She & He: A Dating Story

3 Aug

They met by chance on a balmy summer’s eve after 20,000 people rocked out to the Black Eyed Peas under the Arch.

He was tall,  just the way she liked it.  She had kind eyes, a sweet smile and screamed naievte.

They exchanged numbers on the cobblestone street, underneath the lamplight. He called her later that night, set-up a date for the next day. She accepted with excitement, falling into a sweet slumber with a huge smile plastered onto her face.

Their first date was a giant red flag that she chose to blatantly ignore: running into his recent ex who began sobbing upon sight of him, causing him to talk in hushed tones with the ex. She walked away, casually glancing back to see how long he hugged the ex; thankfully it wasn’t long. There was no first kiss that day. Not for another week in fact. Finally, standing below the American Flag on the waterfront, he grabbed her by the waist and kissed her. She thought that her heel rose up to the sky, just like it did in the movies. That was always the problem with this guy, she thought things that weren’t happening.

They couldn’t get enough of each other. Within a month, he took her to his hometown for a quiet weekend in the country. She fell in love with his family. She began to fall in love with him, too. She’ll tell him this, that she loved him, a six months later in a crowded bar on a cold New Year’s Eve.

He rode a motorcycle, would take her on it but drove too fast. 120 MPH. 130 MPH. She closed her eyes as tight as she could and prayed to a Lord she wasn’t sure she believed in, squeezing his waist the whole time, too afraid to look at the spedometer as he weaved the small bike in and out of post-baseball game traffic. She never got back on the bike again after that night. He never asked her to ride again, either.  She often thinks that was the real first sign of trouble.

He started disappearing for days at a time, only resurfacing when his wallet was empty, when he was hungry since his start-up business was less than successful. For Christmas he gave her a tiny calendar whereas she, well, she surprised him with the DVD player he wanted, a stack of James Bond movies, and a vintage baseball hat.

She told him alright, in that crowded bar, just moments before midnight on New Year’s Eve, miles away from home, close friends and family. “I love you,” she whipsered.  He didn’t respond save for a grunt, marched onto the dance floor, and didn’t look back.  She walked back to the hotel, alone, in a city she didn’t know, tears stinging her eyes, oblivious to the fact that it’s dangerous to be walking these streets.

He is the reason she won’t say “I love you,” first. The reason she dislikes New Year’s Eve, Cinco de Mayo, and certain old City Diners.

Sometimes when she sees a motorcycle, she closes her eyes, imagines the wind in her hair and silently thanks him for who she is today- a woman she couldn’t have become if he hadn’t broken her heart.

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29 Responses to “She & He: A Dating Story”

  1. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns August 3, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Wow – beautifully written! My favorite line: “That was always the problem with this guy, she thought things that weren’t happening.”

    In a way, elements of this story sort of remind me of the Dog Whisperer. One afternoon he took me for a drive and went so fast on this curvy road, I closed my eyes and just prayed nothing would happen… I sort of hate BMW’s now…

  2. Becky August 3, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Nora this is heartbreakingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair August 3, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    I have goosebumps. Beautifully written, lady! XO

  4. Manderz August 3, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Such beautiful writing.

  5. Kapachino August 3, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Ugh, that reminds me of several of my past relationships. I still have bitter feelings!

  6. Ally August 3, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    What a beautifully reflective post, Nora! It actually makes me think of (500) Days of Summer.

  7. Lauren from Texas August 3, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I love this & thank you for writing it. Isn’t it the truth? Things that hurt us so badly make us stronger, wiser, more beautiful. I never thought of thanking those people/situations, but that’s an amazing idea. <3

  8. OurLittleAshley August 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    This is beautifully written. Wow.

  9. Habbala August 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Nora, this is so beautiful. I’m in awe.

  10. Tabitha August 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Wow…such a beautiful, haunting story. Am I allowed to ask if this is autobiographical? :-P Anyway, it’s awesome, and you’re awesome.

  11. ria August 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    beautifully written and heartbreaking. even past experiences that were awful truly shape who we are today. you are amazing.

  12. Megan August 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    So sad, but wonderfully written!

  13. Aly August 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Ugh, I could kick “him” – this story breaks my heart just a little. x

  14. barbetti August 3, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Not a whole lot I can that others haven’t said already, but wow, Nora. This is just gorgeous.

    By the way, I never said “I love you” first.

  15. Maddy August 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    *sigh* I definitely relate to that girl….the girl on the motorcycle. The one trying desperately to cling on to a person who isn’t worthy of her love. I’m sorry she had to go through this and I want to hug her and tell her it’s going to be alright in the end. Even though the pain has since been numbed, the scars still remain. One day, she will find a person who really loves her and isn’t afraid to shout it from the rooftops, who’s adventurous, but not reckless and who will do anything to make her happy! Our girl deserves this and so much more….we all do!

  16. Margarita August 3, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    This is touching. Very brave for posting this.

  17. Mel August 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Very touching, gal. I have had a few similar experiences…Thanks for the reminder that gal’s deserve SOOOO much more!!

  18. Caz August 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    This is very beautifully written. xoxo

  19. mandy August 3, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Such a hauntingly beautiful story, Friend. Sometimes we have to go through these sort of experiences to become the people we need to be. I’m glad that you can look back and realize that.

  20. Amy --- Just A Titch August 3, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    This is beautiful. As difficult as it must have been, I’m happy he broke your heart.

  21. BostonRunner August 4, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Beautiful writing!

  22. MASHley August 4, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    ash – everyone has already said it but let me say it again. that was beautiful writing. if this was a book in the store, i’d buy it.

  23. hannahkaty August 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Love this. Great post. I especially adore the ending, good way of looking at it..

  24. ClaireSuzanne August 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    What a beautiful story. It’s wonderfully written and very captivating.

  25. Charlie August 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Beautifully written Nora! It’s good that things like this although they may have a negative impact at first, are good in the long term.

  26. E.P. August 7, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    Beautifully written, Nora. Really.

    It’s amazing how the people from our past shape us into who we need to be for the present. I sometimes think about it, and it boggles my mind.

    I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!

  27. bellerenee August 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Wow. Che bella, amica.

  28. nova August 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I loved this so much, although your story is so sad. It’s so true though, these people who have broken our hearts, how they have helped to shape us and mold us to who we are today. So beautifully written.

    I also wanted to share this with you: http://www.sheckys.com/2010-national-girlfriend-awards/?a_aid=vitaljuice&a_bid=190fdff7

    I thought of you when I saw it!

  29. samdotcom August 11, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Amazingly told, Nora. <3

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