It seemed like an innocent enough conversation. I certainly hadn't expected things to go this far.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not one of those predator types. I don't want to take advantage of anyone. I just...wanted a soul mate. Someone to hang out with, so I wouldn't feel so alone all the time. And now, I think...I might have found one.
I'm Stephanie...Steph for short. Well, okay, that's the name I've *been* using. My actual name is David Harris. I'm a 38-year-old, 5'6", 230-pound guy, which is to say that I'm your stereotypical short, overweight American guy. I've never had any luck with the ladies...perhaps there's something about contractors that turns a woman off? I keep seeing porn where a guy goes over to a lady's house to do some work, and they wind up doing some construction of their own on the bathroom floor. Mmmm. Although, now that I think about it, those guys probably weigh a bit less than I do. Oh, and they're not actually contractors...they're porn stars. That might also have something to do with it.
Steph, on the other hand, is 15 and a sophomore in high school. She's 5'5" and 110 pounds. Her favorite subjects are chemistry and English. She maintains an A- average, and when she's not in school, she listens to pop music, follows her favorite stars, hangs out with friends and loves to go to the movies. She even writes reviews of every movie she's seen and posts them online. One day, she'd love to write about the entertainment industry in some way, perhaps as a reviewer, reporter or columnist.
Steph is an optimist and has a bright future...that's two big differences from David, right there. So naturally that makes her someone you might want to talk to, right? Maybe? It turns out that I found someone who wanted to talk to Steph, right on the good old Internet.
Katie is 16, and also a sophomore. She describes herself as someone who's generally optimistic also, but who needs a bit of a self-esteem boost from time to time. She likes math, and writing for the school newspaper. She also likes movies, so we hit it off right away. I've recommended quite a few to her that she wound up really enjoying, and she pointed me in the direction of a few gems as well.
We started with movies, but our conversations moved in many different directions after that, finally getting very personal. We talked about families, friends and personal history...sadness...feelings. About what we wanted, and then, what we wanted for each other. I came to the realization that, in many ways, Katie was just like me. What naturally followed was a desire--in both of us--to see each other.
That set off a chain of events that led straight to today. I'm currently standing at the welcome gate in my airport. Katie's plane landed 15 minutes ago, and she texted that she'll be exiting the passenger area very soon. I can't believe that this is actually happening. But I'm really, really nervous. After all, even though I typed all of what Steph said, I do certainly appear to be someone else.
So I brought a sign with me. It says, "Hi Katie, it's me, Steph." I've got it attached to my shirt. It's in black marker, on white paper...impossible to miss. I'm hiding nothing; I'm letting it all hang out. From the very first moment, she'll see who I really am: not the optimistic, confident, beautiful 15-year-old with a promising future, but instead...me.
I started to panic. Just a little at first, but then more so. I don't feel scared, but...I have no clue how she'll react. I have no idea what's going to happen.
I tried to calm my nerves by watching the people emerge from the passenger area, one by one, thinking about what sorts of people they were. A middle-aged businessman, perhaps? His briefcase suggests that, anyway. And that guy? He looks like a bum off the street...how does he even have the money to fly? That woman has a lot of poise. Maybe she's a lawyer? Or a teacher. Naw, I'd be scared if she was my teacher...
My people-watching session was suddenly interrupted by the gaze of a man that I hadn't noticed up until this very moment.
He was an inch shorter than I was...like me, short and pudgy. He gazed up at me with longing, frightened brown eyes, eyes that mumbled something about how he'd been searching for me, all this time, but didn't have a clue what to do now that he'd found me. My first reaction was one of puzzlement. He cast his eyes downward somewhat. I followed them down to his chest, and noticed that he, like me, was wearing a sign of his own:
"Hi Steph. It's me, Katie."
I froze up.
No way no way no way no way.
We had both been hiding behind an alter ego. Now, there was nowhere to hide. There was only...
...someone who thought the same way as me. I looked into those brown eyes again and saw the same sort of longing that I'd been feeling for years. Longing for a soul mate.
In my head I'd imagined Katie and Steph together. Holding hands. Bonding over lunch. Shopping. On the phone. In the car. At the park. Even doing mundane things such as laundry. Together, as one.
I couldn't explain why, but I felt that I saw the reflection of those thoughts in the deep brown eyes I was currently staring at.
Everything else around us vanished. It was just me, and him. Nothing before, nothing after, only now. I felt as if I'd been glued to the floor...I was completely unable to move.
Now, his eyes seemed to be asking me something. I don't remember what they said. I'm not sure that I ever even figured it out. Instinctively, I smiled.
He threw himself into my arms.
Acting on instinct once again, I returned his embrace.
What was happening? It didn't matter. Was I Steph or David? That didn't matter right now, either. Hell, I didn't even know this person's real name yet. But his hands were all over me and mine were locked behind his back.
He kisses me. I should say "he suddenly kisses me," but it didn't feel sudden any more. It felt scripted. Natural. Expected. And...wonderful. We kiss and kiss again, and then we go on autopilot, our hands and lips moving on their own. Tongues danced. I caught the smell of his body and for some reason it felt lovely. His embrace felt big and warm and inviting and affectionate. And his eyes...oh, his eyes.
Our tongues seemed to tie in a knot. His hand reached my armpit and it tickled so good. I gently stroked the backs of his soft hands...I wondered what he does with them all day. My left hand met the right side of his face and he pressed up against it like a puppy, wearing a smile that grew from nothing all the way to covering his whole face...as well as mine.
Some time went by...a minute? An hour? I couldn't even tell. We found each others' eyes again, just as we realized that we could probably take this somewhere else. Like the hotel room I'd booked.
Lo and behold, we started walking, and jumped right into a conversation that felt almost exactly like a typical, nightly Steph-and-Katie dialogue. It felt more familiar than I ever could have imagined. More natural.
It was like I'd found that soul mate I'd been searching for, in the least likely of places.
"Katie" led me to his car. Actually, it turned out to be a big red van.
Yes, "Katie." Do you have candy? I'll get into your big red van, I thought.
And I did.
"Amy" (Tue 6/11/2013, 2:51 AM):
"Amy" (Thu 12/26/2013, 11:50 PM):
Reread this and I STILL FLAIL LIKE MAD OMG