Part I “Hello!” I said as I approached the bench. The man’s eyes shot up with a start looking up over the thing he held in his hand. “Are you talking to me?” He asked. He looked tired and agitated despite the placid mask of emotionless empty the rest of his face conveyed. I felt my insides lurch, instantly regretting the interaction. I had to keep going so I kept smiling until he smiled back. There was no way he could be like all the rest. If he was, there was no hope. Finally, he did smile and I felt my stomach fall. His smile was exactly like the ones I’d left behind. Fake. False. I felt my heart racing a bit in my chest.
My husband Daniel is the type that keeps to himself. He doesn’t talk to any of the neighbors whereas I’ve always been outgoing. Even as a kid, I liked to get to know people so I could understand them better. Understand what they’re feeling better. I can learn so much about people by striking up a conversation…occasionally, I’ll meet someone I’d be best off avoiding…
Everyone told me: Don’t meet dates online. I’d fucked every eligible man on this coast before finally settling down. Before I met my man, my sexlife was boring as shit. I’m devoted now. No secrets. My husband knows my past, so ‘come for me,’ haters! We’re celebrating 2 years! My friend Richie, my biggest critic, accused me of “fucking every guy with WiFi and a heartbeat.” But that wasn’t true. It had to be at least 100mbps.
“I wish I could bring you home with me,” Evan said. His husband’s mouth opened. Evan imagined they’d argue and held up his finger. “Shhh. It’s better this way, Jace. You’re banished…can’t go back.” Jace glared down the hill where they met now, overlooking dust as wind carried and swirled it to eddy around them.
We were both young. I could tell he was still young enough to believe himself invincible. I spotted him moving like an elemental on the other side of the room and downed my drink. The spirits from the bar quelled my nerves and I crossed to join him. I hadn’t done anything like this before. We talked for an hour until we were both drunk. He, more drunk from love than drink. He was 22. I was 23. I will always remember the first.