We met too young. It was back in the days when I tried to rhyme ‘win’ with ‘Mohiuddin.’ When my raven hair flowed straight down my back for about three feet. He would swagger across the field in a red fleece sweatshirt and slightly baggy pants. Every few days he had the tendency to show off the waistband of his new pair of boxers. He would just lift up his sweatshirt and I would just about pass out. ‘Oh my gosh. Danny! It’s lunchtime. People can see us.’ He would never care. I did.
He gingerly clutched his slender fingers around my waist at a friend’s birthday party and we spun around in novice circles. My first slow dance. I almost threw him off a log in Yosemite because he kept mimicking all my gestures as I tried to silently get all the members of my camp group in birthday order. It turns out we have the same birthday. We would call each other and watch South Park together, our voices only heard when we laughed in unison. Apparently we started high school not knowing how to call collect; and we almost had to spend the night at the public library. At my sweet 16, by the time the roller coaster had jerked to a halt, I had him practically deaf with an entirely numb colorless hand.
I fervently denied every accusation from my girlfriends about us being anything more than friends. However, consciously or not, my dresses grew slightly tighter, my behavior sweeter, and my innuendos blatant enough for a blind man to see. But, in seven years of friendship, countless hours alone together, had he ever crossed the line? No. He remained the epitome of the perfect gentlemen, annoyingly respectful at all times. It’s no wonder that my parents adore him so much.
Exactly two years ago tomorrow he called out of the blue and asked me to dinner. He blurted out, ‘Farnaz, I need to see you. We need to go out tonight. We’re going to go to the Island.’ He meant Fashion Island. But of course we got lost, as always, and ended up at the Irvine Spectrum.
So, there we were sitting at a table for two. My dress slightly itchy because I barely ever wore it. My hair brushed a bit too many times lay long and flowing. The very image of pressed-powder perfection, I tried so hard to seduce him with my subtle femininity. The sun was setting behind his muscular shoulders. Somewhere I could have sworn there was a violin playing faintly. We were sitting out on the terrace and the exhilaration of seeing him mixed with the tint of rose that floated in the air made him irresistible. He had intoxicated me. For the first time in ages I really looked at him.
I was so used to his face. I had seen it for years, memorized practically every expression. But now I was struck at how utterly handsome he had turned out to be. He could have played Prince Charming in the Arabian version. His every smile left a knot in my stomach. His dark enigmatic eyes seemed to laugh in kindness. He said he had something very important to tell me and that he had wanted to tell me for years.
This was it!! I braced myself. I had waited over 2,500 days to hear these beautiful words finally spoken. He picks up a menu, shields us from prying eyes and boldly states