When C and I first met, I was wasted.
We met up at the club where she used to work. We had been chatting online and, in an attempt to impress me, she said she could get my friends and me in for free. It was hardly a “date” as far as first meetings go, but I was tempted — this club was supposed to be the hot new spot, and I still partied back then — so I agreed. My friends were over and we were drinking and looking for something to do. I told the girls about C’s invitation and we Ubered to the club, drunk off of rum and excitement. When we arrived, C came out dressed in a suit. My breath caught in my throat.
I wasn’t looking for much. A quick fuck, free club entry and some drinks on the house. What more could I ask for? I had hoped, at the very least, that she would be hot. In all of her OKCupid pictures, she was wearing sunglasses; I had shown them to my friends to get their opinions and they had responded with a chorus of “I can’t tell.” Neither could I.
That October night, I didn’t really know what I was walking into. But if I wasn’t feeling it, I reasoned, I could just lose her in the club. After all, she was working and the place fit 4,000 people. If worst came to worst, my friends and I would just leave and resume drinking on the porch. A typical Friday night.
But she was more than hot — she was just my type. C is as tall as I am. She’s handsome, with short, dark hair and a wicked little smile. I was stunned — and immediately sobered. All the shyness I thought I would be able to drink away suddenly returned.
When she saw us, she took my hand and pulled me past the line, past security. She led the way; I followed.
She didn’t end up coming home with me that night.
I’m not for everyone.
The first time I heard that, I thought about myself. I thought about my badly behaved cats and the shitty drug dealers I hung out with. When the drug dealers eventually disappeared, I was left with the cats. One was fat and silent and the other was grey and, just like me, craved attention.
I’m not for everyone.
“If I held an exit interview with everyone who’d ever walked away from me, I’m sure I’d receive some genuinely helpful advice or criticism. But, as it stands, the most I ever got was “bitch.”
A week after we met, C and I agreed to go on a proper date, but we ended up watching a scary film in my disgusting apartment because I was sick. I was nervous — so nervous — the whole time we were watching the movie. She, on the other hand, was charming. I asked her so many questions. I stuttered and blamed my cold.
By our third date, we were in love.
I’ve never felt like C and I were too different — our shared interests bring us together. We have a similar sense of humour, and mutual passions and values. I mean, sure, she’s much kinder and gentler than I am. She smiles and talks to strangers on the bus while I bury my nose in whatever book I’m reading in order to avoid eye contact. She always answers the door when the pizza man comes because knocks make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. She washes the dishes, not because she wants to, but because I won’t. She has an innate talent that took me years to build as a skill. She fixes things (usually things I break.)
She’s patient by nature and not easily overrun by her emotions. When I’m giving myself stress-related stomach aches, C is there, calm. After all, she’s always been the level-headed one.
“Okay, so what are you worried about?” she asks. I’ll run through the list of things that bothered me.
“Okay, so what can you do about it?” She recites all the items and, one by one, I’ll have the answer — my breathing returns to normal.
It’s been two and a half years and it feels like we’ve been together for decades. It also feels like I still have to impress her. It’s as if every morning that I wake up next to her is some grave error and I need to figure out a plan and an explanation for why we’re together, fast.
A year into our relationship, C and I bought a Christmas tree.
It was the first one I’ve had in an apartment since leaving my parents’ house — it seemed like a symbol for the rest of our lives together. If she can tolerate the stress stomach aches, the days I used to come home at 9am after long nights out, the constant nitpicking (“Make the bed! The right way!”) — she can deal with anything.
I enjoy sharing ideas and thoughts with C in bed, usually when she’s asleep and I’m just talking out loud so as not to be embarrassed by my stupid thoughts.
“I want to be a big DJ,” I’ll whisper into her back. “I want to tour the world.”
She’ll roll over and snore and I’ll fall asleep smelling her skin.
I’m not for everyone.
But despite it all, C chose me. She chose to live with me, she chose this life over any other, and I’ll happily do what I can to make sure she doesn’t change her mind.