We sat across from each other at a little table in the corner. This place had a quiet charm about it. As an old home converted into a restaurant, it was the type of place that you walked into like a familiar hug. Above us patio lights glowed against a midnight blue sky, and a small fireplace sat in the corner, flickering gently.
“You’re art.” He says.
I am frozen.
He is casually holding his wine glass in one hand while he stares at me intensely. The energy is like a gentle chokehold. Somehow, despite my inability to move, I don’t want it to stop. I am suddenly hyper aware of myself and the overwhelming attraction between us.
It is like an undercurrent, electric but subdued, and it engulfs me.
“Everyone’s art” I say, dismissing his compliment and trying not to give anything away.
I stare at him for a moment. He doesn’t break eye contact with me, just continues to stare back. I feel like he is looking straight into my soul. His eyes are velvety chocolate, the kind that immediately melts in your mouth. The kind you fall into like quicksand… warm and bottomless, there is no escaping them, but I go willingly anyway.
“Yeah they are” he says, breaking eye contact only for second. My stomach drops as if to acknowledge my sudden insignificance. “But you’re the kind of art that I like”.
He switches so effortlessly between objectivity casual to intensely passionate that it catches me off guard. My breath catches in my chest. I have suddenly forgotten how to breathe.
We stare at each other until I finally whisper “thanks”. I am not sure how long it lasts. It feels like seconds and a lifetime all at once. There is a magnetism between us, one that is impossible to do justice with description but when you feel it you know. Sometimes, I catch other people staring at us, like they can feel it too.
At some point the server comes over and checks in on us but time seems like an illusion. I feel like we are the only people here. He explains Tetris to me as I study him. His black hair is short on the sides and longer on top. Somehow it is both tame and wild as if he rolled out of bed looking perfect. He is wearing a navy button up shirt with small white polka dots, and I can see his arms flex under it when he moves. Combined with black pants and converse, he is a walking rebellion. I am caught up in the moment, and want to stay here all night.
He asks me a question, but I am not listening. I am busy taking him all in. I manage to come up with a response, “yeah that’s so cool”.
As I sit here, feeling the warmth of the fireplace on my skin, I know that this moment in time will pass. I have lived long enough to know that moments like this don’t stick around. They stop by momentarily, to remind you what it is like to be alive – to be truly alive. There is no good or bad in being fully alive. There are just experiences that shake your soul and pump blood into your heart. Some of them – like this one – you want to hang onto. They are like lilacs in the spring, or that moment when everyone around you is happy and laughing. One moment they are there, and the next they are gone… their beauty imprinted on you for a lifetime.
He will be imprinted on me for a lifetime.
Jenna Ruby is an emerging writer covering social justice issues, relationships, leadership, and travel. She lives in Canada and enjoys travelling, vegan food, and reading tarot cards. Find her on Medium https://medium.com/@jennaruby or on Instagram @jennarubies