"Do you want to go on the roof with me?" I ask.
"I'll go anywhere with you," he says, smiling at me.
Everyone is drunk. It's a friend's birthday party, and several of my closest buds are ascending a metal ladder, climbing onto the roof of the apartment building. I watch them laugh and trip over themselves from my vantage point on the fire ecsape. As they reach the top, their happy giggling calls to me, enticing me.
"We have to do it," I say, thrilled at the idea of going on a drunken rooftop adventure. I slip off my high heels, then turn to look at him, the cutest boy I've ever met, holding my beer and heels out to him with a smile. "Do you mind holding these?"
"Not. At. All," he says, grinning and taking them from me. I smile at him more. I can't help smiling at him. He has this disarming, charming grin, these perfect teeth, these kind eyes -- you can't help but want to smile when you look at him. And I don't realize it then, but there are many more smiles to come.
I press bare feet against the rungs of the ladder, laughing at how cold it is, and climb up to the roof. "Don't look up my dress!" I yell down to him.
"Wouldn't dream of it," he calls back, and I hear the mischief in his voice.
When I reach the top, I kneel, bare-kneed, to the rocky rooftop, reaching down toward him. He reaches up and hands me our beer, then my shoes. I set them aside and watch him climb up after me. When he reaches me, he helps me to my feet.
"Let's explore!" I say. Excited, I snatch my shoes from the ground and take off barefoot across the rooftop, splashing through puddles, padding across dirt and rubble.
When he catches up to me, he takes my hand. "Cheri," he says.
"Yes?" I turn to face him, smiling, happy. I run my hands over his tanned forearms, reckless in my flirtation, absolutely wanting. We've been together all night. He's met my friends. I've met his. He's wonderful. He's better than I remember. He's the cutest fucking boy I've ever met. I want him.
"Can I kiss you?" He asks.
"YES!" The word bursts from me without a hint of hesitation, and I laugh at myself. "Finally! Yes! Kiss me!"
He kisses me.
He kisses me, finally, and it's amazing.
And I kiss him back.
And he tastes good.
And his hands feel good.
And his lips feel good.
My hands go into his hair.
His hands go into mine.
He kisses my makeup off.
My makeup smears onto his skin.
We breathe each other in.
Our tongues touch, massage, dance, and taste.
"Damn," he says aloud. "You are such a babe."
"Then why have you never hung out with me?" I say, shoving him away playfully. "I practically threw myself at you, you idiot."
He stumbles back slightly, smiling. "Truthfully?" He says.
"Yes! I want to know!" I say, folding my arms around myself in a mock pout while he places his own around me as well, pulling me close.
"Okay. To tell you the truth... I was intimidated."
"What? How? Why?"
"Don't judge me, but ... I may have done a little Facebook and Instagram creeping after you found me, and I saw how many guys are after you. It was really intimidating. You could literally have anyone you wanted."
I laugh at this, throw my arms around his neck, and kiss him hard. "But I like you! I wrote a song about you the night I met you! I don't write ukulele songs for just anybody, dummy!"
"And it was amazing," he says, kissing me back. "I was so flattered. I couldn't believe this babe was into me. I didn't know how to proceed."
Eventually, we make our way to the edge of the roof.
"Let's sit," I say.
"Okay," he says. He sits himself down, then pulls me into his lap, kissing me again. Then, after talking for a while, he asks, "Do you want to come home with me?"
"What? Like, tonight?" I ask.
"Yes," he says.
I smile to myself because every other time someone's asked me back to their place, I've always hesitated, my heart not in it. I hesitate now as well, but this hesitation isn't because my heart isn't in it. My hesitation now comes only because I finally have my crush in my arms, and I don't want to screw it up.
Sensing my pause, he says, "No pressure, okay? I'm not expecting anything from you. I'd just really, really like to spend more time with you."
The way he phrases it makes me laugh. "Oh yeah? Is that what you want to do?" With a smile, I press small kisses across his face.
"Yes!" He says. "I want to spend more time kissing you, talking to you. I want to spend tomorrow with you. And the day after that. And the day after that."
He has me giggling, and he kisses me again. So much kissing. It doesn't end.
"I'll let you borrow the comfiest tee-shirt and gym shorts I own. You can take a shower -- whatever you want. Just tell me."
I smile. "Maybe."
"I can deal with maybe," he says, smiling back, holding me close.
Eventually, I do go home with him.
He carries me in, remarking on how little I am, how easy I am to hold.
And he's right. Those gym shorts and tee shirt are super comfy.
I'm drunk, he's drunk, and we kiss. We kiss a lot. In between talking and getting to know each other, we kiss. We touch, and we kiss, and we smile, and we laugh, and we look at each other, and we repetitively exclaim our disbelief and attraction toward one another.
Then, we fall asleep.
In the days after that, we make more plans to see each other. And we do. We meet more of each other's friends. We get sunburnt in Dolores Park. We lay out on the beach together in the sand while he reads Rolling Stone and remarks on interesting articles he stumbles across. We have dinner at a tapas restaurant and drink sangria together. He reaches for my hand across the table. We hold hands and smile. In public, he offers me his arm, and I take it. We watch movies together. We watch his favorite shows. We eat junk food together. We laugh together. We talk the whole time. He tells me stories. I kiss the shit out of him as often as I can.
We finally make love.
The sounds he makes when we do, are just ...
The way he touches me.
The way he looks naked.
The way his skin feels.
"That was amazing," he says, breathless. "Come here." He pulls me into him, cuddling me close.
I want him all the time.
He wants me the same.
"Come with me this weekend," he says.
"To where?" I look up from kissing his chest.
"To Squaw Valley for this music festival. I'm staying in this amazing cabin. All of my best friends are going. I'll be there for about 3 days. I want you to go."
"What?" I laugh. "I... Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. I want you there."
"That's a long time to spend with me, don't you think?" When he keeps smiling at me instead of responding, I add, "Why don't you think it over during the week, and if you still want me to come, you tell me, and I'll pack a bag, and I'll come?"
"Okay," he says.
A few days after that, I'm at dinner with a girlfriend, explaining to her how nervous this whole situation makes me. She keeps reassuring me that it sounds like he really likes me, and that I have nothing to worry about. I tell her about how all I want to do is go with him to the music festival, but that it seems like he's changed his mind. She tells me I'm crazy, and laughs at me.
After dinner, I'm home in bed playing my ukulele, and I get a text from him.
He still wants me to go.
So I do.
While we're there, he says things to me that make my heart thump in my chest. He treats me like a princess, doesn't allow me to lift a finger, and does everything with me. At the music festival, he dances with me all night. He kisses me. He twirls me. He drinks with me. We laugh with his friends. I get to know everyone. We eat together. We explore together. We go on aventures together. During the day, we lay out on a dock near this warm lake, soaking up sunshine and sipping beer. We bond. We fall asleep together every night. We wake up next to each other every morning. We kiss too many times to count.
By the time it's over, we're closer. We're more comfortable with each other. We're intimate, and we touch, and we talk, and he kisses, and I kiss, and we can't keep our hands off of each other.
In the car ride back home to San Francisco, he says, "So ... Do you... Want to order Eat24, come watch all of my Sunday HBO shows with me, and spend the night at my place?"
"Yes!" I say, smiling, and we kiss for the millionth time.
Then, we have a perfect Sunday.
The next day, he texts me during work. He texts me after work. He calls me after work. He calls me before he goes to bed.
I can't believe this is happening.
Whatever this is, it's amazing.
I don't ever want it to stop.
I am so grateful.