I see you looking at me—checking me out, if you will.
I see your eyes shift when I look your way.
Like a child’s game of tag, we avoid eye contact now, but soon we will not be able to avoid it.
And once that happens, I know you will smile at me. I will probably smile back.
You may then be brave enough to wander over my way. Once you receive that smile from me. An invitation of sorts in this game we are playing.
Yes, I will be friendly. Yes, I will answer your silly questions that will stumble out of your mouth in a nervous haste. So much vulnerability both of us are exhibiting to each other in this dance of first steps.
We will make small talk. Trying to guess what the other is thinking. Trying to figure out if this is indeed an invitation to dance this familiar dance.
“She’s smiling. That’s good, right?”
“He’s laughing at my jokes. That’s good, right?”
We will blindly flounder from one topic to the next. Searching for common interests. Finding some. Losing ground on others.
But it’s obvious to those interested enough looking our way to see that there is that something. That little spark between us. Will it ignite or will it be dowsed in a matter of seconds?
But we surge ahead. Body language now involved. I unfold my arms but maintain my distance.
You lean in closer to me; just enough for me to notice.
I don’t defend my stance. I soften. Inviting you in further into this protective bubble I keep around myself.
I feel giddy from your attempts to get to know me. I feel those butterflies in the pit of my tummy from your undivided attention that you are lavishing on me.
The sounds from all around us fall away. It is just you and I in this dance.
The smiles. The giggles. The invitation to get to know one another. All first awkward steps.
A pause in the conversation. Will this be the moment the flame flickers? Will this be the end of our stumbling through the first stage?
But the silence is comfortable. No words are needed at this moment as we check in with ourselves.
Time has been at a standstill as we embrace the first fleeting moments of whatever this is. We take our time feeling our way in the darkness we are unfamiliar with. Each taking a moment to reflect on just what our intentions are.
I feel my face flush at the intensity of the quiet moment. Knowing I want this feeling in my stomach to last a bit longer.
I feel that spark. I don’t want it to die.
You bravely tell me I am beautiful or that my eyes are soulful or that I intrigue you.
And as you say those thoughts you have been hiding in your mind, I feel my heart opening up to the tiniest of tiny hopes.
A hope I thought I had erased with time. But there it is. Alive and well.
And so we continue this accepting of each other.
You welcome it in.
And maybe, just maybe this offering we make to each other is something.
Or maybe it is just a chance meeting in a coffee shop.
Either way, we are offering ourselves. Sharing our vulnerability with each.
And I feel so alive in doing so.
Author: Debbi Serafinchon
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Wiki Commons / Public Domain