Journal entry 2:
For the first time in three years, my day has been struck by change. Every morning, I’m awoken by my alarm at 6:45 am. I then shower, brush my teeth, and eat a bowl of whole grain cereal while watching The Today Show before sitting down to write.
This morning was different.
Today, I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm, and though I lost sleep, I felt wide awake. For a moment, I wondered why. Then I remembered. When I did, I bolted upright into a world of suspense.
“I’m supposed to meet that girl. In less than two hours. Shit.”
I shot out of bed and raced through my morning routine, completely skipping over The Today Show. Once I was ready, I stood in front of the mirror, combing and recombing my hair, situating my collar, and even questioning my shoelaces. Must’ve stood there for at least 15 minutes before I said, “What the hell,” and left.
As I pulled into the parking lot at the beach, my palms were beginning to sweat. It took a minute, but I finally let myself admit that I was nervous. I didn’t know why, though. It didn’t make sense. She was just some random girl. A stranger. So why did it matter?
With weak knees and jittery hands, I went back to that same spot on the beach, then I sat in the sand, and waited. It was hard trying not to look around for her. With a pen from my pocket, I jotted down some story ideas onto a napkin to keep myself busy.
But as the tide rose, so too did the sun.
After a while, I thought, Maybe I’m supposed to meet her in the parking lot. But when I went back, she wasn’t there either.
Almost two hours had passed since I’d gotten there, and it was time for me to accept the truth. I swallowed hard then shrugged away whatever pitiful emotion I was feeling. I hated to admit it, but I’d never felt so stupid. How could I let my hopes soar over a stranger like that? Finally, I headed back to my car, refusing to let myself look for her anymore. I was about to pull out of the parking lot when something in the rearview grabbed my sight.
It was her.
With our bare feet in the salty ocean water, we walked down the beach.
“I really am sorry,” she said. “I don’t want you thinking I was having second thoughts about coming.”
“It’s really fine. I promise. You have a big night?”
“No, I just had a bit on my mind.”
“Ah, gotcha.” I felt like she wanted to say more. I wanted to ask but felt like it was none of my business. Why did I feel so awkward? “So, are you from California?”
“No, I’m actually from Savanna. Yeah, I moved down here to live with my boyfriend about a year ago.”
“Oh, you have a boyfriend?”
“Huh? Oh, no, I’m sorry. No, we actually split up. Recently.”
“Really? After you made this life-changing transition? Oh my God. I’m sorry.” She didn’t really say much then. I could tell I’d reopened a wound. I felt like I needed to tend to it. “We don’t know each other, but if you ever need to like, vent, you can talk to me.”
I’m not sure if it was what I said, or… but she smiled a smile I hadn’t yet seen on her. Then she did that cute little motion where she tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and turns to the ground with a smile.
“What?” I asked.
“Why are you smiling?”
“I’m not. You are.”
And I was. Even though I was trying not to. I just couldn’t help it. For the first time since I was a kid, I smiled till my cheeks hurt, and it was all because of her. And even as the people arrived and the noise grew, I couldn’t hear it. All I could hear, all I could see, was her.
When the time came, I walked her back to her car. Suddenly, I was hit by such a bad case of the nerves I felt like I was going to throw up. Before I could think anymore, I said, “Can I take you on a date?”
She bit her lip. My heart stopped and I’m pretty sure I died for a second.
“I’d like that,” she said, before putting her number into my phone.
Journal entry 2:
I wasn’t going to go. I thought long and hard about it all night. I thought about Daniel, and what he did. I thought about how blind I was in my quest to earn his love. It was the worst pain I’ve ever had to endure. Was I ready to potentially put myself out in the line of fire again? Would I ever be ready?
And yet, I could not get the vision of the beautiful stranger to fade from my mind. After much debate, I headed to bed. As I drifted off, the last thing I remember thinking was Take the risk or lose the chance.
Before I knew it, it was morning, and yet…where was the alarm? I rolled over and looked at the time. 9:15! I gasped. I jumped up, took the fastest shower ever, pulled my hair up in the messiest ponytail ever, threw something on, and ran out. If I looked awful yesterday, I looked abysmal today.
I pulled up to the parking lot just as he pulled away. For a split second, my heart sang at the fact that he hadn’t stood me up. Then I remembered that he was leaving because he thought I had stood him up. Defeated, I headed back to my car when, to my surprise… he came back.
We walked along the ocean as I had done yesterday. I apologized again for running late, and he was extremely understanding. He asked me if I had a big night, and I let it slip that I had a bit on my mind. I wish I hadn’t said that.
“So, are you from California?” he asked.
“I’m from all over.” I replied. ” Most recently, Savannah. I moved down here with my boyfriend about a year ago.”
Why did I say that?
“Oh, you have a boyfriend?” he asked, with the sound of defeat in his voice.
“Um, no. Actually, we split up recently. I’m sorry.” I stammered.
With kindness in his eyes and sincerity in his voice, he offered to be there for me if I needed to talk. To be honest, I wanted to tell him everything right then and there. I wanted to put out there how hurt I had been, and how scared I was to ever go through anything like that again. I couldn’t bring myself to do it though. It was just way too much baggage to unload on the beautiful stranger at 11am.
Instead, I smiled, which he called me out on. We had a playful back and forth while he walked me back to my car. The day concluded with him asking me on a date. I bit my lip, and for a split-second, all I could feel was the pounding of my heart. Take the risk or lose the chance.
“I’d like that.”
Hi there 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the story.
“Entries of the Heart” is a FICTIONAL romance series created by Jessica (Lady Lazarus) and I. It follows the blossoming of a relationship through the diary entries of the main characters, Him (me) and Her (Jessica).
Till next time ❤