LIBRETTO

Melody | Vanessa Osei Bonsu

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I was at a house party, the first time I met her. I remember not wanting to go but forgetting my hesitation the minute I laid eyes on her. It was like a scene out of a romance movie. I the protagonist, and she, my too-good-to-be-true love interest. I had never wanted to be friends with anyone the way I wanted to be friends with her.

She had on a 5SOS band tee-shirt and, some ripped skinny jeans. She was simply breathtaking. Everything about her made me feel like I was on fire.


Hot and bothered.


A beauty in every sense of the word. She walked with more grace than I could ever imagine possible in a human. Her laugh was breathy, and her dimples would flash adorably anytime she laughed. We spent the entire night talking about how terrible college was and debating on which was better; Marvel or DC. I laughed at all her jokes, even the ones that were not very funny. After a night of irresponsible drinking and teenage fun, I drove her home.


I spent the entire car ride trying not to make the conversation die, I asked her questions about everything; from family, matters to which kind of bread she liked. When I finally parked in front of her building I resisted the urge to hug her tight to me and asked for her number instead. Numbers were exchanged as well as goodbyes, promises were made to meet up and as I watched her walk into her hostel I knew she was every man’s dream.


But I was no man.


The urges I had towards her threatened my good catholic upbringing. A woman was never to lie with another woman no matter what. I was also thought to flee from temptation but was I not getting ahead of myself? Even if I was interested in her there was no guarantee she liked me back. I mean why throw away what could be an amazing friendship for a tiny harmless crush. With that I was able to sleep guilt-free at night, thinking I had avoided temptation cleverly.


We spent weeks texting or talking. Meeting up, first once or twice a week before I knew it we were seeing each other every day. She felt familiar and comfortable, unlike anything or anyone I had ever experienced. She gave this sense of security so I stuck to her like a tack. the times I was not with her, I was counting down the minutes till I saw her. For the first time in my life, I finally understood what it was like to have a crush. But I held on fast to my beliefs, maybe she did not even bat for the other team.


Like a child with candy, I was obsessed and I can finally admit that to myself now. How could I not be obsessed with the girl who went through the rain to comfort me after a particularly hard call with my parents? My father was upset that I was not being the same straight-A student that I was in high school and I was frustrated with his lack of understanding. She was the first person I spoke to after the call. I tried not to cry out in frustration on the phone. This woman came through the heavy rain to comfort me. Because it sounded like I was about to cry.


She burst through my doors and wrapped her arms around me. I cried out when she did, letting out all my frustrations. She later made a hot meal, cleaned my place, and lay by me the entire night. I fell hard and fast because She made loving her so easy, and I was always a fan of the uncomplicated.


Being aware of my feelings made me extra cautious around her. I tried, truly I did. But she had me wrapped tight around her finger. I had fallen hard and fast, and there was no way of getting up. She was my safe haven, the person I ran to for everything, and I liked to believe she ran to me too. I had never felt this way about anyone else, it terrified me a lot. She made me happy, I also did everything in my power to make her happy too.


I found myself spending all my time with her. Texting her during class and taking long car rides together. It was during one of such rides that she came out to me. We had gotten burgers and fries. As I looked for somewhere to park the car, Justin Bieber’s Baby came on the radio. I almost did a double-take from how hard the nostalgia hit me.


“I used to have the biggest crush on Justin Bieber. Well, who did not?” I said. It was such an embarrassing thing for me to admit, but I felt like I could tell her anything.


With a mouth already stuffed with food, she said matter-of-factly, “I didn’t”
To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Justin Bieber then was what all these Kpop stars are now except a lot less cool.


“Who did you have a crush on then?” I had an eyebrow raised to show I did not buy what she had said. She took her sweet time chewing her food slowly as if to torture me. By the time she was done swallowing, I had found a place to park.


“Alex Russo,” Huh?
“Isn’t that just Selena Gomez?” After all, she was the person playing the character.
“Unlike you beliebers, I liked her for her personality, not her looks,” she answered back teasingly with a smirk. Her explanation caused the weight of her confession to finally settle in my mind. I was so occupied by her lack of adoration of JB that I had completely skipped over the fact that she admitted to liking girls when it finally clicked, I wanted to jump for joy and curl up in a ball. I was as horrified as I was elated. Horrified because the only thing that helped me keep my feelings at bay and avoid the daily temptation was that I thought she was straight. Elated, because I might actually have a chance with the only person who I had ever had a crush on.


My thoughts were probably broadcast on my face because she suddenly turned to me and said, “Do you want to know if I am gay?”
Stumped into silence by how bold she was, I just stared ahead out of the car and nodded quietly.

“I am I really hope this does not change anything between us,” she spoke so softly I felt a little bad.


I looked her dead in the eye, “The last thing I would ever do is make you feel like I was uncomfortable with who you are.”
Because honestly, I was never going to make her feel bad after everything she had done for me. I got over my shock and we enjoyed our meal like we usually did. All the while hoping nothing had changed.
Things went back to normal after that, and I even thought I had gotten over my crush, but really the devil works in mysterious ways.


During an unplanned slumber party, we decided to watch something new and out of our comfort zone. She suggested a movie called the handmaiden.


She told me it was a lesbian movie, and I was okay with it. Where it will lead I would have put on an episode of Friends and be done with it.


Had always been taught to flee from temptation, and these would have been good moments to exercise those teachings.
During the entire movie, I found myself getting closer, and closer to her. Almost cuddling. The bath scene came on, and I could not help myself I started to look at her and wondered if this could ever be us.
It seems she was thinking the same because she turned to look at me, and those few seconds of intense eye contact was what it took to have my resolve crumbling down.


I stared at her, taking in her plump red lips, the twinkle in her eyes, and her cute button nose, I was a goner. Always thought I would be more like Jesus in the face of temptation but, I was more like Eve giving In swiftly to temptation.


I was weak and powerless to her beauty, and for the first time in my life, I was happy.

Vanessa Osei Bonsu is a graduate student of University of Alberta studying Human Ecology. Some of their other work can be found online at ahautemess.wordpress.com 
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