I smile the entire day. The more he speaks, the more I can't help it. He's too new for me to read - I'm watching his face, looking for his responses. Am I oversharing? Is he upset? Is he interested? I'll back off and keep to shallow topics. It's too soon for anything more. We have time.
I exhale. I calm down my need to run. Because it feels good to be with him, just the two of us, spending time like we have it all. I've never moved so slowly, never melted like honey, relaxing into the evening hours. Attuned and dripping off of his words with comfortable, warm ease.
I grin wryly. In the late evening hours, someone messages me. I come back with responses that are quick, teasing, and unfair. I know where I'm at now, and I don't need any specific reply. I'm prepared. I'm confidently lacking a base, and ready to move left, right, to hold out my arm and say, bluntly, no. I make no excuses for myself.
I shake. I tremble like a leaf, like a cat in the cold, out of control of my own skin. Just like I was before. Out of control. I watch with amusement and frustration while my legs, hands, and voice tremble and ignore my commands. Wherever my body is, my brain clearly isn't with it. Disobedient.
I leave. The woman on the television cries while she recounts her forced loss. I simply go. Out the door, around the corner, I just keep walking. Close to home. Too close - so keep walking. When I come back, I dodge eye contact and sit beneath the counter in my booth. By some stroke of kindness, nobody engages with me. I breathe it out. I exhale it. This is not the time or the place. I will be in control, for the next forty-five minutes.
I communicate softly. He messages me now, to make plans, to continue our pattern. I'm finished with patterns. I'm finished with people who want to control me or guilt trip me. I'm finished with being asked where my bite marks came from, or told I shouldn't get more. I am not your possession. That you would even attempt to assume control over me infuriates me. You will not have it, you won't, and neither will anyone else who tries.
Maybe that's why I'm so blown away by this guy and his "old fashioned" date. He didn't try anything. He didn't push anything. He verbalized everything.
Slow like honey.
Sweep me off my feet.