The low murmur of the crowded bar fades into background noise as you walk in and begin scanning the room. Your stomach flutters with anticipation, unsure if he’ll actually show up tonight. It’s been years since you last saw each other in person at your college graduation, staying in touch only sporadically through social media and the occasional text. But a few weeks ago, when you’d learned your work travels would bring you through his city, suggesting meeting up for a drink had seemed like no big deal.
Now that you’re here though, standing alone in this bar full of strangers, you’re starting to second guess yourself. Feelings you thought were long gone begin to resurface, and you wonder if this was a bad idea. But then, just as you’re thinking about making a quick exit, you spot him across the room.
Your breath catches in your throat. Even after all this time, just the sight of him makes your heart skip a beat. He looks a little older—slight stubble on his cheeks, hair a bit shorter—but still so familiar. That same warm smile that still makes your knees weak. Before you can talk yourself out of it, you make your way through the crowd toward him.
“Hey stranger,” he says as he pulls you into a quick hug. He smells just like you remember—better, actually. That same musky cologne from college that transports you right back in time, with an added edge. “It’s really great to see you!”
You hug him back, hoping he can’t detect the slight tremble in your limbs. “It’s been way too long,” you reply, doing everything you can to mask the newly-strained quality in your voice. How is it possible that after everything—relationships come and gone, paths diverged and converged—just one look from him still gives you butterflies?