I'm having seconds thoughts.
I'm not having second thoughts. I'm just nervous - and really shy.
I'm always anxious when voice-chatting with people - more so with those I'm not sure about.
He's a cool guy. We met in a multiplayer shooter. Having shared fun brings people together.
I'm anxious. Not because of him, but because he's a someone.
We have a handful of shared joys.
An idea pops up. It sounds fun - and at the time, almost crazy.
He's a cool guy.
...fuck it, I'll try.
Skype call. I hesitate for a second or two before pressing okay and with a Russian accent...
He laughs heartily. I did it.
I'm a little nervous, but excited I am far more. "Hey, uh... Can I ask you out?"
She smiles. "Sure!"
I'm relieved. I smile back. "Alright. How about after classes?"
She's pretty. Nothing I've seen before. Looks were never superficial to me: I find beauty fascinating. She was fascinating.
First day of the uni. We're standing in a corridor. It's all new and exciting.
"It's pretty cold outside". It's September in Western Siberia. "Mind if I go back and take my coat? It's only going to be a little while"
It felt like a while. I was excited.
Uni was not too far away from the river.
She told me little about herself. I was more excited to share things about myself.
We talked. We walked - a lot.
We spend a lot of time together. I'm enjoying it. Wasn't sure if she did.
We sit on a big bench, all to ourselves, in a park. The Sun's slowly setting, painting the skies orange.
I'm showing her something silly my sister and I recorded while on a bike trip. She's sitting with her legs tucked under her, with her knees touching my leg. It's a new feeling. I don't know how to interpret it. I don't change my behavior: continue talking about stuff and smiling.
Later, when we're in bed together, she'd say "I wanted to do this since day one". It would still take me a while to understand.
We're all finally in a lecture, in a big auditorium - nothing most of us have seen before. Not just my group there: everyone of the same year. About a hundred people, all a little intimidated.
I'm sitting with her and the group of friends she'd made in the dorm. Before the class starts, we're kind of together amidst the sea of people. We talk, and she lays her head on my shoulder. I go quiet: I don't recognize what it means, but it's new, intense feeling.
She sits straight back up. "Come on, lie back" "Oh, no, there's people around" She keeps smiling, but there's timidness in the smile now.
Me, my family, some of grandma's friends - all stand in front of the road. We'd gathered sparsely around the casket. The atmosphere's gloomy, but my sister's trying to keep the cheer up, at least for me.
Phone buzzes in the pocket. I take it out - a dumbphone. It's a message from her.
[Hey, why are you playing truant? :)]
[I'm burying my grandma today]
We split a few days later.
I didn't have many friends. Most of them are in other countries. It's difficult to summon them to my birthday.
I've made a couple of friends in the uni, so I invite them to the apartment. It's a small event.
One of the girls can't make it: she's taking part in a show in Novosibirsk that day.
The other one was new to the city and was not comfortable navigating it, so she asked me to meet her at the bus station.
"Thanks for coming"
She smiles with that charming smile of hers. "Of course. It's your birthday"
We enjoy a meal at the apartment - various home-made dishes - and chat. I don't know her very well, but she seems a nice girl. I'm glad she's there.
We figure we dance a little. It's a party, after all; a small one, but still. I launch something rather active - and observe in awe the movements the kinds of which I've never seen before. They're feminine and intense.
"It's all about hip movement. Like this" She shows me. I nod, not entirely sure where my gaze should lie.
We spend some more time together, then I walk her back to the bus station. We wait for the right bus for a little bit.
"Hey, Sveta... Thank you for coming. I really appreciate it"
She smiles, then hugs me. "Happy birthday"
Life 2 begins.