Remember that? Remember my voice grabbing your attention at that first day of play practice? So do I. I still remember the look in your eyes as you looked over at me. Your eyes were practically on fire, they lit up so bright. And you came over and sat with me, bringing your best friend, when I didn’t even know your names. I said to him “Cool shirt.” And I introduced myself to you. “I’m Madi. And you are…?” I said, making a gesture and looking you in the eyes. You interrupted him and almost shouted your name at me. “I’M STEVIE! uh…Stevie.” and I just laughed.
Fast Forward two months
Backstage at the start of the show. You were onstage, playing guitar effortlessly for the crowd of 200. I stood there, just offstage, whispering the words along as you sang them, and desperately wishing you knew how I felt. I couldn’t tell you of course. Best friends couldn’t….date….It would ruin it. You said it yourself about your friend Marcus when he and his girlfriend broke up and they stopped talking. Nonetheless it still seemed like you liked me….somewhere deep in that country boy attitude. Then there I was, hopelessly in love with you, watching you, wishing you knew how I felt. When your crowd-warming setlist was over, and you exited the stage, you passed by me, shooting me a smile as I whispered “great job..”
But you didn’t hear me..of course you didn’t.
The whole show I’d been angry that they’d given the lead solo in one of my favorite musical numbers to Marissa. And you knew it. Just like before, I was standing in the wings, listening to her sing out the notes I knew by heart from day 1. I gazed longingly out into the spotlight, where I should be. Then I felt the hairs go up on the back of my neck. I knew it was you before you said a word. I knew your smell and the sound of your breath like the back of my hand. But I still acted surprised when you tapped on my shoulder. When I saw your smile, my heart practically melted at my feet. You said “We should dance” and I shrugged and said “okay” and jumped into our cheesy step-touch thing we’d done during every song to kill time. You put your hands on my shoulders to stop my bouncing. “How about…a different kind of dance?” you offered, placing your hands on my waist. I blushed, thankful for the dim lighting. I softly placed my hands on your strong shoulders, and we started to sway. It was beautiful. All sound faded away. And I was in love. Pure and simple. When the song was drawing to a close, you removed your left hand from my waist. I thought that meant our moment was over. I looked at my feet, and I was sad our closeness was done. But then you lifted my chin, and looked in my eyes. You whispered “I know how you feel. Not being able to tell that one person how you truly feel.” And you kissed me. Your right hand tightened on my lower back, and time stopped. We were together in the dim light, music fading, dreams being fulfilled. When you pulled away, your eyes were filled with apprehension. “Madi…I love you. I mean it. Will you be mine?” And tears started streaming down my face. I buried my eyes on the shoulder of your red t-shirt, staining it with mascara. When I finally stopped crying, I looked back at you. Swallowing back another sob, I nodded. Then I noticed you laughing. I silently questioned you and you ran your thumbs under my eyes. “You look like a raccoon” you joked. And you embraced me. That began the best chapter of my life.
Sadly, that chapter ended a long time ago. I gave you up for some stupid, flash-in-the-pan crush. And now I can’t seem to get you back. When I tried to explain how I feel, you brushed me off. Because you returned to your old policy of “Best friends can’t date.” And I know I’m with a guy, and he’s pretty great, but he can’t compare to you. So this Sunday, at band practice, I’m gonna tell you how I feel. And I hope you believe me.
~Madi, the hopeless romantic, in love with a cowboy.