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He pushed me gently onto the trunk of the car as we kissed. It was covered with frost, and I asked half jokingly why he couldn't have done this on one of the warm nights that week. He pulled me back up off the chilled car while reminding me that he would have if I hadn't been avoiding him for the past several days.
I had dodged him and his phone calls pretty hard after the last time I'd given him a ride back to his car to discover that he was more interested in me than I knew. I found myself employing all the silly abstinence tricks that I'd learned in sex ed class. Avoid spending time alone unsupervised, aim to meet up in public places, etc. But when we ran into one another earlier that night in the bar and spent the night talking, dancing, and flirting, I couldn't refuse him a ride to his car a second time.
Similarly, I couldn't push him away when he came closer and found myself surprised that I didn't want to. His overwhelming good nature and harmlessness drew me in, and I thought about the boys whose undesired affection had been met by a knife held by the same scarred, calloused hand that he now kissed gently while leading me away from the trunk of my car to the back seat of his. I often feel old and jaded, but I felt young, naive, and awkward as this profound man a decade my senior pulled me along. I've had sex thirty times at most, with two different partners, and found myself intimidated by the thought of intimacy with someone that much more experienced.
As we both slid into his back seat, cushioned by the blankets he'd been sleeping in his car with for the past week, he said that he loved me. We had only really interacted for a few days, and I was challenging myself at this point to find justification for why I was this close to someone I barely knew, so I retorted coldly with, “There's a big difference between loving someone and loving how they make you feel.” I thought he would take offense at being called out for shallow sweet talking. I kind of hoped that he'd call the whole thing off, send me back to my car, and I would stop being conflicted. But he only smiled more while saying, “I haven't said that in years. You wouldn't make me feel this good if I didn't love you, and I know that I'll never forget you or this night.” It was a hell of a statement coming from someone who sees so many places and people, and it sealed my suspicion that, despite my best efforts, I loved him too, in a fleeting, superficial way. The list of people that I can honestly say that about, even fleetingly, is short, and he's the first that I had no intention of keeping as a long-term part of my life. I knew then that we'd have just a few months together at most, but I was satisfied with that.