It had been an incredible two hours. She'd got me to tell her things my grandmother had said about my father, she'd got me sing along to GnR's "November Rain" and, impossibly, she'd got me not to care that there was a Ferrari one-two in the offing.
"That's five-one," she reminded me.
"Yes, it is," I said, without really knowing what she meant.
It wasn't the fact that I would've been dancing off the charts on a blood-alcohol meter at that point in time. It wasn't the fact that I'd probably sprinted a hundred yards and back in next to no time. It wasn't even the fact that I'd been to the restroom and splashed my face with water, in order to remind myself to keep it real. It was just that I knew that I hadn't had this much fun in a long, long time.
"Can I make it six-one?" I asked, speculatively.
"See, now that wasn't really six-one," she said, reading my mind, "that was more like five-two."
I waited for a second, maybe two. In that sliver of a moment, I was flooded with feelings. It wasn't something I'd been expecting at all. I was afraid I was going to end up being embarrassed by a show of emotion. I was afraid I was going to ruin a perfect day. I was afraid because I hadn't felt like this in ages.
"Can I try again?" I asked, more in hope than in expectation.
She smiled again, compellingly.
An instant later, I knew I'd remember it forever.
IVFor so long, I'd believed that I wasn't a natural at reacting to situations. That I wasn't capable of realising the specialness of a moment even if it slapped me in the face. That I wasn't ever going to show anyone who meant anything to me, that I could be everything they wanted me to be.
"I love you," I said, softly, reassuringly.
I meant it as much to myself as I did to her.