I was looking.
I was always looking.
I was so young, so young and hopeful,
I just knew
this would be the year I would meet
the love of my life.
They always say you meet the most important people
your first year of University,
so I was looking,
waiting for a sign
that someone, somewhere, wanted to be mine.
I met him on the first day.
He said his name was Sam,
but everyone called him SamRight, or SamWise
because he was so smart.
He had fiery hair and blue eyes,
tattoos commemorating a friend that died,
was utterly enamored
He lived in my dorm,
on the floor right above me,
and at night,
he smoked cigarettes beneath my window.
I smelled the odors of his breath and tobacco,
so one night, I came down.
There in the shadows, I asked for a smoke,
the third that had ever touched my lips,
but I never told him.
On a picnic table, we sat, sighing clouds,
gazing up at the stars,
and he told me a bit about himself,
about his girlfriend who just dumped him,
and I shared a little of me,
entranced by his eyes,
and the nicotine.
Every night after that,
he would knock on my door.
“Hey, you wanna go cancer?”
he called it that because he thought it was ironic,
he was such a hipster.
He always had really cool socks and hats
and t-shirts with pictures of cats.
We shared the same smoke pack,
and after, we would go to his room
and watch Adventuretime,
and I would pretend to fall asleep on his shoulder,
and he would always wake me up,
and send me back to my room.
Sam taught me how to shotgun beer,
and how to properly smoke a doob,
and how to not give a single fuck
about what someone thought of you.
But he also made it very clear
that him and I were just friends,
so after three months of unrequited pining,
I decided to set my sights elsewhere.
I bought my own packs of smokes,
and started letting anyone take me home,
on nights when Sam came knocking on my door,
searching for cancer,
I wasn’t there.
The first semester ended and we all went home for Christmas,
and on New Year’s Eve I got more wasted
than I’ve ever been,
and realized I was in love,
in love with SamRight, SamWise.
I called him and left him a slurring speech
saying something along the lines of “I know you don’t love me,
but I’ve been waiting,
and I’ll keep waiting until you want me.”
before passing out.
When I returned to school, Sam never mentioned the call,
but he did give me a hug,
and my hopes soared.
One of my friends told me he was totally into me,
but too shy to say so,
so I began sliding love notes beneath his door,
little poems of adoration,
clever pick-up line puns,
and everyday in the cafeteria, Sam would be baffled,
trying to figure out who it was,
and I just smiled.
I kept this up for about two weeks,
then one night when we were cancering
I told him,
“So you know, it’s me, sliding those notes beneath your door.”
and he said “I know.”
and then neither of us said anything.
At the end of the week, I had a poetry slam I was competing in
and asked him to come watch me.
I was reciting a love poem, written for him,
and he showed up just in time to hear me speak.
Though the room was packed,
to me, it was empty,
I stared at Sam, voice trembling,
and he never once took his eyes off me.
When I finished, everyone exploded with applause,
I won, and friends lined up to buy me drinks and plant kisses on my cheeks.
They swept me away,
but Sam stayed, waiting,
and by the time I got back to him,
I could barely stand on my feet.
“Sam!” I screamed,
flinging my intoxicated body at him,
and he caught me and held me, as if I was weightless
and he was Hercules,
he held my hand and half carried me home in the snow,
and I clung to him, drinking in his smells, his touch,
I’d been thirsty, starving for this
for six months,
and now, now it was happening.
I was finding true love.
The cigarette addiction and persistent poetry
had finally paid off,
SamWise was mine,
and we would fall in love like stars
He walked me up to my room,
and helped me out of my clothes,
together, naked, we spooned,
and I had a dream he kissed me.
The next morning I woke up
to an empty bed,
and a note that had been slid beneath my door,
It said “I think we should just be friends”.
And so, I was left,
with a need for nicotine, and no love,
and Sam found himself a new girlfriend,
who was a little less crazy,
and a little less desperate
We stopped cancering together,
and eventually, stopped talking completely,
and life went on, lonelily, for me.
It’s been three years now,
since I last saw him,
and I am worlds away from who I was.
Now, I’m married, I found my love,
but it doesn’t change the love that was,
once upon a time,