December 31st, 2003 was the most awkward night of my life. And I feel confident that this is not an exaggeration. My husband and I had separated in October, but we decided to keep up appearances over the holidays. That and I couldn't afford to move out until tax time anyway. Despite all that stress, I wanted to throw an awesome New Year's party. My best friend was visiting and I wanted her to have a good time. I threw on my best cute goth outfit, touched up my purple streaks and loaded up on hard cider, determined to have a good time.
When I say, "Party at my house," a lot of people usually come. This time they didn't. Except for two of my ex boyfriends. As the last hours of 2003 dribbled away, I sat there, looking great but feeling more dejected by the minute. So when ex #2 said, "Hey, a friend of mine is having a kegger just down the street,"we were all for it, even though we'd have to walk.
"Just down the street" turned out to be a little over three miles...in the snow. As I trudged alongside ex #1 (who was my first boyfriend when we were 13 until he came out of the closet the next year) He looked at his watch and said, "Happy New Year." I began 2004 knee deep in snow and freezing my ass off with bottles of hard cider clinking in my pockets. It was not a good start.
When at last we reached our destination, I was rewarded by the sight of a candy red '75 Chevy Nova in the driveway. The night was looking up. At least there would be someone there to talk muscle cars. The "party" was not a hopping affair. Just a few people sitting in the garage and drinking beer. I was glad I brought my own.
And then, I saw him.
The hottest guy I'd ever seen was sitting in the corner messing with the stereo and head-banging to some good heavy metal. He had a glorious mass of rich dark curly hair and cinnamon-tinted skin. Oh no, I thought to myself, I better stay away from him. I was just ending a relationship. I so didn't need any involvement with anyone else. But instead of moving away, I sat on the couch nearby. Ex #1 sat next to me and with a knowing smile he whispered, "That guy's hot!"
I nodded and tried to look away from the eye candy. Ex #2 and Ex #3 went to go get some beer. My best friend went to go do a keg stand. Ex #1 grinned and left me alone with Mr. Hotness. Well, I thought, maybe I can flirt a little. I'll probably never see him again anyway.
With a belly full of butterflies, I slowly inched closer to him, struggling to come up with something interesting to say. He noticed my scrutiny and looked up at me expectantly. His eyes were dark and captivating and his face was a sculpted masterpiece.
"Hi.....," I managed to squeak.
"Hi," he replied noncommittally. His voice was deep and sent tingles up my spine.
"I..uh...I like your hair," I babbled. The practiced flirt had fled. She must have been cowering somewhere in the corner of my mind.
A hint of a smile curved his lips, whether in amusement or flattery, I had no clue. He thanked me and went back to flipping through a book of CDs. Face flaming, I sat back down on the couch and sipped my cider trying to feign indifference.
People began to trickle back into the garage and I conversed with my exes, willing myself not to look at the hot guy. But then he sat down next to me. After a long moment of silence, he nodded towards Ex #3 and asked, "Is that your husband?"
"Yes," I answered, practically trembling with awkwardness, "But we're separated." I rushed on with a quick run-down of the situation.
"I'm Damian," he said, and shook my hand.
Oh God, he had a sexy name, too. I was doomed. Still, unable to stop myself, I began asking typical first-date type questions. It turned out that he was 36 and had two kids. I liked older men, but I was 21. 36 was a lot older than I usually went. But I smiled and showed him a picture of my 2 year old son anyway.
After awhile he handed me a piece of paper. "Call me," he said. I giggled and babbled a response that I hoped was at least in English. Sometime I remember quickly flashing him one of my boobs. I was a little tipsy.
The party broke up and he offered us all a ride home in his sexy Nova. Of course it was his. He had an El Camino too. All the exes refused. So I insisted my best friend ride with me to make sure I didn't make too much of an ass of myself. All the while I told myself I wouldn't call him.
Give me a little credit. I made it 2 days before I called him. Maybe he could just be a one night stand.
Now, seven years later, Damian and I are ready to celebrate another New Year's.