After my date turned closet-romance with Candy, I was glowing. There was no other way to put it. I’d never felt as good about myself and my life and my future as I did in those days. Every time I so much as thought of her, Candy put a smile on my face. And why? Simply because she was who she was. Beautiful and thoughtful and intelligent, and willing to put up with my interests because she shared the same interests I did!
Janie: “Wow. That was a nice date.”
~TWO DAYS LATER~
Janie: “Gotta eat right today-can’t be bloated on my date with Candy tonight.”
~THREE DAYS LATER~
Janie: “This is all for Candy!”
As much as I pushed myself to be good and beautiful and slim for her, that was the amazing thing about Candy—I knew she never expected me to be any of those things. Sure, she appreciated them (she told me that enough, during numerous other adventures in closets and beds and bushes), but I had had the feeling from day one that, if any of those things were to change, Candy would still be there.
That was something entirely unique and new for me. That had been the crux of my parents’ relationship—my mother would do something my father disapproved of, and he would threatened to leave. My father did something my mother would disapprove of, and she would tell him he should leave. It was all about coming and going—if you’re not exactly the way I want you, then you’re worth nothing to me.
Candy was different.
Janie: “To my dearest Candy…”
And I was becoming an inexorable sop for her. Writing love poems and publishing songs in her honor. It was more than a little absurd, but I reveled in the glow of it all.
Since Candy and I had started seeing each other, we’d been on dates almost every night. But they were always her idea—as wrapped up as I was in my adoration of her, I was still wary about going too fast. That is, I was worried about suggesting anything that might make us “go too fast.” But if Candy suggested it? I was entirely on board.
Because of this self-imposed taboo on my suggesting things, Candy had always taken me out. Around three months in to our dating, however, I was sitting at the breakfast table, contemplating my eggs, and waiting for Candy call (she usually did around that time, to ask me out for the night). But, as I waited and waited (and waited and waited and waited) I realized something: (a) this was pathetic. I was a strong, independent woman for the Creator’s sake, what was I doing waiting around for a phone call. And (b)?
Janie: “I should ask Candy out for once!”
Now, it’s not that I was inconsiderate, B. Candy liked planning dates. Every time she called to ask me, she had this giddy ring in her voice; and, once I inevitably said yes, she would launch into plans about what we would do and where we would go and just how fun it would be—what else should I expect, dating a cheerful sim? So it wasn’t like I had taken three months to take a load off her shoulders. I just thought it might be nice, for once.
We met somewhere new, different from our usual haunts. Why should I take her to the same places we always go? Instead of a nightclub or a late night bar, I wanted to do something different.
Candy: “This place is so adorable! Where are we?”
Janie: “On the edge of Windenburg. This is the Teahaus Tavern. Best brews this side of the Magnolia River, or so I’ve heard. But they’re really renowned for their atmosphere.”
Candy: “Oh, this is nice!”
And it was. We had yet to be on a date where it seemed like it was just about the two of us. Inevitably at our usual venues, we were surrounded by people. Even if we weren’t including them in our conversation, they were right nearby (often pressed right up against us). Between them and the music (DJs don’t usual play conversational background music, you know?) we’d yet to have a date where we could really sit and talk to one another.
Janie: “Candy, I adore you.”
Candy: “And I adore you.”
We sat there in a corner booth, exchanging sweet nothings. Occasionally, I would lean up and whisper something dirty in her ear, just to catch her off guard.
Janie: “Next time I have you home…”
Candy: “Oh, Janie! Wicked woman!”
And then there were some moments, where we would just sit and stare into each other’s eyes.
When we kissed that day, we kissed sweetly. Almost chastely. Tenderly. Like we were these delicate things, pure and unstained, to be touched only with the gentlest care.
When we touched, we touched softly. Not pushing or pulling or guiding, just feeling. Learning the way each other’s skin felt against the back of our hands.
We melted into each other like butter on a hot day, warm and golden and delicious.
And once we’d wrapped ourselves around each other, we didn’t want to let go.
We WooHooed in a bush just outside the tavern’s doors. Despite the location, it was just as slow and soft and sweet as the rest of our day had been—the kind of WooHoo that wouldn’t be out of place in a period romance, where, at the moment of climax, doves softly take wing.
It was beautiful.
Janie: “That was amazing.”
Janie: “Oh, by the Creator. I’ve become attached.”
There was no mistaking it. And, as far as I could tell, there was no turning back. The thing that Candy and I had just done—regardless of its location—was making love. There was no other way to describe it.
Casual lovers don’t make love. Lovers—the in love kind—made love. And… I couldn’t be in love with Candy! This had all gone too fast. It’d only been a few months, after all. Just a dozen or so weeks. I couldn’t be in love after that time.
I’d done the opposite of what I meant to. I’d leapt straight in. I’d let Candy and her sweet smile and melodious laugh and glorious eyes and soft skin and cherry lips and… I’d let all of it seduce me away from my steady path of slow. Of steady. She’d caught me off guard, and I’d fallen right into the void with her.
Did I regret it? I couldn’t decide. Should I end it? No, that I couldn’t imagine. I was too far gone. But, what to do? Was there a way to ensure that we were truly compatible? Was there a way to guarantee that, further down the line, if things came to hardships and tight money and maybe I’d gain some weight along the way and, and children. If those things all came to pass, how was I to know that she would stay?
I slept fitfully that night, dreaming alternately of Candy’s golden hair and of drowning in pleas not to leave me.
But dreamers aren’t revered as innovators for nothing, and my dreams did not fail me this night. In between the nightmares and the dreams of a particular distracting smile, I found dreams of inspiration. And so, the whole next morning, I planned.
Janie: “I’ll go and buy some bottles…”
Janie: “I’ll bring it straight home…”
Janie: “I’m sure I have room for it-if I scooch the gym equipment closer together, made another wall. It could work.”