He was the prom king. I was the outcast who loved him. He befriended me when no one else would speak to me. He loved me when I thought no one else could. I thought we’d be together forever. But he dumped me right before we started college. And even after ten years, the sting of that rejection and the memory of my subsequent humiliation still make me shudder.
And now he wants to see me. Our high school reunion is coming up and he wants to make sure I’m there. I don’t what his intentions are. I couldn’t discern anything from his slightly less than impersonal Facebook message. His entire message: “Hey Lana! I want to make sure you’re at the reunion. I really want to see you. Hope to see you there! Blake”
I haven’t responded. I have, however, over-analyzed the message and considered every possible meaning. I’m secretly hoping he tells me I’m the love of his life and breaking up with me was the worst decision he ever made. I fantasize about it constantly. I’m becoming as obsessed with him as I was in high school. I even almost called my current boyfriend Blake by mistake.
Logically, I know Blake probably sent that same message to dozens of people. Or, he’s just curious to see what I look like and what I’ve been up to. He could be on the reunion committee for all I know. This is how to respond to my girlfriends when they try to convince me that he could want more.
I’m sitting here drinking a glass of wine, actually more like a bottle, reading my high school diaries, looking through old photographs, and discovering that I don’t know that teenage person and I don’t really like her. She has no self-esteem and lets everyone victimize her. She loves Blake, because he was the first person to befriend her and the cutest guy in school. She hates her awkward boyfriend, because he was neither of those things.
That was why my relationship with Blake seemed so magical. It was all the work I put into getting him to like me as more of a friend. When he finally did, it seemed like a dream come true.
I can’t believe I’ve found the journal entry describing the day he finally told me he had feelings for me. I had forgotten most of the details. It was the one-year anniversary of my father’s death. Blake had remembered. My boyfriend had not. Blake picked me and took me to the grave. Held me as I cried. Offered to take me for a ride so I didn’t have to go home.
He drove out to the country. We rode in silence. I stared out the passenger window embarrassed by how emotional I had become. He turned down a farm lane between two cornfields and parked.
He didn’t look at me right away. His hands gripped the steering wheel and he stared out the windshield. I watched him, my head resting heavily against the seat. I knew I should thank him, but I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. I ran my fingers across my lips and waited for him to speak.
Finally, he turned to look at me. There was an intensity in his expression I had never seen before. He said, “It should’ve always been you and me.”
My heart thudded. I lost my breath. I couldn’t speak. I could only stare him in shock.
He continued, “I’ve always felt a connection to you. I know you feel it too. You have to. We’re too close for you not to.”
My heart quickened its pace. I was too stunned to know what to say. And too cautious to admit my feelings for him.
I deflected. “What about my boyfriend?”
He leaned back against the seat and looked at the roof, frustrated. “I know you don’t love him. But, you won’t break up with him. You have some kind of weird devotion to him that I don’t understand.“
I rested my head on my hand, looked down and told the truth. “He’s safe and uncomplicated and there’s really no one else for me.”
He scooted closer to me. We were only inches apart. “How could you think that? How could you not know how I really feel about you?” His eyes held mine. I saw in them the longing I had so desperately wanted to see for so long.
I wanted to kiss him, but I was afraid. I stalled. “How could you have feelings for me when you’ve been with so many girls?”
“None of them lasted, because none of them were you.”
My pulse raced. I felt an intense longing for him in every part of my body. I reached up and very tentatively touched the blonde mess of curls at the side of his face. I smiled.
He leaned in to kiss me. His face so close to mine. I stared into his eyes. He ran his fingers through my hair. He whispered, “I know you want to be with me. We have to stop pretending we’re just friends.”
He leaned in closer and placed his hands on either side of my face. I could feel his breath against my lips. “Tell me how you feel about me.”
His eyes searched mine for the truth. I overcame my fear and said what I felt. “I like you as much as you like me.”
His lips gently touched mine. He kissed me slowly, taking his time, enjoying the moment, the softness of my lips. I didn’t have the patience. I wrapped my arms his neck, pushed my body against his and led him into a deeper, more passionate kiss. I got on my knees and ran my fingers through his hair until my fingers locked in the curls on the back of his head. I forced his head back to kiss him more deeply.
He broke away and looked me in the eyes, stunned. I still held his head, fingers locked in his hair. His hands held my hips. “Jesus Christ, Lana.”
I smiled, “Do you want me to take things slow?”
“No,” he said adamantly, “If we don’t do this now, we might never do this.”
I kissed him with more force and desperation. He reached under my sweatshirt and unclasped my bra. He touched my breasts with both hands, slowly running his thumbs over my nipples. I inhaled sharply. I let go of his hair, arched my back and reached for the button of his jeans.
“Lana.” His voice was barely more than a whisper.
I rested my head on his shoulder as I worked to unbutton and unzip his jeans.
He continued to rub my nipples giving me so much pleasure I could barely get his jeans unbuttoned. I whimpered, “Blake.”
I repositioned so I could get my hand in his pants and touch him. He groaned as I stroked him. He held my back and rested his own head on my shoulder. His breathing became steadily heavier. “Wait.” He grabbed my hand. “Stop.”
I lifted my head and messed the curls at the back of his head. “Why?” I asked innocently.
“Take off your clothes.”
His head still rested on my shoulder, so I began lifting his shirt instead of mine. He sat up and took it off himself. He looked at me for just a moment, eyes full of desire, before kissing me again. He tried to keep contact with my lips as he struggled to unbutton and unzip my jeans. I broke away from him, kicked off my shoes and took off my jeans. He stroked my hair and kissed my forehead. He helped me take off my shirt.
I hugged him close, kissed him, felt his bare skin against mine. He unbuttoned and unzipped his pants, pulled them down enough to expose himself.
We kissed again more slowly, tenderly and he began to lift me on top of him.
I helped him. I inhaled sharply as I began sliding down him and gasped when I reached the bottom. He grabbed my butt to prevent me from moving. I struggled against his hands.
I begged. “Please.”
“For now on, there’s no one else. It’s just you and me.”
I opened my eyes and looked at him. I ran my fingers through his hair. “Okay. Just you and me.” I had never been so in love.
I pushed his head over the back of the seat and kissed him. When I rocked against his hands, he let me. He held back so we could come together. We clung to each other, my face buried in his shoulder, his head leaning against mine, feeling the euphoria wash over us.
He whispered “I love you,” so quietly I knew he didn’t intend for me to hear him.
Except I did and loved him too. Loved him for wanting me as much as I wanted him. For convincing me to trust him. For caring more about me more than anyone else. For being there when I needed him. And for being so goddamn good-looking.
I slammed the journal closed. I forgot how good sex could be. Hearing your name moaned in ecstasy. The pleasure increasing with every thrust. The passionate kisses. The touches. The tingling. The intense looks. The desperation. The love.
I had to see Blake.