The Man with the Infectious Smirk
He stood there, one corner of his mouth upturned while the other stayed, as if unaware of his mischief. His pickle-green eyes shined with challenge. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, and took a long drag off his cigarette. As the smoke escaped playfully from his lips a moment later, his voice rumbled softly, “I’m up for anything. What do you want to do now?” The question was heavily loaded. It was our first date, and I almost didn’t go. We met on a social networking site. I was looking for friends. I had no intention of dating, maybe ever again, at that point in my life. I still don’t entirely remember when or why I decided to let him take me to dinner. The whole evening had been filled with interspersed moments of witty banter and long awkward silences. I gave in. “I suppose we can go somewhere we can talk for a while,” I said.
I sat across the table from him all night. I listened to the intonation of his voice, I studied his face. I didn’t talk much; I was busy taking in everything. He stood tall, two inches taller than me. I am not used to looking up to make eye contact, as I’m generally one of the tallest people in any given area at six feet and two inches tall. He was a broad, large man. I felt petite next to him. Part of that was his physical appearance, but part of it was the safe feeling he seemed to exude, even through the exterior cocky, overconfident projection.
Then there was a second date, and a third, and a fourth, and a three hundredth. Eventually, the time spent apart was so much less prevalent than the time we were together that we began talking about moving in together. The relationship progressed fluidly, like rushing water cutting through the rock of cynicism, splashing right past the banks of bad memories. Everything fell into place, making every moment feel amazingly magical, and maybe a little bit fated, as if someone had played dice and the future was...
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