The first time I held my wife’s hand it was magic, and I fell in love.
I was a sophomore in high school and she was a junior. Heather was (is) short, blonde and busty, just my type. Her best friend (to protect her identity, we’ll just call her Cora) was tall, brunette, and beautiful, also just my type. To clarify, my type then (and now) is female and willing to talk to me. As it turns out, that is a woefully small percentage of the population.
My best friend, (for the sake of protecting his identity I’ll just call him Andy) and I had crushes on them both. They were smart and had wicked mean senses of humor. We had a thing for women that could hold their own with the insults. A vicious quick wit is sexy.
Andy and I did everything we could to gain their favor, like primates rolling around to impress a potential mate. Now, I have a higher level of competency than the average person. I am generally good at everything I try, not the best, but good. But Andy was always better. His jokes were faster and funnier, his flips and handsprings better, he walked on his hands farther, he could talk to them without almost throwing up, you know, all the things that teenage boys think teenage girls like, he did them all better.
Because of all these things (really, just the ability to talk to them) Andy always got the girl, and since we had the same taste in women, I never did. There was never any animosity or jealousy, it was a challenge, like wanting to finally beat a friend at Mario Cart.
The one thing I had over Andy when it came to Heather was my slight academic advantage. I read books. Not the thing boys of my generation thought of as a turn on for girls, but in this case, it worked. Heather read book too. Better yet, we both read books about dragons. We spent hours talking about Dragon Flight and The Dragon Prince
My infatuation with Cora was put on the back burner, which was a good thing really. She was tall, and tall women scare me even more than the short ones. Don’t get me wrong, given half a chance I would still have tried to climb that tree. Thankfully, I never had to give her a reason to shoot me down.
So, on to the magical night I first held Heather’s hand, and fell in love.
Andy and I were hanging out with Heather at her place, a large ranch out in the country. The three of us went for a walk. We did this a lot, and as was normal, the three of us ended up laying side by side with Heather between us, just bullshitting the night away in some secluded part of the ranch. It was cold so Heather had brought a blanket, ‘cause she was smart like that.
I saw my chance, and I took it. I reached under the blanket and grabbed her hand. My heart was racing, and when she began to slowly caress my hand with her thumb I thought my heart would explode. She liked me!
Andy, the bane of my dating life, was right there. She had her pick of the two of us and she inexplicably choose me. It was glorious. It was like magic.
We had been laying like that for about an hour when Heather showed me and Andy just how magical she was, and how all magic was just a trick. She lifted both hands up and out of the blanket to ruffle her hair and stretch. Only, I was still holding and caressing her hand under the blanket. Did she have three hands? Oh, no…I slowly lifted my head to look over Heather at Andy, who was also lifting his head to look at me.
We both figured it out at the same time.
We had been holding each other’s hand for the better part of an hour.
We jerked our hands away and both looked at Heather. SHE. KNEW. THE. WHOLE. TIME!
She had let us make complete fools of ourselves in an incredibly embarrassing way, all for her own enjoyment. It was in that moment, when I saw that mischievous twinkle in her eyes, and that knowing smirk on her face, that I fell in love.
Andy went on to marry Cora, and Heather and I have now been together for over 20 years.
But every now and then, I think back to that hand I held that fateful night…and I wonder….