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kiss

Meet him one night, at a bar, at a friend’s house, through your sister. Hit it off. Find the stories of the adventures he’s been on riveting, and find yourself excited at the prospect of a new-found friendship. Think nothing more of it than an opportunity to go on a new adventure or two yourself, and resolve to say “yes” to every opportunity this new-found friend brings.
Go surfing. Climb mountains. Drink too much too often. And always, always have excellent war stories from the night before, as the two of you reminisce amidst fits of laughter over what he said/she said, he did/she did scenarios. Call each other nicknames that have no real meaning, and playfully wrestle when a disagreement over whose ordering the take out arises. Bake weed cookies, and stay up all night watching horror films. Share a bed, but never think that anything might happen because you’re “just friends”.
Go out drinking, another night out, to any one of the usual places. Order the usual first round before the night dissolves into the usual myriad of shooters and bad decisions. Notice there’s something different, but don’t figure out what it is. Until…
Share a kiss on the dance floor. Let the sound of the music fade away in the background. Don’t think any romantic thoughts, it won’t click straight away that he was someone you could fall for. Instead, find yourself trying to gage his kissing skills, and wondering if your breath smells. Pull out, just to make sure you’re kissing who you think you’re kissing, and then just throw caution to the wind, and continue. He’s not that bad a kisser anyway…
Uh. Oh.
Find yourself driving two days later, running errands which don’t really require the command of your full attention. As you drive, find your thoughts drifting to that night you first kissed. Smile. Stop smiling. Find it odd that you smiled in the first place. Shake your head and write it off to nothing more than the appreciation of a good friend, but find yourself wondering if it’ll happen again…
Let it happen again. And again. Now when he sleeps over, find your bodies pulled together so that you lie side-by-side spooning, a magnetic force between you that means you’re never more than 10 centimetres apart. Kiss for hours, slowly building up the anticipation each time, until neither of you can take it anymore. Have sex. Briefly hear a tiny voice in your head asking you what the hell you think you’re doing, before the touch of his tongue to your neck pulls you back into the moment and over the edge of reason. Lie together afterwards, awkward yet comfortable. Hold hands as you do so. Fall asleep spooning.
Wake up and replay the night before in your mind. Crack open your eyelids to find him sleeping still beside you. Let your hands wonder over his body, bringing him to consciousness and arousal simultaneously. Have sex again. Lazily this time. With as much passion as the night before, without the will or need to rush. Grab a shower afterwards and come out to a cup of coffee and a kiss awaiting you. Say goodbye, and part ways.
Chat to him now and again over the next week. Find yourself blinking twice whenever he uses the word “dude” in a message to you. Think nothing of it. Wait to see him again. Do so, at a bar with friends. Try not to feel confused when nothing is different. Note the lack of something… Something special when he talks to, or looks at, you. Be just another face in the crowd around the table. Push your feelings deep down inside.
Bide your time. Every now and then, find him back at your place after a night out and one too many drinks. Have sex again. Ignore the voice in your head begging to know what’s going on. Resolve not to be that girl. Swear you’ll just go with the flow. Don’t acknowledge the silent horror of your skipped heart beat when he jokes about being “friends with benefits”. Fail to see any benefits, beyond the half-an-hour to an hour you share in your bed, during which you can fool yourself that he sees you as someone beautiful; as someone worth loving; as someone full stop.
Never get the answers to the questions that race through your heart and mind. Let go of the exciting potential promised by the first kiss. Resign yourself to the notion that you are “just friends”. But never let the flame go out; that flame that dares to unhinge the cool, calm and collected image you’ve worked so hard to construct… That flame that urges you to wonder if he’ll ever like you, ever love you, never leave you. That flame that burns you every single time you dare to let it glow a little brighter.
That burning, fiery flame.

Reconnect with an old friend, or an old flame, a lost chance. Chat one day on Facebook. Comment on how many years it’s been. Accept when he suggests you meet up for a drink. Know it’ll be a once off. Put it out of your mind until the day arrives. Be nervous whilst you fret over what to wear. Don’t understand why. Eventually settle for the outfit you first chose. Go.

Smile when you see him. He hasn’t changed a bit, and yet there’s something different about him. Talk over one another at first, in the rush to catch up. Resolve to let one another take turns. Laugh at the things he remembers about you, and the one and only date you ever had. Smile slightly when he tells you that he’s recently single. Say good night eventually realising that six hours have passed and you didn’t even know it.

Be thrilled when he messages you to say how good it was to see you. Tell him the same. Say yes when he suggests you do it again. Go out drinking together almost every night for a month. Find yourself, on every one of those nights, in a drunken haze of happiness. Wonder why he hasn’t tried to kiss you yet. Try to grin when he tells you time and time again how happy he is to have found a friend like you.

Pluck up the courage one night after another drink-filled night out and ask him to kiss you. Sit with your heart pounding in your chest. Wonder if he can hear it as loudly as you can. Listen out for the beat of his heart, too. Wait for him to do or say something. Practically faint when he finally leans in and your lips touch. Lose yourself in the 3, 4, 5 seconds that you kiss. Hide the disappointment you feel when he pulls away again. Search for a sign of emotion; a sign that it meant to him what it meant to you. Ignore the awkward silence that’s settled in between you. Say good night without seeing a sign of anything at all.

Wait to hear from him all the next day. Jump out of your chair every time your phone goes off. Ignore the pit in your stomach each time you realise it’s not him. Hang around on Facebook on the off chance that he’ll log on. Get butterflies when he does log on. Ignore the sinking feeling in your gut when he doesn’t message you and then logs back off.

Regain hope when he eventually messages you. Ignore that he calls you ‘dude’, ‘bud’ and ‘friend’. Make plans to go out with his group of friends.

Spend the whole night checking his face and body language for a sign. When you say good night, notice that there’s something he wants to say to you, something that’s been on his mind. Hold your breath. Keep a straight face when he tells you how glad he is that the drunken kiss didn’t ruin the friendship. Try smile even. Say goodbye. Cry as you drive home.

Find yourself waiting for him to realise how he feels about you. Go on dates to makes him see. Feel confused at how he seems genuinely disappointed for you when the dates don’t work out. “You’ll find someone,” he says, trying to reassure you. Hate him in that moment because you have found someone.

Try not to let him hear your heart break when he tells you he’s met someone. Feign excitement at the chance to meet her. Hate her before you’ve done so. Hate that you like her from the moment you meet her. Hate how beautiful, intelligent and funny she is – love that she’s the exact type of woman he deserves. Hate the way he looks at her; the way he places his hand on the small of her back; the way he leans in and whispers in her ear. Hate that they have eyes for no one but each other. Hate that you have eyes only for him. Hate yourself. Love him even more.

Kiss me, stupid. And you’ll wonder why it took you so long to do so in the first place. You’ll blink when we finally stop, before kissing me again. Just because you can.

Kiss me, and you’ll wonder what it was you ever saw in using your mouth to eat, or drink, or talk. Such superfluous activities, that do nothing but take time away from the minutes, hours, and days that could be spent locking our lips.
If I tell you to kiss me, kiss me. It may come as a surprise to you, that a woman who uses words in every aspect of her daily existence, should find the utterance of two tiny, monosyllabic words so very daunting – but I do. It’s daunting because when I tell you to kiss me, there’s a chance that you won’t. And that’d be stupid. So, kiss me. Stupid.
Kiss me because you’ve run out of words to say. Kiss me because it’s Monday. Or Tuesday. And Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, too. Kiss me on every day that ends in a ‘y’. Kiss me because it makes sense to you. And if the stars and planets have aligned, whilst the moonlight smolders in the sky, and the crickets produce the soundtrack to it all – well, then, kiss me. How many signs do you really need?
Kiss me to take my breath away; I’ve always had too much anyway. Kiss me to leave me speechless; I always talk too much. Kiss me to make my head swirl and my knees weak; standing up straight is overrated. Kiss me to thrill me to death; living is always better when there’s risk.
So, kiss me. 
Stupid. 
Or, I’ll just kiss you.

It’s come to my attention that my dating life, up until now, is being used as the example section of “how not to do it” in the conversations of my family and friends. I’ve become that girl. The girl that’s invited to tell the horror stories of her past relationships to make other women feel better. And I’m sitting here wondering when I let it get this bad? I mean, did my mother read me one too many fairy tales, instilling in me a deep desire to kiss a frog (or 100) and find a prince? Never disheartened, I’ve resolved to come up with a few guide lines for myself, and any other ladies, who can’t seem to take the psychotic glint in our potential partner’s eyes as reason enough to run.

1. If he uses his cell phone whilst you’re on a date – especially the first date – even if he apologises. Come on! He carries his phone around with him 24 hours a day and can’t take an hour or two off to meet your eye line and actually hold a conversation that isn’t punctuated with message alert tones? What, must you learn to mimic the sound his cell phone makes in order to come top of the charts? How about no. Next please.

2. If he uses any one of the following to describe himself: asshole, commitment phobe, serial monogamist, jerk, free spirit, lone wolf, etc. Come on ladies, I know this guy. I’ve been there. A man who’ll tell you that he’s one of these, but adds that “perhaps things will be different with you,” had said this line before. And guess what? It won’t be different. It’s never different. Take him at face value. He’s giving you a warning, so dodge the bullet honey. Let’s not run face first into this brick wall again expecting a different result.

3. If he’s flaky. Are you constantly waiting to hear from him so you can arrange to see him? And when you do make plans, does he cancel them last minute or just never get back to you because he was super busy? Well, maybe he’s busy, but I’ve yet to meet someone who can’t send a text that takes all of thirty seconds to type to ensure you don’t sit around feeling worthless. If you have time to pee for Heaven’s sake, then you have time to send a text! And ladies, this guy, the one for whom you’ll make excuses to yourself and your friends, he’s actually sort of magical. Want to know his most effective trick? The moment you stop making excuses for him; stop texting him; and stop waiting around for him, he will disappear from your life for good. Kinda neat, huh?

4. If he never compliments you. Now, I know what it’s like to wish a guy would like you. You’d be wiling to do anything – ANYTHING – and yet, you can never quite NOT get upset when he tells you how beautiful he thinks another woman is. She may be in a film, a magazine or walking passed you on the street. Either way, when you’re trying to be the best you can be, and that STILL isn’t deemed worthy of a compliment from this cheap and insensitive waste of time you’re seeing, I have one word for you: run. You’re incredible. You’re beautiful. You’re sensitive, and your capacity to love – as a woman – knows no bounds. So dammit lady, give yourself the compliments he won’t, and move on.

5. If he won’t hold your hand, give you a hug, or kiss you unless it’s the prelude to sexual intercourse. Enough said, it’s that simple.

Relationships are tricky as hell, and Lord knows I remain in square one when it comes to them. But if we’re the ones in control of our lives and those we let into them, I think we ought to resolve to be a little bit smarter about these decisions, don’t you? I’m done chasing, and I’m done giving everything for nothing in return. I’m going old school. Chivalry is not dead, and it’s the least I demand. I am woman, hear me roar. No more grey area, no more murky, no more “it’s better than nothing.” I do well by myself, and I will not be tamed. It’s never too late to not settle for anything less than you deserve.

I know the start of something new can be scary. It can be incredibly daunting. Every ‘first’ is so shiny, so new, and the exhilaration of sharing these firsts with another human being – a human being that you could grow to love – is quite unlike any feeling we experience in our lives. It’s not always perfect, and realistically, every relationship you have WILL end until you find the one relationship that doesn’t. And in the end, this may even be a relationship with yourself. However, as homage to the hopeful romantic inside of me (and every one of us, I believe), why not make a few promises on what I feel, an ‘us’ might be like…

Promise #1: there will be adventure. 
As a firm believer in never saying never, and trying everything once, I can guarantee you that we will go on adventures at least once a week. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean we’ll necessarily be throwing ourselves out of planes and off of mountains at an alarming rate. No. But maybe we’ll try both of those at some point. By adventure I mean novelty. So if you want to build a tent under the dining room table and stay up late telling stories, or take a mattress out to the balcony and fall asleep under the stars, you can guarantee I’ll be in. I’ll make us sandwiches, you bring the coffee flask, and we’ll climb to the tops of mountains at midnight. Whatever tickles your fancy, and whatever tickles mine, we’ll do it together and it’ll be nothing short of magic.
Promise #2: there will be magic.
Those moments we’re told ‘only exist in the movies’? They’ll happen. I don’t know how many people know this, but all you have to do is let them happen. Be it rainbows after a storm as we surf perfect waves, or a misty full moon across the ocean as we round the top of a mountain road bend. It’ll be magic. And when we’re there, together, in the thick of it, that’ll be magic too. We may not know it at the moment, but these will be memories we’ll never forget. And if you’d take my hand before folding me into your arms and kissing me, well, that’d be magic too.
Promise #3: I will bring home strays.
You’d hide it super well, but the amount of times I’d ask you to stop to pick up a stray along the side of the road – even in the dead of night – well, it might irritate you. So, I won’t do it too much. But if I’m alone and successfully manage to coax a stray woofy into my car, it will be brought home. And fed. And loved. And cuddled. And yes, it will be allowed to sleep on our bed. Because it’s cold.
Promise #4: I’ll only ask to keep the stray once. Maybe twice. But three will be the absolute limit.
I know a dog is a lot of hard work. I do. And we’ll both be working hard and possibly long hours. So, I know that ideally the dogs I pick up on the side of the road ought to go to a home with children in it so that they can dedicate hours and hours of play to the pup. But I’ll ask if we can keep him or her. And I’ll ask again. And I may even ask a third time. But I’ll respect your decision and understand the reasons why we actually can’t get a pet right now. And I’ll promise to take the woofy to the shelter. Tomorrow. But tonight, it’s definitely sleeping on the bed.
Promise #5: I’ll bake if you deal with the spiders and Parktown Prawns.
I love to bake. I’ll bake everyday. And I’ll even make you heart shaped scones topped with strawberry jam so you’ll know just how much I love you. But when there’s a spider or a Parktown prawn, I will squeal like a little girl. I’ll jump up and come find you, demanding that you drop what you’re doing to rescue me. And when you’ve got the offending insect far away from me, I’ll retell the story to our friends emphasizing the sheer size of the insect (it’ll always be HUGE!) and the bravery of my knight in shining armour!
(P.S. because I understand how scary these two things can be, I won’t judge if you’re a little frightened, too. Oh and you absolutely cannot kill it. You have to take it outside where it can happily live out its remaining days. Far away from me.)
Promise #6: I will use you for your body warmth.
I get cold very easily. I am also stubborn about this. I won’t ever take the jersey or jacket off your back, even if you offer. I mean, if you offer more than once who am I to refuse. But I really will try to refuse. However, I have no shame when it comes to the use of your body for warming purposes. This may sound harmless, but it could get taxing. When we’re sitting and watching TV, my feet will worm their way under your bum, and my hands might relocate themselves to rest against your warm tummy. In bed, I’ll bury my cold nose into your neck whilst wedging my (still) cold feet between your calves. I admit to somewhat predatory heat-seeking methods, but here’s where I’ll compromise. I promise I’ll wear socks to sleep, to lessen the shock of my refreshingly chilly feet against your skin. Now that is what I call love.
Promise #7: Man Flu will be treated as if it were a real disease.
There’s some truth to the belief that men regress to become total babies when they fall ill with even the least serious of ailments. The common cold has been known to topple full grown men into whining and whinging masses of man-flesh. However, your every need shall be catered for. I shall bring you tea in bed, and climb in along side you. I’ll keep all the stories of just how much you moan to myself, and ensure that you receive all the T.L.C. you need. That said, don’t take this for granted. Abuse my loving nature by asking me to run your bath because you “feel too yucky,” and I shall expose all of the evidence on how pathetically you behaved. Yes, I’ll even take photo’s. Boom.
There are many promises I can make to you, about ‘us.’ But for today, we’ll leave it at these seven. The rest will be discovered along the way. In the meantime, let’s go on an adventure. The sandwiches are made, just remember the flask of coffee; we’ll grab our walking boots and get lost somewhere.

I watched a RomCom last night. I know you told me not to, I know it gets me footloose and fancy free. I know I begin to daydream, losing my head in the clouds of romantic moments and the proclamations of love. I know all of this. But I did it anyway. And you know I kept my feet firmly on the ground. Barely. My big toes clung with all their might, and in the end I managed to bring myself back down to the ground. And it wasn’t because you told me to.

I slept in your hoodie last night. It wasn’t exactly comfortable, I mean the zip was cold and scratched against my tummy. But I persevered. You never told me not to, but I can’t imagine your being one hoodie short with Winter coming was your idea of facing the change in season. Still, I saw the chance to take a tiny piece of you home with me, and when you asked if I was cold, I nodded yes – knowing I’d get more than just warmth out of it. And then I slept in it. And willed my hair and body to leave the sweet scent you say you smell when I’m near. I know it sounds romantic but it isn’t. I slept in your hoodie because it was cold.
It wasn’t because you told me to.

My heart skipped a few beats this morning. I know you find it dramatic when I say such things, but I can’t help the way you make my heart jump. And it never jumps just once, but flicks and flacks its way through five or ten minutes, during which I fear I may pass out. And it wasn’t because of anything you said, or did. You never say, or do anything worth messing with my heart beat. In fact, were it to up to you, my heart would flatline every time. But – with thanks to the RomCom and hoodie clouded dreams – I woke with the memory of your arm across my stomach whilst we slept and your lips against mine in a kiss. And that was all it took to set my heart a-beating. And I sat and missed you and then (unsuccessfully) resolved not to. And it wasn’t because you told me to.

I began a blog. A blog in which to pour my meandering thoughts and views as I weather the stormy seas of our single-sided love affair. You like me, alright, but not as much as I like you. And you did warn me, to your credit, you did. You told me not to fall for you. And I did.
And it wasn’t because you told me to.