After the break-up, we did our best to continue living together. It was difficult at times. Neither of us were sure which roles we should play. We were still friends, but lovers? With our one shared bed, one shared bath, shared EVERYTHING, we ended up being the same as before our break-up.
Yet things were not the same. We had agreed that we could try to be friends with benefits. We were still best friends, and as I tried my best to come to terms with the split, I ended up turning to her for the comfort she had given me for the last two years. I cried about her into her shoulder, and we were happy to hold each other.
When I first met Caitlin, she was quite different than the person she came to be. Young, fresh-faced, and much less innocent. She somehow seemed much older than her actual years. What struck me was how tall and pretty she was. I was never quite attracted to girls who were much bigger than me, and she was what some would call a "chubby girl." However, her beauty caught my breath. We were both in costume at a friend's caveman-theme party (before the annoying Geiko commercials). I was stepping out of the bathroom in my loin-cloth costume when she saw me and told me how cute I was. Within the first few hours she had her tongue down my throat. I wasn't quite prepared for aggressive women. "I'd totally bone you," she whispered late that night, "but my friend Rich is coming to pick me up later."
After that party, I didn't see her or hear from her again. Looking back, I don't think I thought of her very much aside from the pleasant making-out session. I mostly remembered her raven long hair, her flawless porcelain skin, and how soft her lips were on mine. I'd smile at my thoughts, and promptly continue on with my day.
Months later, our lives crashed together. She was a hurricane and I was a quiet seashore town. At Katsucon (another anime convention I was partying at) we randomly ended up with the same group of friends. After drinking and partying it up a bit (a lot), I found myself in her bed in the middle of the night. I was drunk on her smile and the tequila. She was a beauty that night. I was surprised again by the force of her personality. She wasn't coy or shy. She didn't apologize for the sexuality that she oozed. She simply grabbed me by my neck and manhandled me onto a rollercoaster night of pleasure.
The next morning, I awkwardly woke and returned to my room, doing my best not to wake her. I wasn't sure exactly what to do at that point, so I simply left as quietly as I could. I was torn. This girl was amazing, but I was intimidated by her bold come-ons. I couldn't see myself spending time with just a pretty face. Actually, I didn't think she was a slut for having sex with me so quickly. She admitted that she was very attracted to asian men, and told me that she thought I was handsome. It was simply too much too fast for me. After my shower, I stepped back into my friend's hotel room and came face-to-face with her, again.
Honestly, I don't remember the details of what happened after this. She came with my friends and me as we walked around the convention. She had breakfast with us. Finally, we ended up alone, her and I, in a crowd of people milling about. As we waited for our friends to return, we ended up talking. We chatted about normal things people chat about. I learned about her family and friends, she heard about my traveling and work. We talked about all the things that interested us. She told me about how much of a geek she was, which surprised me. All the while, I felt completely comfortable with her. Refreshingly honest, she talked about her dreams and what she wanted to accomplish. She told me about the things that brought her here to this place with me. I felt like she opened up for me more on that hotel lobby floor than she had the night before.
After an hour, I didn't even notice when my friends returned. I had been thoroughly engrossed with the conversation. As we stood up to part ways, I realized how sweet she was. This girl was honest, caring, and humble. In short, she was lovely.
I saw Caitlin a few more times after that. The days we didn't see one another we'd call each other on the phone, talking late into the night. When we did meet, she'd take the train down from Philly to DC and we'd spend weekends together. Most of our activities were committed to the bedroom, shared in pleasure and comfort. Sometimes we'd play games together. We might eat out or cook for ourselves. Then, she'd take the train back to her life while I prepared for the week ahead.
Finally, I asked her to be mine. "Would you like to change your profile to say 'In an exclusive relationship?'" My heart pounded in my throat.
She looked into my eyes, "Absolutely. Yes." -March 10, 2008.