I Was Drunk, But That Night Meant Something


You looked me straight in the eye, kissed me once, and walked into your cousin’s house.  I smiled as I turned away, but you didn’t see that. If you had, you may have realized that I’d just fallen for you.

As I walked home on the empty streets, warm from summer weather that briefly graced Wisconsin this May and all the drinks I can’t pretend I didn’t consume, I caught myself daydreaming. I caught myself imagining Sunday mornings in the winter with you. I caught myself thinking what we shared was serious at 3:30am. I might be crazy, but this might be the real thing.

I’d claim the difference was that you didn’t try to take me home, but that wouldn’t do you justice. Although we flirted all night and you held my hand for hours (something I’d just told friends I’d never do yet happily allowed with you), it culminated in nothing more than a few stolen kisses. As the bars closed and we took our friend home the long way, there was no expectation of anything sexual. Where I’d grown to expect lust and a motive, I found you simply being yourself. A one-night stand wasn’t even in question, and your manners had nothing to do with your effect on me.

I’d been captivated since I met you nearly a year ago, but up until that night I kept it a harmless crush. While I always looked forward to your monthly visits to town, our banter, and your willingness to put me in my place, I didn’t give you too much thought. (I will, however, admit to trying to look a little bit nicer whenever you were in town.) I resolved not to fall for you the night I met you.

You were my friend’s cousin, and we were spending the weekend on an island in your family’s cabin; romantic feelings had no place invading my relaxation. Still, I knew you were special when I saw you sitting silently on the back dock while everyone else talked on and on. I don’t know if you were actually thinking deeply about anything, but you seemed so focused on the stars.

You were always just a little bit elsewhere, and I wanted to be there with you. But I wasn’t, and I wouldn’t be, so I faded into the background for ten months.

For all I know, you had a few drinks, kissed your cousin’s friend, and didn’t give it a second thought. For all you know, I did the same. My brain warns that I’m romanticizing a drunken night, but my heart insists it was something more, that this had been building between us for months.

Although I’ll probably never have the courage to ask you, I’ll keep on wondering if your heart feels the same.