Telling and listening to “coming out” stories are always fun. Lesbian 101 tells me it’s one of the most important stories I own. Yet there is one story that beats my out-of-closet experience hands down. My first proper “straight-girl” crush. It, or rather the thought of her, still move my lips into a self-indulgent side smirk.
She was well… beautiful. I laid eyes on her dark short hair, her tiny but bigger-than-mine frame. Her confidence and arrogance killing any SMS (short man syndrome) she was hiding. I’ll call her “Mine”, for the purpose of my fantasy and her anonymity.
“Mine” was a more senior colleague. I’m not sure where I first set eyes on her, but I remember I required a double breath to get air back into my lungs so as to continue breathing. There may have been an involuntary sigh that escaped. I was introduced, and the yearning was born…
From that moment I noticed everything about “Mine”. Her skin, her frame, her curves. How her lips were filled with organic lip liner and shine. How she was strong without the testosterone feel. How her walk reminded me of figure-skating, Olympic style.
“Mine” had to figure-skate passed my office to get to hers. Each time she did, I lost all sense of reality. As a usually talkative and high energy level individual, I was accustomed to being friendly with all colleagues, but when she entered, I turned into a fumbling fool waiting for someone to put a gun to the side of my head and relieve me of this high school crush state. I specifically recall a day she walked into the office; the first time we were alone… she had come to ask a question. All I could do was stand, gawk like I was seeing aliens for the first time, and feel the colour creep up my face. In my mind, I ran, like a scared bokkie across the green veld of the Kruger trying to save itself from the hungry lioness. In reality I stood there, big eyes staring and transfixed, mumbling an “I don’t know” because I had not really heard the question. In her usual “I-rule-the-world-swag” she turned and left. Mortified, I asked the earth to swallow me whole.
This one-side unrequited yearning became the reason I woke up, the reason I hated weekends when I couldn’t see her, my soul purpose, and a realisation that liking girls was about more than just me having an open mind. I was never really able to overcome the stupidity and foolishness “Mine” had led me to. In her presence I barely uttered a word, her energy filled the room and I was reduced to 16 again. I could imagine white doves carrying “Ode-to-Mine” scrolls to her window sill whilst I stood below, strumming away on my instrument.
I could never really step to “Mine”. In my eyes, she was a beautiful Egyptian queen. All I wanted to do was wave palm tree leaves over her light bronzed clear skin, and fetch milk to bathe her in. Dark pools of brown eyes pierced me every time she turned in my direction, and I was acutely aware of African drums beating in my nether regions. My legs (fortunately) would automatically lead me in an opposite direction. She was to be revered, idolised, but never embraced.
At the time, I was new in the conscious lesbian emotion department, my only reference was fondling with my high school crush. “Mine’s” effect on my heart was so consuming that I swore I heard church bells ring. Albeit this love affair only ever saw the light in my dreams, the feelings she let loose in me changed the way I saw the world. She was and still is, straight. I didn’t believe it then, how could the universe be so unkind? I had always hoped that via tortured passion and yearning, she would fall into my arms * blame corny movies*. “Mine” was too much for a young fresh lesbian heart.
12 years later and Facebook returns the fantasy via a “poke”. “Mine” is escorted from past, to right here. My heart still skips a beat when I see her name pop up on my screen. Like any tortured wish-I-was-her-lover, I wonder whether there was ever even a slight possibility. I wonder whether she ever knew she turned my life upside down. And now, when she inbox’s me on how sweet she thought I was, I wonder whether she realises that once upon a time she was the object of my unrequited affections? I wonder if she knows that through her presence I discovered a different me?
And as I “come out” to my longest standing friends. As I try and make them understand how these feelings are the same as theirs for their husbands, “Mine” is my most favourite story to tell. How I found awakening in her eyes, how I knew the story of me would not see me following the hetero norm. That first time you know in your gut that this story was the beginning. My first same-sex, lovesick, heartfelt, want. My most beautiful and silent crush.