Editor’s note: Here is a creative submission for the site. Totally anonymous and totally unedited, per usual by me. Enjoy.
I have never thought of myself as a writer, perhaps a dreamer, but not a writer.
I just touched down; finally, after a two-hour delay I arrived in a dizzy haze of a town they call Boston. I dropped my only pillow in a puddle right in front of the cab. I was already homesick and couldn’t take the humid and rainy early September. I left all of my loved ones behind in the west coast and entered the unknown in Boston. No friends, no family, no lovers, no contact.
I skipped out on the computer orientation for graduate school because of the delay. It was not a big deal because I was going to the actual student orientation the next day. I settled down into my diminished bedroom and called it a day. Lying down in my bed I tossed and turned for hours.
– What should I expect from New York?
– Are people as rude as they say?
– Will I survive the winters?
I was with someone whom I cared for deeply. We have not been dating for a while, but I decided to try the long distance relationship scenario. We met in busy Los Angeles. She was beautiful, intelligent and loving. More than I could ask for in a companion. I was afraid of our relationship; it was too real too fast. I wanted things to work, but deep down there was an unsettling feeling I needed to address. I didn’t know how to. It would eventually take its toll on me.
I woke up the next day to the sound of the chiming bells of the train, the train I had just missed. I got dressed in a hurried fashion and ran out the door to catch the next train. The day was warm with accents of humidity; I wore shorts and a flannel. Apparently in Boston, men do not wear shorts in public. I get to the orientation just in time to meet with my group. Nothing special, plenty of Plain Jane’s and a curator who was full of himself. After about an hour of introductions it was time for the student barbecue. I could not attend the lunch immediately because I needed to do the short computer orientation I missed the day before.
I enter the information technology room and there she was. Tall and slender with smooth porcelain skin. She was beautiful from head to toe, big almond eyes with soft features and long brown hair.
She introduced herself with a firm handshake, “Hi, I’m Emma! You’re from California right? I saw you stand up when Dr. Klein asked who was from Cali.”
The angel speaks, I said to myself. I played the Joe Cool card and replied,” Yeah, I’m from San Francisco. Do you need to get your laptop encrypted too?”
She rolled her eyes and gave a heavy sigh, “Yes, my stupid laptop is too old, so I needed a disc to be installed in order to program my laptop.”
My laptop was programmed first, so I waited for her. She told me to go ahead to the barbecue, but I obliged to stay with her. I did not know what I was doing. I had a girlfriend back home, but I was so attracted to Emma, I couldn’t control myself. What made it even worse was that we had so much in common. We walked down to the lobby and talked about college and how we got into the field of physical therapy. She cracked corny jokes and I laughed with genuine curiosity. We had lunch together and exchanged phone numbers soon after. Throughout the rest of the orientation we sat together and made inappropriate comments about the demeanor of our professors and the lack of “cool people” in the field of our profession.
We spend the following weekend together; grabbing coffee, lunch, dinner and exploring Boston. Look here, I am not a religious man nor do I believe in superstition or coincidences. One thing I do believe in is fate. I believe that something more than myself and beyond this world put Emma and I in that room together. I was supposed to have my flight delayed to miss the computer orientation and she was supposed to have an outdated laptop. That’s just how things work in my world. I took this to heart. There was something between us I couldn’t explain. People at school began asking questions, but the answer was always the same, “We’re just friends.” A painful way of answering such a delicate question.
Months had gone by. Weekends became weekdays, and I was seeing Emma almost every day. I left my girlfriend from back home. I could not deal with the strain of a long distance relationship. I was torn between her and Emma. Emma will never know this. I never mentioned a girlfriend, but I didn’t think it mattered so much. Emma and I were like two peas in a pod. We could laugh together, but at the same time be so entangled in our conversations it scared me. We were both deep thinkers and we complimented each other. My feelings grew and I couldn’t keep them inside anymore. I adored Emma. Everything inch of her made me weak. I would stare into her eyes and it told me a story.
It was a late night at the end of September when Emma invited me over to study. This was the first time she has ever asked me to come over. By this time we had gone out plenty and even her friends wanted us to date, but I took everything with a grain of salt. Emma was conservative and sweet, I wanted her to tell me how she felt, not anyone else. I entered her apartment with a bottle of red wine. She took my jacket and hung it up on the coat rack. Her apartment was exactly how I pictured it; tiny, cute, and modern with European accents (she studied in Italy for a year).
She handed me a glass of wine.
“Here, look at the bottom of this glass. It’s made from Italy and I swear to you I didn’t buy this cup because of that. I had no idea!”
I laughed and replied, “You must have good taste! And it’s a wonderful cup.”
We talked for hours about our parents, life growing up in Los Angeles versus the San Francisco, religion and the future. It was thirty minutes past midnight and I missed the last train. She told me that the bed opens up into a mattress and that I could stay over if I didn’t mind. Of course I decided to stay. We made the bed and I asked her if she wanted to lie down and continue the conversation over a movie. It took a lot out of me to request something like that from her, but she agreed to my surprise. I was bold and anxious at the same time. We put in “Submarine” as we whisked from talking to sleeping to talking and then to sleeping again. She finally got up and proceeded to her room.
I thought she was going to spend the night in the living room with me? I was confused, I was disappointed. Something inside of me took control. I grabbed her hand, so soft and warm and she looked at me.
“What are you doing?” Her eyes were lost, but not scared.
“ I don’t know “. I replied, “I don’t know” My voiced shivered.
I kissed her gently on her soft lips. My hand stroked the back of her neck. I laid her down on the bed and kissed her. I could not stop kissing her, we could not stop kissing each other. This was the moment I dreamt about for months. We finally stopped and she took a step back. She was confused. I asked her why.
“I like you a lot Emma. I have never felt this way before. Please stay with me. I know these past couple of months meant something to you.”
“ I’m sorry” she replied hastily. “This was all my fault, I shouldn’t have given you the wrong impression. I didn’t mean for this to happen, I don’t know how I feel about you.”
How could you not know how you feel about me? I thought to myself. Everything was laid out perfectly for us. For us to be together. For us to be more than what we were. For us to explore the possibilities. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. She got up and apologized and went into her room. I did not sleep at all that night. My mind was racing and my heart was beating harder than it ever has, maybe it was broken. I could not tell the difference either way.