We met innocently enough. It was girl's night. There was a group of us staying the night at my best friend's apartment. Most of us had known each other for years. I caught up with my old friends, and got introduced to the only person there I didn't know. She was a friend of a friend, and didn't really know any of us. I liked her right from the start. She was just very laid back and had a great sense of humor. Easily the type of girl I could fall for.
There was just one problem: I was done with romance and intimacy. It had been over a year since my love life went to hell. I was still having some problems with letting my guard down. It probably didn't help that my ex enjoyed fucking with my emotions more than any other sport. No, I wasn't ready for this. Not yet.
The night wore on, and the girls fell asleep one by one. She and I were among the four lucky people who ended up on the bed. We laid there talking and watching movies. Before long, we were the only ones awake. We spent some time talking and getting to know each other. I hadn't laughed that much for a very long time. I found myself telling her things I hadn't been able to speak of since my breakup. I've never been one to believe in love at first sight, but I can't deny there was a connection there.
Suddenly, in the middle of our conversation, she broke out in a grin. "We match," She said, reaching over to play with my rainbow bracelets. Until then, I hadn't noticed the tiny rainbow ring she wore. The conversation got a lot more personal from that point. Neither of us brought up past relationships; I guess we both knew better. It was amazing to be able to talk to someone about everything and have them know what you're going through. I love my small town and straight friends, but sometimes you just need a fellow queer.
Finally, around four in the morning, we decided we should get some sleep. That little bed wasn't meant to hold all four of us, so things were a little cramped. I curled up on my side and closed my eyes. It had been a long day, and I was beyond tired. Even so, I couldn't fall asleep. Several minutes after we'd gone to bed, I felt her scoot closer to me. She did it gradually and carefully, like she was afraid I'd mind. As if I could. Once she was comfortably spooning me, I subtly draped my arm around her waist. She relaxed into me, and we both fell asleep.
I woke up a little while later with my pillow hanging over the edge of the bed and a serious pain in my neck. I slid further down on the mattress and managed to wake her up in the process. Realizing I was awake, she scooted away from me and rolled over. As soon as she thought I was sleeping again, she edged closer. She curled up against me in her slow, akward way. Her head nestled itself against my throat and her legs painstakingly tangled themselves with mine. Last of all, her arm snaked it's way around my waist.
I had to wonder if she'd ever so much as been held by another woman. She seemed careful, almost fearful that I would wake up and realize what she was doing. I knew her mother was very homophobic, so maybe this was some sort of result of that. Or maybe she'd been with someone like my ex, who would only let me hold her when she was certain no one would see. Either way, I found incredibly sweet and tragic.
So I wrapped my arm around her. She let out a happy sigh against my neck. Without really thinking about it, I started caressing her back. She tensed up when she realized I was awake, then held me even tighter. And we looked at each other and smiled. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment. I'm not really sure how to describe it. It wasn't the first time I'd held someone like that. But this was different. It was innocent and chaste. Neither of us were pushing the other. It wasn't leading up to anything. It was just the two of us finding comfort in each other's arms. My last thought before drifting off to sleep was of how beautiful the whole thing was. And for the first time in over a year, I went to sleep smiling.
I used to think that I'd never be able to hold anyone without thinking about her. She was my first love. The only one I'd ever been intimate with. I was afraid that if I tried it with someone else, it would bring back all the memories. I was sure that it would be her face I'd see, her lips I'd taste, her scent I'd smell. So I always made sure never to put myself in that situation. Somehow, in one night, this girl managed to break through my barriers. And you know what? I didn't feel anyone's arms but hers.
Will she and I become an item? I honestly don't know. I still think it's too soon for me to be thinking about that. But she may just prove me wrong again. No matter what happens, I'm thankful this night took place. She opened my eyes and helped me move on. I think that maybe, just maybe, I'm going to be alright after all.