The last two weeks have been some of the most stressful weeks I've had in a long time. Finals, lots of the rushed work at the end of the semester, a's been tough to manage. Usually, I'm pretty responsible when it comes to taking care of my life. But there's another side of my life that affects me more than any other. And it all starts with a girl.

Her name is Charlene. I met her through some friends, and at first I thought nothing of her. She was cute, but at first she was not the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. I met her here and there; she showed me her apartment, and we went out with other people for drinks at a bar one night. Nothing really came of it. I saw her, we smiled, and it was over.

It wasn't really until I started to learn that one of my friends was deeply in love with her that I realized she was something to behold. She turned my friend down, stating that she just wanted to be friends with him, nothing more. All of the sudden, this girl, this woman, a person who I never thought twice about, became someone I wanted to see every day. I have no idea why. Fate? Boredom? I have no clue, and I still don't.

Regardless, I danced around the idea of asking her out for dinner. Once I asked, she agreed, and the date was set. I don't think she really thought twice about me, or about our little get-together, but to me, this was something to prepare for. I stopped thinking about anything but her, anything but our time alone together. It began to consume me. I know that I should never get to that point, but when a person consumes your every waking moment, there is a reason.

The night came. We spent our dinner at a small Italian restaurant. I paid; I always do. I had grilled balsamic tuna, and I don't remember what she had, because I was utterly entranced. Char (as she likes to be called) overwhelmed me, and I wasn't even ready for her. I must have looked like a fool; nervous, shaking my leg constantly, chewing my gum with a twitch at the corner of my mouth. It wasn't until the wine took hold that I began to relax, and the words that I spent days pouring over in my head started surfacing to my mouth. I asked her tons of questions...all the things I wanted and needed to know. I complimented her beauty, which started to surface so quickly that I ran out of metaphors. What caught me by surprise the most was her eyes. I won't even begin to try and explain how incredible they are.

Time flew by. The night came to a close as we walked back to my room. We had said so much to each other in so little time, and yet it wasn't even close to enough. My heart sank to my ankles when I first said, "Goodbye." This can't end. I won't let you walk away from me. I might love you sometime, but I want to spend so much time finding that love. I don't know you yet, Charlene, but of all my desires, you are the greatest. I yearn for you, for your words, for your eyes, for you. You. You make things so alive, and I haven't felt this way in ages. You must come back, and I must keep telling you that I will always want these things.

But I can't. I can't tell her any of this. I don't want to push it too fast, I don't want to scare her away, and I don't want to seem like someone smitten, who falls too easily to her charm. The latter may be true, but it was inevitable. The truth is, this girl is something that only comes along once in your life, wherein a problem arises: Every guy other than me recognizes her uniqueness and her beauty. But I am not an "everyguy." I will make that clear, and I think I already have.

"She is just a girl," I tell myself. "How can a girl do this to you? Be stronger. Be independant."

But all I want is to be in love again. True love. Char.