Sweat. A sign of a pulse pounding and body heat rising. Typically, a symptom of a fever. Which is exactly what I feel like I have right now.
I feel delirious— awake yet somehow lost in a dream. How could this possibly be fun? How could falling in love be perceived as anything short of mania?
I will never understand how people let love just happen. It’s a terrifying thing. It thunders through you and takes over your mind. The feeling, the urge, the obsession. The lingering thoughts about him. Ah, yes, him.
Let’s talk about him for a second.
He’s not too tall and not too thin. He’s partial to grinning when I stumble over my words. It may be the only time he flashes those darling dimples of his.
He’s quiet and imaginative and I do so wish he’d tell me more about that novel he’s been trying to write. The one about the girl who gets lost somewhere in the Multiverse. She has brown hair like me and it makes me bite my lip and guffaw when I imagine that I’m the whimsical hero in his story.
He’s the hero in my story. An unsung hero that will never truly know his own glory.
I knew I fell for him when I saw him in line at the café. He was patient and time had stopped for him. Those green doe eyes and that dark hair. I spent the rest of the afternoon naming the color of his dark, tousled hair (it was charcoal black by the way).
I can’t say it was all a trick of the light or me being superficial in the way that I admired his handsome features.
It actually began with his jacket.
I remember he clutched the aged navy fabric of his peacoat, it slunk over his left arm as he waited in that line. The glint of the silvery ring on his right hand caught my eye as I sipped my daily cup of Chai.
I was spellbound by his hands and the way he caressed those buttons. There was a rhythm to it. He was focused and careful as he outlined the gunmetal details of that damn jacket. I remember looking him over and soaking in his own careful details.
The haplessness of his hair, the wrinkles in his shirt, the way his eyes absently focused on his dirty Oxfords.
The final nail in the coffin was his voice. It was warmer than whiskey and I wanted nothing more than to drink it all in. Let’s not forget the way he winced a smile at the Barista. And the way he stumbled through his order, making it complicated as he tried to simplify it.
The bold side of me had to meet him. I needed to experience him.
I felt a longing to be the careful details of those metallic buttons, feeling the calculated touch of his fingers grazing over all of my curves repeatedly and in rhythm.
I set the stage that day. It was so well orchestrated it could have been the beginning of a RomCom.
We bumped into each other by “accident”. He apologized and smiled. I retaliated with a giggle and blush. He asked what I was reading and that’s when it all spiraled out of control.
The way his face lit up when I mentioned my love for reading was a sight to behold. His green eyes glowed, his words flowed. He truly came alive.
My profuse sweating and pounding-heart issues began when he told me he was a writer.
He was shy about it, but there was a glimmer of confidence that tried to swim to the surface.
We sat down together and I felt like a pauper in the midst of a king.
He talked about literature as if it were a deity that would surely save us all from damnation. I listened, falling into every single word. He could raise the hell out of me and save my soul if he really wanted to.
My life changed and I stopped making sense after meeting him. Days lost their luster after morning coffee with him. It was only the mornings that mattered anymore. That was the time of day in which the moon and sun and stars and heavens and everything in the ether melted together to create the backdrop of our romance.
The aroma of his Café Misto blending with the spicy scent of my Chai Lattés has become the sensation that reminds me that I’m exactly where I need to be: with him.
But, let’s get back to the present.
A mess and spiraling into the mystifying ocean that is love. For as much as we desire love, we resent it for the side effects it brings with it. I’m a victim to the jealousy, nervousness, anxiety, nausea. I’m a forlorn casualty of infatuation.
I at first thought I was having a mental breakdown of sorts. So did all of my friends.
He's all I ever talk about anymore. He consumed my life just by being a part of it.
Barely there, yet blindingly clear. He turned my brain to mush and twisted all of my words into poetry. I can’t talk about him without becoming a Capulet hellbent on romancing her Montague. He ruined me and made me better all at once.
Love is one hell of a strain on your body. You have to be strong to be in love. Every person who’s ever been where I am, in the throes of a romance, has had the strength of a million hearts burning in their chest.
Love breaks you down and builds you into a new thing. You’re barely human when you’re in love. You become a fairytale, capable of the perfect happily-ever-after.
This love stuff isn’t fun, it’s dramatic. It’s like a surreal hallucinogenic experience that is perceived differently by everyone. It can be scary but it can also be incredible. I’m a cocktail of both with a shot of lust on the side.
You see, what’s most special about him is that he’s my first love.
I never knew what it felt like until now. I never realized that I had been missing out until now.
He’s my first illness.
My first ache and burn.
My first sweat-inducing fever dream… and I find that I don’t want to be cured.