Joyel: This Little Love of Mine
A completely neurotic girl who clumsily fell in love
All of my friends at the time had boyfriends and though I didn’t really want a boyfriend, I was tired of being the third wheel. I had never really been in love, and I didn’t care to be. I was quite happy on my own and at 20 years old I wasn’t ready to fall, but I did – I fell hard.
I remember the first time I saw Phil’s face 7 years ago. After a few too many Gin & Tonic’s, double shots and a double dare, I somehow signed myself up to a random dating website. I filled out all of the information for my “ideal mate” right down to his name - and there he was! After reading over his profile on the website, and staring at his picture for far too long, I sent him a message and asked him to be my boyfriend. The next morning, I came across an e-mail from him. I was mortified; he thought it was hysterical. Next thing I knew, we were chatting online every day. We became friends but had never met each other face to face. We were each other’s little secret.
About a month later, my friend begged me to go out dancing with her; little did I know she was bringing me on a blind date. She had a friend who she thought was perfect for me and she knew I would never agree to a blind date, so she tricked me in to it. As it turned out, this “friend” of hers was coincidentally the very same boy I met on the internet: Phil. We finally met face to face and spent the whole night talking and laughing together. Over the next few months we would see each other at the bar, and we continued to chat online. Before I knew it, I was falling. I was rushing home from work to talk to him, I was changing outfits about a hundred times before going out to the bar to see him, and butterflies were creeping up and down my spine with every look he gave me. The thought of being alone with him scared me half to death because I was terrified of what would happen if he actually kissed me. I didn’t want to fall, so I ran away – from him, from my feelings, from true love’s kiss.
I moved across the country. I didn’t know it at the time, but it broke his heart, and it broke mine too. This boy from the internet made me feel so alive that it scared me. It scared me to know that loving someone that much gave them the power to hurt me. I didn’t want to be hurt. So I ran, I ran as fast and as far as I could, but I regretted running because when I came back it was too late. For the years that followed, I traveled, I studied, and I continued to live my life, but I also continued loving him from afar. Life had a way of leading us back to each other. We would go months without e-mailing for various reasons, but whenever we would run into each other again, it was like we had never been apart. We had our own little world in which we lived - a world where only he and I existed with late night conversations and stories about each other’s lives. We had our own inside jokes; one about how we would get married under a palm tree in the year 2012.
I could never bring myself to tell him how I really felt, nor could he. We talked about everything under the sun except for the big elephant in the room – us! Phil always had a girlfriend because he was scared of what would happen between him and me if he were single. He wasn’t ready to be in love either and he knew that that’s exactly what would happen if he were with me. On my end, I assumed he always had a girlfriend because he didn’t want to be with me. We went on for four years without knowing that we felt the exact same way about each other all along. We were just too kids who fell in love at first sight, but who were too afraid of the feelings we had. Until the day Phil did something that hurt me more than I could have ever imagined and I realized that I didn’t even have to be with him for him to be able to hurt me like that. He broke my heart, just like I broke his. I swore to myself that I would never talk to him again. I deleted him from my computer and from my life without ever giving him the chance to explain.
One year later, a friend of mine called me up and told me she saw him at the bar where she worked. She said that when she mentioned my name to him, his face lit up. And just like that, Phil was back in my life. I decided to give it one last chance, but I promised myself that this was it. If I was going to have him in my life again, I was going to find out once and for all how he felt. I sent him a text message and asked him if he wanted to come over to my place to hang out. That night, we had our first date. It was like we had never been apart. It took four years, but he finally kissed me and when he did, I was ready for it. And now, three years later, we’re planning our life together. And of course, our 2012 wedding – under a palm tree!
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