This story is by Maria Ayala and was part of our 2016 Winter Writing Contest. You can find all the Winter Writing Contest stories here.
Do you remember the first girl you ever fell in love with? The way she looked, the way she smelled. When you first see her you almost forget how to breathe, like suddenly all the air got consumed by her presence; there was no gravity, there was just her. I never really believed in love at first sight until she stepped out of her Honda onto the parking lot scrambling to cover the mess in her blonde curls that reached the small of her back. I was in love and I haven’t even shook her hand yet. The minute her oceanic blue eyes locked with my dark, brown, dr. pepper eyes my world stopped and I knew that I was in trouble.
My boyfriend had just broken up with me a week ago. Exactly three days afterwards I found out he was cheating on me with the town slut. I was broken, I was livid, I was free. This was not the first time my heart was shattered, it certainly wouldn’t be the last. I am bi sexual but I have only kissed girls in dark closets and fooled around a couple times at drunken parties, but I had never fallen in love with a girl before. Not until I met Tiffany Stone online.
I was listening to the radio that night and a song started playing. It went something like “She said, hello mister, pleased to meet ya, I wanna hold her, I wanna kiss her…” and I felt butterflies fly in my tummy at the sound of the melody; I couldn’t wait to meet Tiffany the next day.
We met at Macy’s parking lot. She opened the door for me and held my hand on the drive to our date. Holding her small hands felt so familiar, they felt a little like home. I wasn’t used to affection, I could count on one hand how many times I’ve held my ex-boyfriend’s hand. Tiffany took us to The Cheesecake Factory, the nicest restaurant around. We sat by the bar, I twirled in my seat, gazing at the decor of the restaurant. It was gigantic like it belonged to a Roman Empire or straight out of Florence, Italy. It was beautiful, and I knew that there was no way I could repay the gesture. I hadn’t told her how I put in my two weeks at the casino. Her hand stroked my cheek and she kissed me. Kissing her felt like being kissed for the first time. Every kiss before her felt bland in comparison, like I was a frog and finally my princess had come to bring me back to life.
Do you believe in fate? Or just coincidence? I have asked myself the same questions ever since I met Tiffany. I wanted to believe my last relationship had to end, so it could lead me to her. Everything happens for a reason, and she was my reason.
On the drive I laid my head on her chest to listen to the pounding of her heart.”…I wanna hold her, I wanna kiss her, she smelled of daisies, she drives me crazy…” It was the song from the other night. “This song reminds me of you, I don’t know why but it just reminds me of us. I hope you don’t think I’m lame…” I cut her off. “No you’re not!” I explain how just the night before I heard this song for the first time and it made me think of her. She grabs my hand and kisses it and says, “This is our song then.” We made out at the stoplight until the car behind us honked. It was fate.
The next morning we went outside to smoke a cigarette “Okay, there is something I’m scared to tell you because I don’t want you to think differently of me.” I said “Okay, you can tell me anything.” she said “You know, how I never told you where I worked?” Our first conversation online we asked where we worked. “You told me you worked at a bar, right?” and she started smiling huge like a child who has gotten caught in a lie. “I didn’t lie” as she was reading my thoughts. “It’s not a regular bar” she hesitates. “I’m a stripper. My stripper name is Aria.” she stutters out. “Please don’t judge me, I’ll quit and find a real job soon.” she hugs me and I tell her it’s okay. Since we were sharing secrets I admit to her how I am jobless and she kisses me and says “At least you’re out of that awful place, you’ll find a better job soon babygirl.”we walk inside and she decides to show me some of her dance moves in the middle of her living room, and I tried not to stare every time she spread her legs towards me; I could get used to dating a stripper.
Tiffany had lots of money. After admitting to being a stripper she ended up showing me shoeboxes filled with the money she earned. The clothes she wore came from only the best designers and the heels she bought specifically for work were almost two grand. All the clothes and shoes I wore I have had for years. I wasn’t the girl with the new Nike shoes, I was the girl wearing worn down converses. One day she asked “What’s your favorite store to shop at?” and I mumble Forever21, she looks disappointed but says PacSun is her favorite store because it has her favorite brand which was Diamond Supply.
We decided to ride to the beach to meet up with her friend, I told her to pay my way we could use my car, she jumped at the idea but immediately regretted it once she realized my car could not connect to her pandora because some of my fuses were out. I burned with embarrassment, I didn’t even have a decent enough car for her to drive in.” Two hours later we arrive and it’s past midnight. She says we’ll visit the beach tomorrow. Instead I meet Jackie, she looks like a model she’s taller, smaller, beautiful, and has style. I shrink in my seat as she hands me a beer. Tiffany crinkles her nose once she sees me holding a beer, but grabs one for herself. “I’m a beer kind of girl” she just responds nonchalantly “I’m a liquor kind of girl” and I realize that even with alcohol we have our differences.
The next morning, she had changed her mind about going to the beach “You don’t mind if we don’t go to the beach do you? I don’t feel like visiting the beach anymore, I need to get back home.” I just nodded and told her it was fine, but it wasn’t fine. I tried reaching for her hand but she kept both hands on the wheel.
After I dropped her off I received a text from her telling me that she doesn’t think we’re going to work. I texted back eagerly “why” curiosity biting at the edge of my lips. I kept driving until she texted back. “Mia, don’t take this the wrong way, but I want a girl like Jackie that has style, someone who goes out of their way to look their best, I hope you don’t think I’m a bad person for thinking this way, you’re a sweet girl and I care about you so much but I’m just confused, I don’t know I need time to think…” I pulled into a parking lot and stared at the text. My heart sank to the bottom of her oceanic blue eyes, she had left me broken once again.
Tiffany Stone was the first girl I had ever fallen in love with. Being with her showed me that I could have an even greater love than I could have ever had with any man. Tiffany was a spontaneous, reckless, a fireball of energy that radiated with love and generosity, she would give up her left arm if it meant that her loved ones were okay. She was as sweet as her kisses. Although, inside her heart she is as golden as the blonde in her curls, she lives for the world and not for herself. The crave to have approval of others was an infectious disease that she carried with her, she appeared as shallow as the pool we walked by in the pouring rain holding hands the first day we met, but she wasn’t. Tiffany was struggling with her identity just as much as I was at the time. Her life was consumed with dollar signs, drugs, and late night dances with men she despised but paid for her rent and adventures. She was hustling while I was at a stand still in my life. She was rich, living a lie. I was poor, searching for more. I was alone again; because I couldn’t compete with the life of Aria.