After Kansas City left Tuesday morning, I drove in circles on the highway, killing time. My bedroom was still full of him, my shower, my kitchen, my brain. KC and I met for the first time Sunday night – but we already knew each other. As we lay entwined while Monday became Tuesday, counting hours of sleep vs. hours together, he whispered to me: “I loved you the whole time.” I nodded, brushed his lips with my thumb. His hand followed the path on me from shoulder to hip that had become familiar in just a day and a half, and pulled me closer. Warning: the following is going to sound a little like lines from When Harry Met Sally. I can’t help it; it’s the truth. I haven’t mentioned Kansas City before, because dating him wasn’t within the realm of reality. At least, that’s what I thought.
The first time I “met” Kansas City, nine years ago in an online writing community, we hit it off right away and often shared our lives over IM and email. Eventually we lost touch, each wrapped up in our own long-term relationships and educations and careers. The second time we “met”, three years ago (due to utterly unbelievable online coincidence), we were thrilled to rediscover our friendship. And we fell in love. Hard. Over email, text and phone, we re-learned each other and couldn’t get enough. There were only a few obstacles: the distance. His monogamous girlfriend. We shelved things after a few months. So when we got back in touch for the third time, even though we were both single, we kept the romance quiet and became best friends instead. We shared everything: work, school, relationships, family, and everything else. In our more honest moments, we talked about love – but we were also honest about any kind of “us” being practically impossible.
And then we met for the fourth time, five days ago. Finally face to face. We planned it about two weeks in advance. I let myself believe it about two days in advance – and a constant low thrum of excitement and nervousness vibrated from my chest to my lower belly. KC rang my doorbell and started down the five steps to my apartment, and I had to step hard on my heart to keep it from beating out of my chest. The sun was shining behind him so I couldn’t see his face, but I didn’t even need to. The space between us was electric. “Hi,” I said, trying to keep breathing, looking into his eyes and at his smile splashed across his face like he’d just seen his first rainbow. “Hi,” he said. And I started a sentence about nothing that I never finished. With the words, “Come here, you,” KC pinned me to the wall with his mouth to mine. If there’d been a film crew, they’d have been rotating around us to give you that world-spinning feeling. KC’s hands were on my hips, on my shoulders, in my hair. I realized my own hands were flat on the wall behind me, and solved that problem by pulling his hips against mine and holding him there tightly.
We rushed and we meandered, silently arguing with ourselves and each other over whether to take our time or just finally end all the waiting. As KC hesitated for a moment, arms around my shoulders, hips pressed tight between my thighs, looking down into my eyes, I knew I loved him. As always. I closed my eyes as the feeling spread through me, hot and golden and so, so good. Kansas City said my name, and I opened my eyes, drank in his face. “I love you,” he said. And he slid home inside me for the first time. We spent the weekend half in bed, laughing and kissing and fucking, talking about absolutely anything that came to mind. We wandered hand in hand through the city, discussing my history here and just being together. We sat on a fallen tree and watched the river, nestled into one another, wishing it wouldn’t end in only a day. We stayed awake most of Monday night, holding each other and telling truth.
When he drove away from me the next morning, he took my whole heart with him. I spent one day in a mess of emotion, thrilled and ever so in love, frustrated at being separated, and confused by all of it. But my usual reaction to intense, overwhelming emotion is a burst of logic and pragmatism. And by Wednesday night, KC and I had planned a schedule of visits through December. We looked at maps together and picked a halfway point, six and a half hours from each of us. And we’ve already begun talking about how to combine our lives in the fairly near future – who moves where and when.
It’s terrifying, to start planning life changes like where to live and where to go to school based on the very beginning of a relationship. Part of me says: we were together for 36 hours, of course it was perfect. But I have both logical and non-logical reasons I know this is the right thing to do. Every time I think how foolish this is, I immediately feel another tumbler click into place on my internal certainty meter – the instincts I rely on to make all real, important decisions. This part of me has no ability to make sense. It just knows. I have rational reasons as well. As a woman in my 30s, I’m too old to wait for things to “just work out”. I’ve begun making things happen in my personal life lately, including a new direction for my career. It feels good to be more involved in my life’s trajectory, and chasing what I want? It’s the best feeling in the world.
I know what I want when it comes to relationships. I want a partner in crime. Someone who understands me without needing explanation, someone I am always having fun with, someone with whom communication is effortless. Someone who is game for adventures and challenges and even struggles, because we can do anything together. When I meet someone like that, I fall in love. Quickly, deeply, and authentically. I’ve met four people in the past fifteen years who made me feel like that. Recently I met a fifth. He’s worth chasing. This feeling is worth chasing. In fact, I won’t be happy unless I do it. My happiness is worth chasing. So here I go.