I'm not sure it would be called star crossed lovers or even a relationship that would have been if not for distance, but it was something. It is a story within my story
I was nineteen. My friends and I had just driven to Florida from Texas for spring break our sophomore year of college. We borrowed my dad's car, the trip was paid for with our parent's hard earned money, but no doubt we were certain we were adulting and living independently.
I wish I could say we met at some place romantic or when I accidentally bumped into him as I was leaving the beach comber bar and we locked eyes and instantly connected.
But to be honest, I don't remember the first meeting. I remember he was with two very loud and extraverted much older men. They were likely in their late twenties, but since we were only 19, they may as well have been 50. He was the quiet one they brought along.
I remember my 19 year old self thinking "this guy is hot". In fact, majority of us thought that. And he was quiet, therefor, mysterious. I remember my friend saw him first, and was really surprised he was drawn to me.
I have a sense of comfort with people, strangers tell me their life stories and confide in me, their secrets. It is something I never asked for, but I don't necessarily stop it from happening either. Well, that's not entirely true, if I'm not in the mood to be taken down what is usually a very sad and dark road, I won't look up, I won't make eye contact, I will just keep to myself. Eighty-five percent of the time, it works.
So looking back on it, it was no surprise he found comfort in my presence. I was likely a bit more reserved than my friend who saw him first and I am almost certain I asked him enough questions that made him not only feel comfortable to open up, but also relaxed in not having to do the work.
In case you were curious, that is one-hundred percent foreshadowing into my future relationships.
But, I digress, I often do.
We talked until dawn. He was just a few years older than me. He was simple about life and looked at it with curiosity. I am certain we talked for hours about nothing and anything and even more certain, I was wondering half the time, if he would kiss me.
As the sun was starting to come up over the horizon beyond the oceanfront of which we were looking, we decided to part ways and get some rest. We vowed to meet up again after our rest and continue. And I knew, we would kiss and I was here for it.
After I woke up from my bedtime at dawn, I was surrounded by my friends giggling and talking about the night they had. When they saw my eyes open and the smile on my face, the questions ensued.
"What happened?" "Did y'all smooch?" "Are you in loooove?"
When I retold the story of the night before, my friend turned to me and said "Oh my God, Hadley. Did you try to save him? Did you just let him tell you your life story again? Ugh, did he cry? Wait, did you?"
It wasn't the first time a stranger had done those things, as you know, and clearly, as they knew too.
I blushed and told them about our long talk and no, nobody cried, there were a few brushes of the hands, but no, no kissing. I mean you could hear their disappointment in me all the way down to the beach.
As we were starting to get up and get ready to go lay on the beach with negative spf and a case of coors light, the hotel room phone rang.
"Hot Kevin" was on the other end and asking for me. The oohs and awes were not muffled, I'm sure he heard them.
I picked up the phone, my heart beating quickly in my chest. "Hey, when I woke up, my friends told me we have to leave today. They have to get back." He was leaving, I couldn't say goodbye in person, I wasn't going to get that kiss. He was just going to be another stranger who told me his life story and I listened.
My heart, it sank. I said goodbye to Hot Kevin, certain, our story was over.
But was it?