful you are” texts throughout the day. I want to feel the way Darius Lovehall made Nina feel when he delivered "A Blues for Nina".

We were no walk in the park, but I never wondered if you thought I was beautiful because I always knew. You’d lay your head on my chest and after a few strokes of my hands through your hair, you’d be asleep so peacefully. I never wondered. I just knew with you. I’m not sure what that has to do with the here and now, but every time I think of you, I go to some familiar place inside my memories.

The thunder struck so loudly that I jumped and spilled a few drops of red on the table beside me.

That was then and this is now. Hinge is my new acquaintance and I have to take chances if I want to have the opportunity to remove you from the pedestal in my heart, overwriting the standard that I hold men to.

I finished cleaning the spill and heard my phone buzz against the coffee table.

“I had a really good time tonight! Hopefully we can do this again sometime soon.”

Sighing heavily, I began typing a reply. I felt guilty that I couldn’t find words that felt genuine, so I deleted the thoughts I’d spelled out, leaving well enough alone for one night.

I promised myself to respond come morning…

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