The first time I remember being touched by a guy the way I wanted to be
at the time was the first night I hung out at my now ex-boyfriend's sophomore dorm
. I found out later that Gage had a crush on me
, which was a first, as far as I know. He had invited me over to his room
where he was having a small gathering of people we knew mutually.
It was hard to talk to him, since there were maybe seven or more people crammed inside a 10X15 foot cell. There was another guy there named Eric, a guy I also thought was very attractive. They both had that boyish skater figure and smarmy intellectual air that I always found elusive and seductive.
At one point in the evening, I'm sitting on the loveseat wedged between them both. Everyone was playing some drinking game, but beneath that, I was getting talked to with arms . Both of them had casually stretched their arm along the back of the sofa, directly behind my back, one of those cheesy efforts you see in fifties movies.
They still focused their attention to the game; neither made eye contact with me or said anything to indicate what they were doing. I knew that at this singular point, if I leaned to one side or another, my choice would have been made clear.
I deliberated for a few seconds, until Gage's hand began to gently rub my shoulder in little circles . It felt as if he had always known me, as if we had been sitting next to each other for years . It was his direction that I leaned into, which told his hand to get more brave in its thoughts, so it cupped my shoulder and stayed there for the rest of the night. I was his from that night forward, for the four years that followed.
Until of course, I broke up with him a few months after I found out he had cheated on me during a six month hiatus in between moves from Virginia to New Orleans. Little circles, indeed.