The girl who changed everything, I met once only briefly. She doesn’t know all of my deepest secrets, the ones that betray me. This girl isn’t someone I have slept with, or even kissed. She’s not a saint… but she changed my life.
This girl, a southern girl with a sweet smile and a hidden wild streak, didn’t mean to change anything. In fact, I doubt she even knows that she did. No, this girl doesn’t set out to change people. She sees the best in everyone and tells you about it every time you speak. She has a heart of gold, and a soul that’s only ever been explored surface deep. Those around her have never understood this girl. There has never been another to recognize her potential or her depth. Something tells me she doesn’t even know it yet.
However, I caught a glimpse. Fate brought us together just once. Moment after moment I found myself alone with her, face to face, looking a little too deeply into her eyes. I often felt my chest closing, tightening itself around my heart… building a wall as quickly as it could while it pounded away.
Unfortunately, there were cracks in the foundation, and my motivation was weak. Her gaze seeped through, and I knew I had to discover her, this girl. I had to understand her thoughts and why she felt certain ways. I found myself grasping to the information that she shared and wrapping it in cotton. I placed it gently on a shelf in my mind hoping it wouldn’t break or disappear. The thought of her consumed my mind and captured my attention so wholly that the images of us became more vivid in my mind now than they ever were in person. Every moment played back in my mind then in slow motion and continues to.
It wasn’t passion or lust. It wasn’t a decision that I made. It was a reaction. A connection. It was what happened to me the moment we met for the first time. I never saw her standing there, but I heard her voice. It was a voice so strangely familiar, yet one I knew I shouldn’t recognize. I hugged her immediately. I had heard so many great things, and I found myself focusing on everything about her.
The first time I caught her alone in the car, we had a conversation about sexuality. She knew before I arrived that I was a lesbian. Our mutual friend had mentioned it many times. In fact, the thing that people remember most about me from high school is that I am gay. She had a friend that she believed to be gay, but had never really been around people who were. I knew then that there was something special about her. She didn’t have the typical southern mentality. She saw things so openly. She was non-judgmental, and wasn’t at all fazed or made uncomfortable by my openness. It was okay that I was gay.
I knew after that we would never stop talking. I knew that we had the potential to have a friendship that most people never dreamt of and that I would do anything in my power to make sure that would happen. She is a lot like me, this girl. Especially before I left home. My heart wide with purpose, so sure it would burst if I didn’t use it. So I chased my heart and my dreams to the big city scene. He’s going through the same thing right now.
Some have even said we looked alike, but I don’t think seeing her is looking back at me. I think that she’s the better version. it wasn’t until I saw her cry that I saw her heart.
She sat inches from my face, tears welling in her eyes. They were red-rimmed and threatening to spill over… her mascara waiting to run. And there it was. Her heart. It just sat there swimming in the tears. Doing flips that caused waves of emotion, pushing each drop closer to the edge. Looking back I can’t even remember what all I said while trying to comfort her. I just remember thinking that I would do anything to help her stop. Even share my tequila.
And as she stopped crying she hugged my neck and said “You are incredible.” How was I supposed to repeat that and make it sound genuine? I couldn’t, but she was incredible… and she stole the words right out of my mouth.
That night, the music and the lights swam in between us. The way her hair fell in front of her big greenish-blue eyes as they danced their way across the room. I would remember her forever, this girl. The girl who changed everything.
Don’t be confused. I’m not in love with her. I’m likely never to see her again. The thing that she changed isn’t my relationship status or even my heart. No. This girl changed my mentality. She showed me something in the South that I haven’t seen before. She showed me respect, and equality. She helped me believe in the greater good of this country, and the better half of myself.
Some people will never believe that marriage between two women is ok, much less legal. Some same sex couples will never be allowed to marry. In certain areas, hate crimes will still exist… but here in the deepest of the south sits a girl who sees a woman… Not a lesbian. A woman who recognizes a friend… not a menace.
And as I drove off my phone vibrated a message from her. “I’m so glad fate brought us together.” So am I. She will never recognize how much.