It all started with the alphabet. At least, that’s the way he tells it - as if ours is a great romance, forged by fate, conceived in dreams.
If you ask me, it all started with a bit too much alcohol, a wounded ego, drunken pride.
This difference in beliefs came to define us, I guess - he was the dreamer, focusing on the future, our future, while I was the cynic, convinced each day would be our last. Making plans to break plans so I’d never be let down. The romantic and the realist. The zealot and the atheist.
It was almost a fairytale - the roguish knight (equal parts foolish and handsome) embarks on a near-impossible quest to win the heart of the (not so) fair maiden, facing terrifying monsters in orderto woo his one true love. In order to save her.
But, as I’ve said, ours is not a fairytale and the Deamons he had to conquer were in my mind. The only thing standing in his way was my own fear, my own doubt. The only thing he had to save me from was myself.
As in all classic tales, our eyes met across a crowded room (a crowded bar, to be exact). He made his way towards me, through the smoke and strangers until finally he stood in front of me; tall dark and handsome. His face split into a cocky grin. His lips parted and.. “Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?”
I snorted (a particularly unattractive habit I can’t seem to break) and raised an eyebrow, unimpressed. I turned away.
This pattern continued for days, weeks - he would approach with an increasingly ridiculous ‘chat-up line’ and with a raised eyebrow and a snort of laughter, I would ignore him.
It wasn’t that I found him unattractive, or that his blatant confidence annoyed me - in fact as our encounters became more as more frequent, I found myself anticipating them, wondering why he persevered - if it was simply a matter of pride, a joke, a bet. And despite this, with each approach, my resolve grew - I would not let myself fall for his self-depricating smile, his soft laugh. I wouldn’t let myself fall for him, for anyone.
He told me, later, that I was a challenge, that I intrigued and aggravated him - the more I rebuked him, the more he wanted to know me. The more convinced he became that we were destined to be together, and the more he would attempt to make me believe this.
Perhaps he simply wore down my defences, or maybe (as he claims) I simply wanted to give in from the very first time our eyes met, but on that fateful night, he approached as usual. As usual, a smirk graced his lips, though his eyes betrayed the rejection he had grown to expect, his voice seemed softer, defeated. Perhaps that is why I decided to take a chance for the first time in my life. To leap without a seconds thought of the possible consequences, the risks. To this day, he claims it was his chosen chat-up line that changed my mind, and to this I can’t help but smile whenever he repeats the words which finally won me over - “if I could rearrange the alphabet I’d put U and I together.”