How we met
I kissed John on our first date. I did. I am not talking about a peck on the cheeks or lips. I am talking about a full-on frenchie! I still remember his eyes widening in surprise, and then closing. That’s when I knew…but I am getting ahead of myself here. To understand the context of this kiss, you have to appreciate some background details. I had known John for almost two decades before that kiss.
My earliest memory of John was back in primary school (elementary school). Even then, he was already larger than life. He was easily the most popular kid in school. He was handsome, athletic, and academically excellent. As if that was not enough, he was actually nice! Every girl I have spoken to who knew him back then had a crush on him. So did I, I had a massive crush on him. But he was way out of my league. I mean waaayyy out. I am a late bloomer, and back then, I was a skinny, awkward little girl. He was always surrounded by pretty, “more experienced” girls that I could not hold a candle to. Furthermore, I came from the wrong side of the tracks and was responsible for taking care of my brothers. I had no time for romance.
My earliest memory of Sly is one of a quiet, shy girl who kept to herself. I remember always seeing her with her brothers during lunch breaks (I later came to understand why. Read this post to get some insight into Sly’s childhood). She barely talked to anybody. It seemed to me that she tried to be as nondescript as possible. Yet, she was pretty. You know that the movie where the invisible girl in school grows up to be the hottest and most successful? Well, it’s kind of like that with Sly. Our classmates have a hard time remembering who she was back then. I could tell that she was very observant. I would catch her intently studying people and situations and often wondered what she was thinking about (her memory of events from back then is impressive). I remember talking to her once, and she snapped at me in a way that surprised me. No one in the school had ever been that dismissive of me. I didn’t speak to her again after that for almost twenty years.
After elementary school, John and I went to high school in different parts of the country. After high school, I came to the US, and John went to the UK. In the late 2000s, we friended each other on Facebook. I was married then, and so was he. He had since moved to the US and still looked as scrumptious as I remembered him. We spoke briefly once when my brother visited his. Our brothers have stayed friends over the years. Other than that, we had no interactions beyond Facebook likes, and comments. We seemed destined to be nothing more than childhood schoolmates that are friends on Facebook.
And then one day, it happened. John made the first contact! I had been going through some tough times and had posted something on Facebook, I don’t remember what exactly, but it prompted John to DM me. His message was nonchalant; he was just checking on me, and this and that. We went back and forth on DMs for weeks catching up on everything that had happened since elementary school. I never thought anything of it, until he suggested we exchange numbers. I was separated at the time, and coincidentally, so was he. So I gave him my integers.
We talk for hours and hours about the sweet and the sour…
I don’t remember exactly when the phone conversations began, or who called first. John insists that he made the first call.
Yes! I definitely made the first call. I remember because I was very eager to talk to her. From our DMs, I felt like we were in a very similar place. We were both going through a breakup, and finding your feet again after a long relationship is not easy. I did not have any female friends that I could talk to. I mean…there was somebody I was “talking to,” but that situation was not platonic. I needed a neutral ear that I could chew off, figuratively, of course.
Whatever! That’s what he says. Don’t even get me started on that “Somebody” he was “talking to,” more on that later. Anyway, the first time he called (let’s give him that), we talked for hours. I got off the phone and could not stop smiling. I am not sure why. Maybe it was because I had just spent hours on the phone with my childhood crush! Yet, no, that wasn’t it. At that time, I genuinely did not entertain any thoughts of a relationship. We were two people in similar situations, being there for one another.
I agree with that. I, too, had no thoughts of Sly as anything more than a buddy at that point. With that said, the ease at which I could talk to her surprised me. I opened up and bared my naked soul to her. It was effortless. Like we had been talking for years. The night after our first phone call, I remember wanting to call her before I went to bed. I racked my brain for a good excuse to call but found none. What was happening?!?
I was surprised when John later told me that. However, I would probably not have picked up had he called. I was staying at my brother’s place, and he would not have been too happy if he knew who I was talking to. John’s reputation preceded him, and my brother would not approve of our friendship.
Next up, find out more about that reputation, and my brother’s interference that almost doomed us. And after months of phone calls, we met on our first date. And the kiss…