Fall Head Over Heels in Love

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Evan saw her medium-length deep brown hair, her beautiful brown eyes, and her genuine, toothy smile and he knew. He knew he could love her until the end of time. It was only a matter of how to get started.

Michelle was petite and absolutely stunning—the kind of girl that gets noticed everywhere she goes. Evan, not too shabby himself, was enthralled.

But he was also nervous. Approaching new people didn’t always come easily to him, and Michelle’s beauty certainly didn’t make it any easier. Despite his nerves, he knew he had to talk to her or he’d regret it his entire life.

Sadly, Evan didn’t realize his shoelace had become untied. His smooth approach was ruined in an instant as he tumbled head over heels towards Michelle.

Michelle immediately rushed to his side—however, she moved a little too quickly and she, too, tripped over her own two feet. As she tumbled onto the floor and landed next to Evan, she looked into his eyes and she knew. She knew she could love him until the end of time. It was only a matter of how to get started.

“Hi,” Michelle said, flashing her winning smile and tucking her hair behind her left ear.

“Hi,” Evan answered, smiling nervously and extending his hand. “I’m Evan.”

And that’s the story of how Evan and Michelle met and fell head over heels in love with each other.

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One of These Things is Not Like the Others

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It’s not like I’ve never been in a relationship—it’s just that I’ve never fallen for anyone quite so quickly. I’ve dated around plenty for someone my age, but I’ve always managed to get into bad relationships where there’s really no true love exchanged. I’ve been with guys who tell me I’m not funny and I should stop trying to be, but this new boy, he thinks I’m hilarious—and he has no problem telling me so. You’re my hero, he’ll text me when I say something particularly laugh-worthy. I’ve been with boys who force me to keep our relationship a secret, as if they’re ashamed to be with me. I can’t wait for you to meet my parents, they’re going to love you, he told me once. One of these things is not like the others.

Use her and lose her, hump her and dump her, get head then kick her out of bed. I’ve been with boys who’ve used these expressions as their guidelines for how to treat women. I can’t say I’m proud of those experiences, but this new boy isn’t like that. He doesn’t try to sext me or get naked pictures of me. He sends me drunken messages saying, I would love to take you on a date when you get back in town. He calls me bae and tells me how he can’t wait to date me. One of these things is not like the others.

He used to be in a fraternity, but he isn’t like the typical frat guy. He’s still a virgin and he’s never gotten head. I want my first time to be with you, he whispers to me when we’re out one night. I tell him I think it’s sweet that he’s waited for the right person when it would’ve been so easy to lose it to any girl at a frat party. He tells me he must’ve been waiting for me. One of these things is not like the others.

Things go great for a while, but all good things must come to an end. He suddenly cuts off all contact with me, blocks my number, and refuses to speak to me. Without any discernable reason, he just stops loving me. He doesn’t even have the guts to break up with me in person—or even through text message! I’ve never been broken up with in this way before, but I quickly learn it’s the most painful way to end a relationship. No answers, no closure. I can hardly believe I was so wrong about a person who I thought was so good and sweet and kind. I guess one of these things is not like the others.

Getting Down to Brass Tacks

Getting Down to Brass Tacks

I looked up from the papers I was about to sign and saw Jim standing there, delicately reading over his own set of documents. I looked at him. He was young and surprisingly attractive. He was an over-achiever, just like me, and he was a very hard worker. He was only 27 and he already owned and managed his factory, but that was less a testament to his hard work than to the tragedy that left him as the sole heir to his grandfather’s business.

It was weird to think that our grandfathers had been sworn enemies. It all started way back when they were the owners of the only two brass factories in Minnesota. At first they’d been friends—which isn’t a surprise considering how much they had in common. The need for brass was still high, so they weren’t yet feeling the heat of competition burning in their hearts.

But as the demand for brass slowly began to dwindle, the two old men became distant and started to harbor bitter feelings towards one another—especially because of the tack business, which was where they saw the biggest profit. I don’t know much about his grandfather, but mine became borderline obsessed with beating out his competition. It was all he really talked about as he aged, and he spoke of Jim’s grandfather with a fiery hatred I’d never understood.

Neither of my parents were interested in taking over the family business, so grandfather taught me the ins and outs of the brass business. Jim’s parents were all set to take over, but they died in a fire and Jim, their only son, was left with all the responsibilities and none of the training he needed to run a factory. To my surprise, he reached out to me and asked for advice.

His brass factory wasn’t doing well, but it meant the world to him. Though I am very business minded, I have a heart and I felt for him when he told me this was all he had left of his family. I decided to help him out by merging our factories and splitting ownership. It seemed like the least I could do to help a grieving man do right by his family.

“Before we sign these documents, let’s get down to brass tacks,” he said, looking up at me with a broad smile and a small chuckle. He had straight teeth and a twinkle in his eye.

I smiled back, letting him know that I was in on the joke. I could already tell this was going to be a successful partnership. I reached for my pen to sign our agreement.

*Thanks to my friend David Sanchez for suggesting this idioms. Everyone should check out his blog

Apple Of My Eye

Apple Of My Eye

“You’re the apple of my eye, darling,” Mark said on the cab ride home from the fancy restaurant, where he and his wife had had their fill of delicious food and quite a bit of wine.

“Oh yeah? Well, you’re the banana of my life,” Evelyn said, slurring her words in spirited, and wine-induced, debate.

After an uncomfortable silence, Mark said, “What does that even mean?”

“What do you even mean?” Evelyn retorted, surprisingly fast for someone who appeared to be on the verge of falling asleep.

Mark, who hadn’t had as much to drink, was starting to suspect that his beautiful wife had meant it as an insult.

“Do you mean I’m the one who helps you get through the day when you skip breakfast?” Mark asked, in an unsuccessful attempt to lighten the mood.

“No, I mean that you weren’t ripe when I chose you, and now you’re all mushy and old.” Evelyn giggled and poked at Mark’s belly as she said this. It was her own twisted way of lightening the mood, which Mark knew after 10 years of marriage.

They rode in silence for a minute before Mark said, “Really, Evelyn, you are the apple of my eye.”

“Really, babe, I hate apples and I don’t like being compared to one,” Evelyn said, closing her eyes and leaning her head against Mark’s chest.

“It’s just an expression, doll. It doesn’t mean you’re like an apple in any way, it just means that I love you,” Mark explained.

“Then why don’t you call me something else?” Evelyn said. After a pause, she added, “I like mangoes.”

“Fine,” Mark said. “You’re the mango of my soul.”

Evelyn looked up at him and smiled, then snuggled back against his chest and thought about how lucky she was to have married a man such as Mark.

On The Same Page

on the same page

I finally told him how I felt after all this time. We’d been seeing each other off-and-on for about six months, and I only just felt comfortable telling him that I really genuinely cared about him. I was careful not to do so too soon, as I’ve made that mistake in the past and it really doesn’t end well. Not in my experience, at least. The other thing I was careful not to do? Use that L-word. You know, that four letter word that people write songs and poems about, the one that everyone’s afraid to be the first to say, the one that means you care about the other person’s happiness more than you care about your own? Yeah, you know which word. Anyways, I didn’t use that word, though I certainly thought about how I could spend the rest of my life with him and be truly happy.

That’s all beside the point. The point is that I told him how I felt in a very casual, yet meaningful, way and I was extremely proud of myself for doing so because emotions are not something I’m generally in touch with. So there we were, standing on the porch under the stars, and I was filled with good feelings. Until he responded, that is.

“There’s something I’ve got to tell you,” he said, and my mind raced to think of all the different things he might need to tell me. Maybe he would tell me he had the greatest time with me? Or that he wanted to be with me exclusively, in a dating capacity? Or maybe that I was different and special, the way he did that first night we met? he felt the L-word towards me? Or maybe he’d tell me he felt the L-word towards me? I could barely contain myself as I stood there under the stars, his arms wrapped around my waist.

I looked up at him and said, “Go ahead, what’s on your mind?”

“There’s this other girl…” he trailed off.

He might’ve kept talking, but I couldn’t really focus on the words coming out of his mouth. I just stood there, smiling like an idiot and nodding along in agreement as if that’s exactly what I expected him to say. I did hear him say that he wasn’t interested in having a girlfriend, and that he liked me but there’d been other girls he’d seen while I was away at school. Girls—plural. That killed me. But I continued nodding and smiling and looking at the stars just beyond his head because looking at him directly was a little too difficult at that moment.

I’d been so wrong. But how had I been so wrong? I’d thought we were on the same page, but it turns out we weren’t even reading the same book.