Thursday, October 15, 2009

She Had Me From Hello

Cupid's Arrow 
(What follows is a writing exercise I gave myself recently. Having come across a wonderful song title, You Had Me From Hello by Kenny Chesney, I couldn't help but wonder where it would take my imagination. So, I began to write, incorporated an element from my youth, took some creative license with it, and this is what came out of the blender. I hope you enjoy it! )

I'd seen her around, of course, but her boyfriend was as omnipresent as ants at a picnic and his smokescreen was impenetrable. Every time I thought my moment had come at last, there he was, running interference. I don't think he was possessive, but he sure wasn't taking any chances, either. Then one afternoon, as fortune or fate would have it, he was drawn aside the very instant I was walking past. I stopped in mid-stride, looked at her, and in what seemed like slow motion, my hand reached out and I introduced myself. She didn't say a word -- she didn't have to -- she just smiled and her eyes sparkled like none I'd ever seen.

I don't know what she felt; my feet didn't touch the ground for hours after. I've always wondered what she thought. Surely she knew, she must have known, she had to. I couldn't have hid what I felt if my life depended on it. Still, it's hard to tell about these things, especially if you're a guy. I suppose it's hard for girls, too, but never having been one I can't say first-hand.

All I know is, she had me from hello. It might have been love at first sight -- it does sound that way from here. But it was a long time before I could say it. I'd fooled myself before and there was something about her that made me more serious, deliberate, even careful than I'd ever been. It was as though she was so flesh and blood nothing short of absolutely certain would do.

I think that's why I knew, eventually. Because I didn't want to rush it. Because I was willing to wait. Take a step, or two steps or even ten, backwards -- "it will either grow or die," my father used to say, "and if it grows, it was meant to," and he'd smile.
Neither of us was going anywhere (nor was her boyfriend, for that matter). What harm could it do?

I feel like I'm writing the final climactic scene of the season's hottest new show and making you sit on the edge of your seat until next September to find out what happened next. The truth is, I don't know myself. Sometimes even the main character is in the dark until the final curtain falls.
(Image of Cupid by Sylvanfeather via Flickr)
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