This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!
Hello, readers! I had my share of weird, unexpected, frustrating, beautiful moments during my trip. This is one that stands out in my memory.
I met a guy in Liverpool. It was unexpectedly amazing.
We’d actually met online, months before my trip. Here was a guy who was cute and funny and who I had things in common with, but we barely talked. A few messages here and there. We made plans to meet up when I was in England, actually the only reason I stopped in Liverpool was to hang out with him. When the time came for me to actually head down, I was nervous because it felt like we hadn’t spoken enough for me to take a whole detour just to see him.
I got to Liverpool on a Thursday, we went out that same night. He was late, which gave me more than enough time to wonder if we’d have a good time, whether there would be chemistry, if he’d show at all. My landlady told me to make him pay for everything, whether it was a date or not. Was it a date? “Thanks landlady, now I don’t even know what to call the outing”.
He did show up. He looked nice, smelled better. The combination of his smile and his accent and his nearness was enough to give me a buzz before I started drinking. He’d made reservations to a great restaurant. He was sweet and attentive and leaving because he had to work the next day. The ride home had been occupied with funny conversation and an inner monologue of “To kiss or not to kiss, that is the question”. I decided not to kiss him. He had to go and we still had the rest of the weekend, was what I told myself.
Friday found us drinking at a Circus themed bar. He still smelled good. He was still funny and charming and smart. We were on the clock though, public transport ended early which meant an early (ish) night for us. It was a good night. I felt instant chemistry with this guy who was quick to smile and wasn’t afraid to laugh at himself and the world. This guy who, as I got on the bus told me “call me if anything happens with the bus, I’ll get you a taxi.” I thought it was sweet then, it still seems sweet now. He’d said he was feeling the onset of a cold. Jokes were made about kissing and illnesses. About how illnesses ruin plans of kissing. We laughed.
Saturday felt like the day. The lights were dimmed at the Circus bar, where we found ourselves yet again after a brief stint at the Tate Liverpool museum and a dinner of Fish and Chips. He was warm and sitting close to me. We were drinking cider and talking about pretty much everything. Sex and kinks and past relationships. The couple in the booth next to us spent the night listening in on our conversation, while trying hard to pretend they weren’t. He kept talking in spite the fact that people were listening in, which I liked.
He was dying. Soldiering on, trying not to sniffle, but dying. We hugged as I got on the bus. I remember my hand on his neck and a small feeling of surprise. Partly because hugging him felt like the most natural thing in the world, partly because stopping felt like a disappointment. Saturday was not the day.
I woke up unnaturally early on Sunday. My train was due to leave at 8am and he was coming to pick me up to take me to the station. He was still sick. We parked, he took out my suitcase. We hugged again. He was so close. I told him I still wanted to kiss him. He reminded me that I would get sick. “Yeah, but I still want to kiss you”. “Well, what’s stopping you?”
And my hand went to his neck. And I kissed him. And I remember being surprised by how soft he was, his beard, his lips, his hair. He tasted like candy and I wondered what it was. It ended and I thought, “worth it”. I gave him another quick hug and walked away without looking back because looking back would’ve meant staying just to kiss him a bit longer.
In the end I didn’t get sick. I left and I enjoyed the rest of my trip. But I kept thinking about that one quick kiss, like one of those moments whose full potential goes unexploited. It just rests in your memory, like a pulsing seed waiting for the next chance to bloom.
Have you ever felt that, readers? A moment that ends before it’s ready to? Tell me about it. And, as always, stay cool.