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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.

There comes a time, it seems, in most bloggers’ repertoire of the written word, for them to give up all the answers. They’re required to sit and write down all the answers their lives have produced for them, often at arbitrary age intervals, such as 18, 21, 30 and so on. Well, I’d like to think I’ve learnt a thing or two over my past 23 (and 8 months) worth of existence. At least, I hope I have. However, these things we learn, I feel are somewhat universal truths. We all get to these lessons in the end, whether we’re 21 or 100. These universal truths include things such as: the heart was indeed made to be broken, but the pain won’t last forever, and you will love again. Men think women are complicated, and vice versa. You’ll never forget the first time you fall in love, your first kiss, or the first time you get your heart broken. We’re all travelling along our own paths in life, and we ought to be kind because the people we meet along the way are facing their own demons, just as we face ours. Presidents will screw up; natural disasters will claim innocent lives; and paying your taxes will leave you with a familiar feeling to that of being robbed blind.

What stands out more, for me, are the things I don’t yet know. And it is the 23 that first come to mind that shall be listed, although I’m pretty sure the number of things I don’t know ranks far higher than that (just don’t tell anyone, because I’ve successfully convinced some people that I know everything, and whilst this could be attributed to the fact that I’m a woman, I like to think it’s more personal than that).

1. Who was the first person to look at a cow and think “I’ll just tug on these pink things down here, and drink whatever comes out”?

2. Actually, on that note, who was the first person to witness an egg come out of a chicken’s behind and resolve to include it in a big ol’ tasty Sunday breakfast fry up?

3. When will human beings realise that terms such as “endangered,” and “nonrenewable,” mean that whatever noun comes after it, has a finite number still available, and yet we still choose to shoot, use and consume to our heart’s content – and well passed our needs?

4. What’s the deciding factor when it comes to whose armrest is whose in a movie theatre – does it depend on the size of the person or the sharpness of the elbow?

5. Why don’t we have an Idols format based general election, where we are given the opportunity to begin with a bigger candidate base, and whittle it down through a series of tasks that allow us to see exactly what type of President they’ll turn out to be?

6. Is there a “One”?

7. And if there is, do I need to believe that fate will lead us to one another? Because this Earth is a pretty big place, and I sometimes get lost just driving across-country, now I must find one human being whose my perfect match in the whole world!? I wasn’t ever that good at Where’s Wally…

8. On that note, where is Wally and why do we want to find him so badly?

9. Is your IQ indirectly proportioned to how much you enjoy Twilight? i.e. the more you enjoy it, the lower your IQ? (I think I know the answer to this one…)

10. Will we always want what we can’t have, and would we stop if we could have it?

11. If it’s true that Great Minds think alike, and Fools never differ – are all Great Minds Fools?

12. If you expect the unexpected, is the unexpected then expected and the expected unexpected?

13. How come whenever I dial a wrong number, it’s always answered after the first ring and followed by an embarrassing and rather awkward interchange, but when it’s the right number it’s always busy?

14. When did everyone learn to speak and write in SMS language, and what the hell does ‘smh’ mean?! (And how do you all know you’ve got the correct interpretation?!)

15. Who coined the phrase “the alarm just went off,” when in order for it to go off, it needs to come on?

16. Is there such a thing as a love that is equal from both sides, and will I ever find it?

17. Why does the term “break down” refer to things that aren’t working, but “break up” refers to the end of a relationship – surely the relationship wasn’t working, and did, in essence, “break down”?

18. If depression is a leading cause of insomnia, and insomnia is a leading cause of depression, how are you meant to treat it?

19. Am I a hopeless romantic if I can’t let you go, but a hopeful one if I just won’t?

20. Who would we each be if we didn’t have others to tell us?

21. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? (And why won’t you just do it?)

22. If not now, when?

23. Why is the phrase that “life is short” so popular, when in actuality, it is the longest thing you will ever do?

So, there you have it. A mix-and-match hastily compiled list of 23 things I still don’t know… And yet, I’m ashamed to say, I could write so much more. Oh well. To finding answers, living life to the full, and never accepting anything less than butterflies 🙂