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I had five extra minutes. Traffic was heavy. I fiddled in the driver’s seat and beat the steering wheel. “One Way or Another” by Blondie was on the radio, and this makes me giggle as I make a left turn going recklessly fast just to save four seconds.

Couldn’t manage to figure out where to park. Crawling over a concrete wall and running up to your building. Neighbors giggling at my haste to reach you.

Five minutes. That’s it, I tell myself. Seriously, I have to be somewhere very important.

I could hear music playing in his living room. His voice on the phone, through the door. Could feel the surprise in his “Hold on a second. Somebody’s here.” in part statement, part question.

Door open. Eyes big. “I’m gonna have to call you back.” He hadn’t been expecting me. His hair was messy. He wore no cologne. Door barely closed behind me before we melt into one another. And I can barely stand, I am shaking so hard.

I am lost for these five minutes, and not concerned about where I’m supposed to be, not wanting to come up for air. Five minutes turns into seven. Seven turns into twelve.

And when I have to leave, we kiss between ‘I have to go’s in the doorway, down the hallway for a while, ‘I really do have to go’s, stopping against the wall a couple times, walking backwards down the stairs.

Forgetting how to drive at first, I’m a little late getting to where I was going, and I still can’t really remember why it was so urgent for me get there in time. Or where ’there’ even was. What I remember is the taste of him, the feel and the smell of him. I would have stayed if I could. I would still be there, if I didn't have this other place to be. ________________________________________________________________________________

There was that week after the first kiss, when we both stopped saying “I love you” because it stopped meaning what it once did, but saying the new "I love you" was scary. There was that transition from “I’m so grateful that you’re my friend.” to “You mean the world to me… and now I get to say that out loud. Now I have it all.”

And we both knew the significance of saying it again. We both felt it through our fingertips and in the backs of our heads, down our spines. We both knew it meant “I ache for you. No seriously, I’m so in love with you that I can’t get close enough. That everything else in my life will have to scoot the hell over to make room for you.”

We both knew that under these circumstances, this was not just any kiss. That we were risking everything. Skating the boundaries between love and friendship, wrong and right, risk and regret. This kiss was the beginning of all or nothing. That nothing but forever would be good enough.

I was going back home soon, to finalize a divorce, to keep my family in one piece until the Navy let us go, to figure out who I was without you distracting me. Can this survive that?

Together we marveled at how simple that decision ended up being. How this love was bigger than us. How we had no choice but to fall into each other and stay there.

The rules simply don’t apply to us. We make our own fucking rules.

You are the one thing I've ever done right the first time.

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