The world slows to a single breath. It lingers hot on my tongue and slow on the exhale. Time ceases to exist and our eyes lock across the crowded room.
There are few people in this world that draw you near, making your pulse quicken and your stomach leap into your throat; but he is one of them.
I remember the fist time I saw him. It was nothing special, really. Well I suppose it was, but I didn’t notice it in the moment. My friend noticed him before I did. I was facing away from him when he entered the room, so she leaned close to my ear and whispered that the guy walking in was “just my type.”
I turned on my heels to see him. No. Wrong. Not my type.
We made introductions and he quickly became part of our group for the night. Still thoroughly unimpressed, I made small talk with him, trying to be polite. He was interesting. Arrogant, but smart and could weave a captivating story with nothing more than confidence and carefully crafted body language.
Engaged but underwhelmed, I entertained the banter, trying my best to feign interest, all while scanning the room for a more interesting and like-minded person I could talk to.
I started to zone out. We had just taken our seat, settling in for some performance art. He babbled on, about what I cannot remember, and I drifted into my day-dreamy world, thick with wonder and curiosity. As the lights dimmed and the music began to lift, our knees touched. Gently. Barely. So slight he may not have noticed, but just enough to make my world come crashing in.
I lit on fire.
In the matter of a moment, the world stopped on a dime and he was all I knew. I could feel every piece of him. Every fiber of my being and cell within my flesh, stood at attention. This man. Who… Who was this man? I was hooked. It no longer mattered that only moments ago I was mostly disinterested. My body knew something I didn’t.
I needed to know him. I needed to know more. I needed to who he was and why he unlocked something in me I never knew lay dormant.
Years later, this moment stays with me. It is still palpable. I can remember the feeling of surprise and longing and sheer wonder.
What is it that draws us to people in such a way? Chemistry, pheromones or a soulful connection, perhaps? Maybe. Maybe all of those things. Maybe none. Maybe it doesn’t matter.
It is rare to experience people in such a way. Extremely rare. I don’t think you can lump this kind of interaction into a one-size-fits-all meaning or definition, but I do think these moments are important. You are meant to bend a knee. You are meant to pause and explore within yourself why you might be reacting in such a way. And if you are self-aware enough, and the other person is open-minded and communicative enough, perhaps you can discuss it with them as well.
People that strike us like a lightening bolt enter our lives for a reason.
Because they are so strong and unique and awe-inspiring, we want to bottle them up and store them away and keep them forever, but we can’t. That’s not how it works. What you can do is be as genuine as possible and explore what is it about this person that lights you on fire.
It’s beautiful. And if you get to keep them, great. If not, set them free like the comet and shooting star that they are – burning quickly, fiercely and brightly through your life. A beautiful memory to cherish forever and a small mystery to awaken the wonder.
Miss Erin Terese