AnticipationAs I get ready for our date I feel a kaleidoscope of butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. I wonder what you'll be like in person. Will you be the same intelligent, witty, engaging, handsome man I've met online, or will our connection fall flat when facing each other?
I put the finishing touches on my hair and makeup, walk through a spritz of perfume, slide on my jewelry and heels, smooth my dress, grab my clutch, take a deep breath and leave the hotel room to meet you in the library bar before dinner.
My heart is beating like it will break out of my chest as I exit the elevator and walk toward the bar. Being the klutz that I am, I stumble in one heel but keep my balance. I don't usually have trouble walking in heels, but my mind and body are overloaded with anticipation, excitement, apprehension, self-doubt and a giddy confidence all at the same time.
I'm rarely early, but tonight, I have five minutes to spare. I stop at the entrance and peer inside. The library bar is darker, more intimate and quieter than the lobby bar. I'm thinking a crowd and noise may have been a better idea to help cut the unease I'm feeling, but there's no turning back now. I take another deep breath and walk into the bar.
I wonder if I'll recognize you. We didn't discuss clothing, but we've seen pictures of each other, although I don't know how recent yours were. I glance around at the tables and people until I see a lone figure seated toward the back near the fireplace. I watch you for a few minutes as you swirl your wine. Your hands are strong, and although you're wearing a dinner jacket, I can almost feel your powerful arms around me as I drink you in. I think you feel my eyes on you because you turn in my direction. You see me and smile. I smile back, still a little hesitant and not my usual self-assured self. I've never met anyone online, then in person before, and I'm not sure how to be.
You set the glass on the table, rise out of your chair and walk toward me. I didn't think it was possible, but my heart beats faster, and I can hear the blood rushing in my ears. I swallow, still smiling hesitantly as you approach. I watch you as you move, elegant, confident, and my excitement moves down my body and pools at my core. I'm so glad I still want you. I wonder what you'll smell like, taste like, as I've wondered so many times before. As you near, I look up into your gorgeous eyes, and I see a hint of amusement reflected back at me. I think you can tell I'm a little unsure of the situation, and this strikes you as funny, because I'm anything but in our online conversations.
You reach for my hand and kiss the back of it. I laugh at the chivalrous gesture, and that helps cut the tension, although we still stand awkwardly for a moment or two. You guide me back to your table, holding my hand. "You're beautiful," you say as we sit, and although I'm not prone to blushing, I can feel heat rise to my cheeks. I laugh and say, "Thank you. You're just as handsome as I thought you'd be." You grin, reach for the beverage menu and hand it to me. I order a glass of wine from the cocktail waitress, and sigh back into my chair.
We talk for a little while, enjoying our wine, and we lapse into the same witty banter and ease of conversation that we've become accustomed to with each other as the wine relaxes us, the familiarity kicks in, and the apprehension fades.
Our dinner reservation time is looming, so you pay the check, and we get up to leave. You place your hand on the small of my back sending a delicious shiver up my spine as we exit the bar, but instead of guiding me to the restaurant, you steer me outside to the patio. The sun is setting over the water, and it's a beautiful site. Couples are holding hands, caressing each other as they watch the sun set. The breeze blows my hair around my face, and I reach up to push it back. You pull me to the edge of the terrace looking over the ocean, cup my jaw in your hand and pull my face up so I can meet your eyes. "I've wanted to do this since you appeared in the doorway," you say as you lean in.
Oh god, I'm thinking. This is it. The moment of truth. What if we kiss and there's no chemistry? What if you're one of those guys who licks all around my mouth? (I hate that.) What if you're a sloppy kisser or a rigid kisser or a clueless kisser? What if you have halitosis? My mind is flooded with all sorts of scary thoughts because so much rides on this first kiss.
As my heart once again beats frantically, you lower your mouth to mine. I close my eyes and feel your lips on me. They're soft and strong. Ok, not bad, I'm thinking. This could be good. I sigh, and my lips part, offering you an invitation. You slide your tongue along the seam of my lips, then find mine as our tongues dance, caress and I can feel the kiss all the way to my toes. The kaleidoscope begins fluttering madly in my stomach once again; my core is pulsing, and I know the anticipation, although difficult to bear at times, has made this moment so much sweeter. Thank god, I think to myself as I look forward to the promise the rest of the night will reveal, and anticipation once again sets in.