I don’t trust easily and my heart is kept in a reinforced steel box under a lock I don’t even have the key to. It’s not that I mean to be unapproachable and difficult. I simply don’t know how to trust in the chemical explosion our culture calls love.
Odd for a romance writer to say, I know. My stories have an edge and I make my characters work for their happily ever after for precisely this reason–because love is work in addition to all the fun stuff that comes with a relationship worth having.
This weekend I met someone. We spent a total of an hour together all told. He was an absolute gentleman. Is it sad that I’ve never met a gentleman before? And that this aspect of his personality swept me completely and unexpectedly off my feet?
Handsome? Check. Body to die for? Check. Ready smile? Check. Concerned for my feelings and well being? Check. Seemed engaged and interested in what I had to say? Check. He put me at ease and went out of his way for me. Then he made himself vulnerable to me in return, in ways I’d never imagined.
How could such a short series of conversations lead to such an intimate connection, at least for my part? Me of the prickly heart and sealed off soul?
Honestly, I don’t know, and if I’d seen it all coming I simply would’ve run away before I had to face this reeling lack of emotional and mental control that always accompanies this sort of connection. It’s like having a love flu. You can only wait it out until your immune system seizes control of your brain once more and you return to something resembling sanity.
What does an author do when this happens? Well, this one would like to write a highly fictionalized account of this encounter. For an author, any author, their own likes and dislikes, passions and preferences tend to translate in one way or another to their characters, both male and female. It was incredible, therefore, to meet someone who seemed to walk off the page and into my life. Someone who left me with a sense of promise and hope in something I’d almost ceased to believe in–the reality of romance.
Love? Lust? As sexy as he was, honestly, it’s neither. There was a connection there, at least for my part, which created a deep seated need to know him better. To hear him speak about his life and his dreams. To get to know him as a friend, a person with three dimensions and a past as well as hopes for the future.
Yes, friendship. I’d like any relationship to begin and end there because when the going gets rough it’s a true friend who will see you through to the end. I think this man is someone I could count on and value as a friend. That’s the highest compliment I can give, and the quality I try to imbue in every character I place on the page.
A true hero is ultimately a friend worth having. That is the sort of man I want to write about, and the one to whom someday I might dare to trust my heart.