I downloaded the Tinder app a long time ago because I was feeling lonely. I didn't have friends of my own, just siblings, and they had busy lives. I wasn't expecting much from it, but in there, I matched with some people I actually knew from previous jobs, one of whom I had always had a secret crush on.
Naturally, we started chatting and I kept my expectations low. After all, the thing about Tinder was that it was widely known as a hook-up app rather than something for dating, but here I was, looking for friends. I had more in common with this man than I had originally ever thought possible and that astonished me in such a way that I felt nearly paralyzed with excitement.
So as things played out, I learned he lived no more than five minutes from me, as he'd moved back in with his parents due to medical issues (similarly, I lived with mine for medical issues as well). After seeing one of my favourite bands, we agreed to meet up at the playground at the end of my road for our first in-person encounter since I quit my job all those years ago..
It was a warm summer day. I drove to the park and he walked. We made our way to the empty swings that hung below the moonlit sky and talked for three hours straight about everything from music to school to life in general, and the night ended with a lot of kisses and swing-set cuddles and my heart feeling warm and wanted for the first time in a long time.
New to the idea of putting my trust in someone again, I was cautious but overly excited. He was a musician in several bands, and I was a closeted singer that made recordings online anonymously. He invited me over one night to watch a movie and have some drinks, which I agreed to. We started out listening to The Beatles on a great sound system, having a bit of rum and coke, and chatting as if our souls were connected.
Maybe it was the electricity in the air, the loneliness of two years, or the alcohol, but I was less than ladylike with my manners that night and ended up giving my heart and soul up in his bedroom, before we dressed, cuddled up, and watched a horror flick. He fell asleep during it and I thought that this man would be in my life for a long time. He said, "maybe you are my soul mate", and similar things..
After he woke up, he walked me to my car and I fawned over how cute he was. I remarked that he was always smiling, to which he'd reply, "you're making me always smile". My heart felt full, my mind felt enriched, my blood felt like the static of a television, a constant humming in my veins. And then...
No more texts. I didn't hear from him again.
The love I saw was nothing more than an illusion built for dumb women like me. I thought, I ought to have known better. I felt sorry for myself.
To have trusted so easily. To have given myself up so eagerly. I would never let it happen again. And it is sad that I had so few fears around him, but now, I have them all.
But a fear is something that protects you. So I will always be afraid of love, love, love..