a forty-minute love story

I have forty minutes left before my work day ends and I’m free to live life for a measly five hours. What can I do in forty minutes? Well, I suppose I can tell you a story.

The first time I saw his face, other than the photographs I’d studied diligently on Facebook, I had already fallen for him. It was a warm November night. A Saturday. He drove from Atlanta. We had never met, not in person. We had mutual friends of friends of friends. We chatted online. Then via text message. And eventually had lengthy nightly phone conversations, reminiscent of freshmen year of high school.

We talked about things we liked and didn’t like. Why we were single and what we were looking for. Who had broken our hearts. Whether or not those hearts were actually mended. We talked about growing up and screwing up. We talked about music and movies and books and the world around us.

We fell in love over the telephone. And then he showed up on my doorstep.

I was shocked at how tense he was. I’d had the luxury of two strong lemon drops to ease my nerves.

He stayed with me that weekend. Eventually he calmed down. Became the person I’d spent every evening with on the phone.

He kissed my forehead in a bar that night. It was our first kiss.

The next day, before he had to leave, I walked him all around the most beautiful parts of Charleston. Historic architecture. Waterfront parks. Cobblestone streets. I kept trying to sell him on the city I’d come to love so much.

Do you like it? I’d ask over and over again. Yes, he’d say. Yes, it’s wonderful.

Before he left he took me by my waist and asked what happens next. I didn’t know what he wanted to hear or I didn’t know what I wanted to say, so I said, What do you mean?

And he said, I don’t want to leave here without you being mine.

And I thought, I was yours before you ever arrived. 

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