Shoelaces Undone


The first time we met, he bent down before me and tied my shoelaces…. And I hadn't even realized they were untied.

He had me there and then, though I didn't quite know it just yet. He came into my life quite out of the blue. By some random chance, we had the same class together in college. I walked out, accidentally bumped into someone and dropped my things. Once I picked them up and was about to walk away, this boy just suddenly appeared and tied my shoes.

The moment he was done, he stood up, gave me a grin and walked away. I stood there for a few minutes before moving, not quite knowing how to process what happened.

The second time we met and the first time I really looked at him, he caught me just before I fell down.

He was always random.

Graced with a head of dark curls, and blue within blue eyes, the boy who tied my shoes was blessed with good looks, though subtle and well hidden since he always bent his head in a way that no one could really take a look at him.

All of this, I processed the day when I walked down the steps in our classroom, trying to get to my seat in the middle row. Always clumsy, I tripped, and as I readied myself to feel the impact of the ground and the pain that came with such a fall, I was instead met with warmth and a surprising scent of cologne of some sort. Somehow, without having to look up, I knew those arms encircling me belonged to no one other than him.

When I did look up, I was met with another grin, twinkling eyes, and again, no words. After I straightened myself out, I was left standing there on the steps looking a bit foolish as he left me to take his seat two rows below mine.

Flushed, embarrassed, bothered and completely confused, I spent the remainder of class scrutinizing the boy who tied my shoes and caught me when I was falling.

I guess you could say that was when I fell for him.

The third time we met and the first time I heard his voice was the day I sat outside on a bench in the center of campus, reading a book. Losing track of time, I realized too late that my class was starting, and so I hurriedly got up from my seat and left for class. Walking fast and berating myself for being idiotic and forgetful, I didn't hear the footsteps pounding behind me nor the constant "Hey you!" calling after me.

It wasn't until a warm hand was placed upon my shoulder that I stopped my walking, and startled, I turned immediately and found myself staring deep into blue eyes that literally took my breath away.

"You forgot this," he said to me, his signature grin already taking its place on his wonderful face. I noticed two dimples, one on each cheek of his. He handed me my bag. Shaken and embarrassed, I took it from him. Another smile and a "Bye" from him, he left me standing once again alone.

The fourth time we met and the first time I knew I liked him was when unexpectedly, he sat beside me in class. Out of nowhere, he came and sat down next to me. A grin greeted me, his dimples astounded me, and his closeness flustered me, I couldn't help but feel delight in the change of seating.

It was that moment when we began to really talk to each other, though I never asked him why he tied my shoes out of nowhere. Our conversation was meaningless, lasting only a few minutes before our professor stepped in for a lecture. We only approached topics of mundane subjects such as homework and lack of sleep. The moment class ended, he rushed out, though saying a quick a goodbye to me…

It took me a few minutes before I came back to my senses and got my things packed and left the already emptied classroom.

The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth times we met, I found myself falling deeper for him, and each time I learned something new about him. Always it would be the five or ten minutes we had before class when we shared these moments. I learned of his love for peanut butter, his fear of pointy things, and his pet peeve of "clicky" pens. In turn, he learned my love of school supplies, my fear of spiders, and my pet peeve of anyone calling their significant other "baby".

Each time we met, our dreams, our fears, our hopes and everything about ourselves were slowly revealed. Everything I learned about him, I treasured. Every movement he made, I remembered. Every smile he gave me, I counted.

Losing count of how many times we met, but remembering the first time he kissed me, the memory still stays fresh in my mind. I sat on the same bench where I had left my things the other time, reading once again. Suddenly, he appears behind me, his breath tickling my ear as he asked, "What are you reading?"

I explained and he nodded, showing he was listening. At first I had stiffened at his closeness, but slowly I relaxed. I turned my head a little towards him and said, really without thinking, "I'm glad you're here."

I looked back at my book, though my eyes were no longer absorbing the words. Instead, I stared at it mindlessly as I replayed the words I had just spoken. Was it a mistake to have said them? What was I thinking?

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him looking at the book as well, a look of contemplation settling over his face. Then slowly, a grin emerged. He looked at me sideways, and I tried concentrating on the book but I knew he knew I wasn't reading.

Slowly with ease, he leaned closer to me, and I felt his lips brush my cheek where it lingered for a few seconds. Tender, short, but everlasting, warmth spread through me and I knew I was red all over. I turned fully towards him, my eyes wide with shock.

"I'm glad you're glad," he muttered. Then closing his eyes, his leaned once more, and his lips met mine.

My first kiss and my first heart fluttering moment…. All of this, he gave me.

The first time he held my hand was the day after our kiss. He had come into class late, so we didn't sit together nor did we have our usual five minute conversation… We had yet to talk about what happened between us.

Class ended, and I searched for him in class but he was gone. The moment I walked out of class, I felt fingers' grazing my hand before my whole hand was covered with his. Without looking at him, I smiled and walked along with him.

Together, we spent the remainder of our college years. The first fight we had was over my silly fit of jealousy when I saw a girl hugging him. The first gift he gave me was a pencil, plain and ordinary, same as any other, but because it was from him, it was special to no end.

The first time he told me he loved me was when I was lost on the roads, trying to find my way to his parents house. My cell phone had no power and I was lost for hours. Finally I found a gas station, called him, and he immediately set off to find me.

When I saw him in his car driving up to me, I saw the worry etched on his face. He got out of the car, and with no words, he walked up me, hugged me tightly and would not let me go until moments later. Just before he did, he uttered, "I love you" and then released me.

I stood there, baffled, before a huge smile came on my face. I ran up and hugged him from behind.

"I love you too."

The time he proposed to me, it was out of the blue just like all the other things he did. A walk through a park, we found a bench that looked like the one on campus. I sat down while he went to go buy us ice cream from the man and his ice cream cart yards away from us.

He came back, walking up to me from behind. Similar to how it was the first time he kissed me, he handed me my ice cream over my shoulder, with a quick kiss on my cheek. Just as I was about to take my first lick of cold sweetness, he whispered to me, "Marry me."

Ice cream forgotten, dropped and splattered on the grass, I turned to look at him.

The same grin, the same dimples, the same blue within blue eyes all looking at me with love. As I answered him with a kiss, he ended up dropping his ice cream too.

The first time in forever when I finally remembered the time we first met, where he came out of the blue and tied my shoes, was when I was sitting in a room, dressed in white and lace, and a white see-through veil covering my face.

Smiling at the memory, I got up and found a pen and paper. I wrote, "Why did you tie my shoes out of nowhere that day?"

I found one of my bridesmaids to go give it to him. Just when the music was sounding and I was standing before doors that would soon open to my future, I was handed back a note from my friend.

Just as my bridesmaids slowly marched off, I opened the note and read:

I didn't want you to fall just yet.

Tears in my eyes, a smile so wide on my face, dimples and all, I began to walk down the aisle.

I looked at him… He looked at me…

No words…

Just us…. And the sweet memory of him tying my shoes lingering on both our minds

The End