I miss the girl smell. It’s so wonderful.

You know what I’m talking about. When you lend a girl your sweater, and she gives it back to you a couple days later, and it has that aroma. That smell that makes your heart sob. Makes you weak in the stomach.

It’s even worse if you love the girl. You never want that feeling to go away. I could never bring myself to wash away the girl smell. I always felt like she put it there, just for me to enjoy. Like it was the only gift she could afford to give me.

One time, I held on to the girl smell. I tucked the sweater away in my closet, figuring I could always pull it out when I needed her. I honestly never thought she’d leave me, so I’d never need the smell.

When she left, it hurt. I couldn’t stand it. I had forgotten about the sweater, but not the smell. Never the smell. I can only imagine that’s what people who lived through wars felt like. The time was gone, but the smells and noises were always going to be there. Haunting your spirit. I know she haunted mine.

Then, a few months later, I was going through my closet. I could smell it. For a moment, all I could do was kneel there and soak it in. For a little while I thought she was right behind me, waiting. I knew better, though.

I started digging. It was so strong I couldn’t figure out how I had missed it for so long. Then, I found it. That red, tattered, Wisconsin Badgers sweater. I held it to my nose and inhaled deeply. Every bit of me ached. I longed for her touch. I needed her.

I pulled the sweater away and looked at it. I felt it. I longed for her to be in it. I longed for her to be there, period. I never really thought she could hurt me again. But she did.

That night I dreamt of smelling her. When we would lay together in her bed, holding each other. I’d inhale deeply and drift off into bliss, riding the smell.

It’s been years now. I’ve had the girl smell since, but it’s never been as good as that time. Never that powerful. I’m afraid. So afraid that I’ll never find the smell again.

God I miss that smell.

Though you're across the packed, smoke-filled room and you're surrounded by testosterone-fueled boys, I bet you smell good, like a cloud lightly misted with raspberry.

I pretend not to look at you all night as I sit at the bar and get progressively more drunk. I pass by your table on my way to the bathroom and despite the boys sitting next to you, I can catch the subtlest wisp of you, so small, yet it circles my head and makes me swoon. I go into the bathroom and splash cold water on my face, half-heartedly trying to regain my composure.

Shortly after I return to my barstool, I find your scent lingering dangerously close to me. I look to my left and take in your entire being with all six of my senses; you're standing mere centimetres away, talking to the bartender. Feeling like a wild animal, and wishing I could crawl head-first into my bottle of beer, I slouch a bit and inhale deeply. I've never experienced anything like you before, even though we've never so much as made eye contact. Judging by the throng of boys at your table, you're probably straight, too. But nevertheless, you've shattered my world for this one night, this Limited Time Engagement.

Sunday Sunday Sunday.

You get a fresh drink and a new pack of cigarettes from the bartender, and as you pivot leftwards, your waist-length hair slides smoothly over my arm for a second. I want to press my face into it, but you just keep on walking back to your table, back to the boys that are all locked in spirited competition to see which can impress you the most and take you home with him.

Like most of the people I see in day-to-day public life, I'll probably never see you again after tonight, so I order a shot of Cuervo tequila and a shot of Absolut Cimmeron, both of which I down in rapid succession. I compose myself briefly, check my hair in my compact's mirror, and stand up. I walk over to your table, and circle round it. I tap you on the shoulder and whisper into your ear, "you smell heart-breakingly good." Then I exit the bar, leaving you to whatever tonight brings (and probably with the thought, Did I just get hit on by a girl?), and leaving me to my sullen dreams of unrequited love.

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