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31 Things I Love About You
I love the way you wore that little red dress the night I met you. I remember it was at that tacky, stupid, stupid, stupid night club. You remember the one, on Winster Street, right by the beach. The music is loud, the air is thick, and the drinks cost an arm and a leg and you were anything but ugly, anything but resistible.
I love the way you smiled at me, your lip stick matching your dress and your eyes widening as your red mouth turned upwards. How you were all confidence all … swagger, and I was shocked that you even gave me a look at all. I love how you were the perfect size in your four-inch heels for me to kiss you just right on the lips for the first time. You tasted of cherry lip gloss and sweat and excitement.
I love how you wrote down your number: Kay -- 555-2492 XXX on the club’s napkin and how you dashed away in your perfectly sized four-inch heels towards the ocean, leaving me with a napkin and a racing mind.
I love how you met me the day after on my favorite little rectangle of beach. Your slinky red dress was gone, I remember. You were just wearing flip-flops and shorts that day, your smooth blonde hair up high in a pony tail. Seagulls squawked, but they could have been singing opera for all I knew. You were the only thing I saw that day.
I love how we just talked all that day on the beach. We paced back and forth and back and forth on that little strip of sand, weaving in and out of the Cape Cod tourists’ ways. We held hands and we kissed -- you tasted like Blistex and sea salt air. We talked about not much of anything. We talked about the meaning of life. You smiled your perfect wide-eyed smile, and I smiled right back. The ocean crashed against the waves.
I love how we met day after day for a week on that same strip of beach. How we started to not even plan seeing each other -- it became just a given, like getting up in the morning or brushing your teeth. I couldn’t imagine life without you then, Kay. You were good and constant and mine.
I love how you didn’t care a bit when, on the ninth day, I told you the truth: that I wasn’t a tourist, that I just worked at the club where you were staying.
I love how the first thing you thought of then was: then you can sneak into my room easier.
I love how we kissed after that.
I love how you smiled at me when I did get up the nerve to sneak into your room. “Finally,” you said, if I remember right (and I’m almost positive I do). “You got brave enough.” You grinned wickedly, eyes dancing like a flame and the room felt more welcoming than a family reunion. Then we kissed and you fell asleep in my arms.
I love how we did that every night.
I love how you grinned mischievously at me in that pink little bikini the day I was working towels at the pool. How you only grinned even harder when your friend asked: “Who the h*ll is that guy.” I love how you laughed when she said: “He sure as h*ll is hot.”
I love how, for the next three weeks, it was all perfect. We saw each other every chance we could. I remember the nights in your room and how utterly perfect they were, like a black-and-white romance. You were the sweet blonde ingénue, I was the tall sandy-haired stranger, and the crickets and police sirens were our background score. I love how you thought that those nights would never end, and how I wished upon every star I saw that they wouldn’t. I knew that this wasn’t reality, but hey, who needs reality? I liked when we were just spinning through our universe together and happy.
I love how you suggested I meet your dad, and how you laughed so, so hard when I balked at that thought. “I can’t,” I told you. “I just … can’t.” I love how you had no idea why.
I love how you just flat-out told your father that you loved me.
I love how you didn’t even cringe when he told you that it would never happen on his watch. When he screamed at me, “Get lost, you worthless pool boy.” I love how you told him, hands on your hips and ponytail swinging high, to suck it, and how you left the hotel suite with your arm around me.
I love how you didn’t even question whether or not we should see each other again. How, to you, it was a given that we should stay together forever. And I love how you were always scheming up new ways for us to see each other.
I love how you looked when I met you behind the cabana. Your little pink bathing suit was only a little visible under your light purple shirt. You hair was down -- it blew all over my face when I kissed you for the last time in the salty sea air.
I love how you gasped in rage when your father punched me in the face.
I love how your eyes smoldered in rage when he told you we could never be together. How the wind picked up and tossed your hair around in every direction. How you yelled right back at him. How you said you would never let me go.
I love how beautiful you looked when you were defeated. Even when your father never let you go five feet away from him. Even when you looked heart broken and sad when we glimpsed each other from across the sandy stretch of beach. I wanted to hold you most then, Kay. You looked as forlorn and beaten as a crashing wave.
I love how the last day you were at the Cape, before you left on a jet plane to go to wherever rich people go, you balled up a piece of paper and threw it at me. It flew in the ocean wind and landed at my feet. I knelt down to pick it up.
I love how you told me your feelings in three short sentences: I love you. I have to go. I’ll miss you.
I hate how that was … it.
I hate how after you left, the ocean got cold and the tourists packed up and went away, just like you.
I hate how when you left, the Cape left with you.
I hate how I skimmed my way through nine months of school without really feeling a thing.
I hate how, a year later, I’m at the same tacky overpriced club on Winster Street, waiting for you in your sexy, perfect dress to come and write your number on another paper napkin and kiss me one more time in your perfect four-inch heels.
I hate how you moved on, and I haven’t.
I hate how I’m still stuck on you, Kay. Maybe you’ve moved on and I haven’t but I wish and wish you didn’t. I wish you were on a jet plane this moment, coming back to Cape Cod, ready to sneak behind cabanas and walk up and down our same little stretch of beach.
I hate knowing that will never happen.
Happy anniversary, Kay, wherever you are.
Love from: Michael