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I’m sitting in a bar on a weekday night in a city I don’t know well. The place is starting to fill. The DJ just showed up. On a Tuesday night? Wow. I’m feeling pretty all right from dinner and a few pints. Took the edge off the caffeine I’d had at our initial rendezvous point. That was like six hours ago… I can’t remember everything I’ve said so far and I have to keep reminding myself not to stare. I’m buzzed.

Fascinating is an understatement. She has all of my attention. Did I just forget to breathe? There’s something that seems familiar about her… hell, we’d only met today. Everything’s clicking. Everything’s clicking?

She’s talking off the top of her head with no thought of consequence, or so it seems. She’s not trying to impress, just being herself. I think she’s pretty awesome but I still have my guard up. Being careful not to drop the wrong words and say something to screw this up. This date is a rare and addictive state all by itself. The weight from a rough year of learning experiences drags on me but I’m keeping up on my end. I think. I sure hope so. This one could wind up… grrr. I’m thinking about the future, I need to be here and now…

A few rounds and several topics later I catch myself feeling… unguarded. Vulnerable. It’s unfamiliar, and almost uncomfortable. Ok, frightening is a good word. I look inward, examine, decide that I’m safe, and the anxiety evaporates. When did I get so bound up? I tell her. Thought process and all. Why would I not? She smiles for like the thousandth time this evening and I realize my cheeks hurt from doing the same.

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