Story of Us (the Jessica part of JessicAran)

How We Met

It was a night out on the town with Sonya, my boisterous, blond, blue-eyed roommate, who had just returned with me from New York to get us in the mood for Christmas. We started at one of our favorite watering holes in Charlotte. At Tonic you could lounge with friends and mingle with new people, plus the doormen and bartenders took good care of us.

A new face approached me and chatted me up for a spell. His name was Louie, and he was definitely "interesting," but not my type. So I floated back to Sonya and we made our way outdoors to one of the fire-pits recessed in the deck. After a while, I turned to see who was seated on my right, and lo' and behold it was the same fellow - Louie.

So now I was afforded more time to hear his story. "I flew out from California to learn computer stuff from my cousin right here," he gestured to his right, "... and in exchange I am helping him get into the Charlotte scene."
I agreed, "Two people have a much easier time meeting new people than one." And I leaned over and waved, "Hi, my name is Jessica."
"I'm Aran." He replied quietly, but sure of himself.

I talked with them both politely about work and play. Aran and his boss were building up the American branch of a London-based software and web development company, which he had just come back from visiting. It had been his first trip to Europe. I don't remember what else they said, and Sonya was bored and wanted to go somewhere else, so I took off with her.

I don't remember much more of our night out on the town, except telling Sonya one thing on the way home. "You know who I can't get out of my head?" She replied, "Who?"
"That computer guy with the cousin from California," answering her.
"No way, Jess, he seems pretty young," almost chastising me.
"It's just, I keep remembering his smile. It was ... real, and it was even more in his eyes than on his mouth." I continued, "His smile came from deep in his eyes...well, you just don't see that often."
And I stopped, because she gave me that look that only roommates who know you can give.

The Next Few Encounters

Christmas passed. I was out promoting my monthly spoken-word event at the local taverns and coffee shops. I ran into Aran and Louie at a local coffee-house. I said hi, not much else, and again I got to see that deep smile. I ran into him there a few more times over the course of three weeks, during which I gave him one of my folded cards for Word-Phoria, which has my art website - on the back.

By the end of January, upon returning from another trip, I found this email awaiting...

Date: 01/27/2001 1:58:20 PM EST
From: (Aran Meuser)
To: (Jessica Deltac)

Hi there. This is Aran. How's life going for you?

Let's get together sometime. :)

Here's my web site:
The photos and writings are dated, but not the drawings. They are all about 3 years old.
I just started writing, so tell me what you think. I have no comparison. And no healthy criticism.

You are beautiful, I feel so comfortable around you.
I've been taking my time getting to know you because I've needed to work through things within myself.
You are open, and I do not wish to hurt you.

Soon. Hugs,

My, was that presumptuous or what? But it seemed so foolishly honest. What man chooses to "work through things," before pursuing someone he likes? I was too intrigued. And as fate would have it, I ran into him in less than an hour after reading my email at that coffee house.

His cousin had gone back to California, so he was free to accompany me to a party nearby. Again, he came off so sincere. I drove, but we didn't stay long before I suggested we go hang out at my place. Well we did, ALL NIGHT LONG. We stayed up talking about everything. He was so open-minded and just as fascinated by the intricacies of life as I am. We finally took a nap. And then I took him back to his car.

Not once did he make a romantic move. And I wasn't sure if I was interested in that way either. During our conversation I had found out that I was seven and a half years OLDER than him. But he felt more mature than any man I had ever dated.

Two days later he called me up on my cell phone and asked what I was doing.
"I'm just going home to cook dinner, but you are welcome to join me."
Again, he calmly responded, "Okay."

Come to found out, I had little in the fridge, so after he arrived we took a spin to the grocery store. While shopping, I ran into friends of mine, and when I turned to introduce them to Aran, we found that he was off down the aisle.

"Are you on a date?" They asked.
"I don't know," I began to fill them in a little. I honestly couldn't tell if this was a date or not.

I found him and we paid for the groceries and headed back home, only to find that Sonya would be out for the night. I must have made a comment about needing to do laundry, because he convinced me to let him cook the dinner while I took care of my clothes. Whoa, was I impressed.

Between loads I cleared the table, set it and lit a few candles. And halfway through a semi-gourmet dinner (pasta and meatsauce), I found myself smiling like crazy and looked up and told him, "Why am I feeling so I supposed to feel this girly."
He replied immediately, "No, I'm not trying to make you feel girly."

Well that was it. This wasn't a date, and he was just a new friend. And anyway he was a lot younger than I was, it wouldn't work out anyway. And we finished our meal and he accepted my offer to watch one of my favorite animated videos, The Last Unicorn.

So sitting on the sofa, watching the movie I was really bummed that this guy didn't like me in the romantic way.

Story of Us (the Aran part of JessicAran)

But what she didn't realize was...

Coming soon!