I took one look at her spiky bleach blonde hair and immediately knew that this would inevitably be the beginning of a long list of very bad decisions. Never before in my twenty five years of life had my intuition been more accurate. I held tightly onto Tara’s hand, grateful I had accompanied her to meet this exotic creature. She introduced me as the love of her life and I thought about how desperately I wanted a love of my life. Smiling coyly, I said hello and nice to meet you and wondered why she was partnered with the woman she introduced me to. They didn’t look like a couple at all, although I was told that they had been together for some 14 years already. I admired that. I had barely spent 14 consecutive months with any one person. I wondered if anyone noticed that my cheeks had flushed. Was that wind tattering the windows? No it's internal, the incessant thump, thump, thump of a heart ready to leap. I also wondered if Tara had any idea what I had in store for her if she dared try another one of her little stunts or that I secretly hoped that she would…
The exotic creature had a name: Caryne, with a “y” and an “e” I was told. Never having given such a bland name any thought before, I instantly loved that name on this particular day. I usually hate pretentious strange spellings of ordinary names, but I was told that it was the adoption officials from Germany that had screwed it all up. Very interesting. I sat right down next to her and made small talk. We laughed and joked and became quick friends. I studied her. Laurel, her mismatched partner, sat across the room cutting sharp glances at me and drinking - what, I do not know- from a very large glass. This would play out many times over the next few months, as I would come to experience.
As we left, Tara turned to me and said “ I saw how she looked at you, you know.” I knew she did and I didn’t care. I saw how she looked at me too. “What, are you kidding me?” I asked. “ Besides, what’s she, like… 30?” “Actually she’s 38, and you’re supposed to say ‘Besides, I love you, Tara’ not ‘what’s she? 30?”
Busted! I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to admire Caryne from afar.
... to be continued
*names have been changed for matters of confidentiality