The story of us

"I wish there was a word more than 'love' itself to convey what I feel for you." Faraaz Kazi

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2. A Glimpse Beyond the Surface

"There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment." - Sarah Dessen 


I love your eyes.

"Thank you," Kyle responded with a charming smile and barely hiding the small flash of amusement dancing across the exact pupils I had just been caught staring in to.

WHAT!? OH MY GOD, YOU DID NOT JUST SAY THAT OUT FREAKING LOUD!

"Ha, ha! Seriously, I just love brown eyes! They’re my favorite," I spit out as I giggled. I fidgeted with my hair and laughed some more at myself thinking about how ridiculous I was acting.

Well, that’s good, Rose. I really hope you don’t seem as awkward to him as you’re being right now. Because you’re not sounding creepy at all! *Cough* SARCASM *Cough*. No, I’m sure it puts him at complete ease to have you gazing in to his eyes mere hours after officially meeting him. Yeesh! Where is your focus?! But… Man, look at the soft brown color of his irises blending perfectly and effortlessly in to the rich, deep pools of his pupils. They draw me right in to the very center of his searching eyes, leaving me no choice but to peer into those wide and inviting brown spaces. I just want to discover all of the mysteries hidden in those beautiful, kind eyes staring back at me—Oh, crap. He’s literally just staring back at me—Uhh… Say something, genius!

"Do you want to go over that last part of choreo, again?" I offer up meekly. Quickly, I avert my eye line and hope to God my blush will blend right in with the rest of my bright, red face. We’d been rehearsing a detailed chorus bit that we’d learned today over and over again, but it was still managing to trip us up. I hoped that would suffice as a good enough diversion.

"Yes, definitely," he replied, eyes twinkling.

Success!

"But go easy on me! I swear I’ll practice and have it perfect and even better than you by tomorrow,” he teased as he wiped the sweat from his forehead. I laughed and instantly felt my shoulders relax and the mood shift back in to familiar territory as we went back to work.

This was much better. This was where I was comfortable. Here, in a room, in my dance clothes, rehearsing and memorizing steps is where I could be at ease. And accompanied by a cute guy. Ok, well cute guy wasn’t a standard part of the package, but, hey, I’m not opposed. And good thing, too, because one couldn’t survive on this show if they were hesitant or held on to any reservations, especially when it came to partner work and connection. Kyle and I had just finished up our on camera rehearsals with our choreographer, Leila. Now it was just him and I for the next three hours rehearsing and perfecting what we had learned so far. Together we worked and chatted away in an effort to be ready for our final rehearsals tomorrow. It was no joke. We literally had two days to not only memorize whatever dance moves were thrown at us, but we were expected to execute them as if we had been doing it for years. Not to mention we had to commit one hundred and ten percent to emitting whichever emotion the story or theme of the routine called for. It was scary. It was fun. It was a thrill, in the adrenaline junkie “will i live or die this time” kind of way.

Kyle and I spent our three hour time slot going back and forth between rehearsing the moves and taking water breaks to sit down and get to know each other better. Our routine that week hit a story that was in a way, pretty close to home for me. We were portraying a couple in an abusive relationship struggling to find a way to get out.

To set the record straight, I’ve never been in a physically abusive relationship, but like most people on this earth, I’ve had my share of heartbreaks. Growing up there were some tough times with my family, and at a young age I watched my mother’s heart be broken. Ten year old me was left alone with my even younger brother trying our best to piece my mom’s heart back together and do whatever we could just to see her smile again. It was a tough time in my life and even though my family pulled through it, some scars still feel tender even after years of damage control. Plus I’d gone through the stereotypical high school heartbreak where being young, immature, and in a relationship is a recipe for disaster. Basically, my walls were up and I had a very hard time trusting people, especially, trusting relationships with people. Therefore, I felt I could easily relate to a relationship that is nothing but hurtful. The problem for me wasn’t being relatable though, it was more the idea of opening up and letting everybody else see my vulnerability that terrified me.

But Kyle was trying his best to make it easier. We had a natural chemistry from the beginning. He made me laugh, was easy to talk to, and seemed genuinely interested in whatever nonsense we would talk about. I’m a pretty random person, and I was very impressed that he not only kept up, but straight up out “random-ed” me at times. At the end of our rehearsal time, I was feeling a lot better with the choreography and was honestly a little bummed that we couldn’t hang out longer.

The reason for that being, it wasn’t really allowed. In order to prevent any of the couples from having an advantage over any of the other competing duet partners, the show had asked us not to hang out fearing we would use it as an excuse to make extra rehearsal times with our all stars. So Kyle and I made a game out of trying to find out more about each other to help with our connection and decided to creep on each other’s social networking sites when we got home. We declared that each of us had to come back the next day with three new facts about the other person that we hadn’t already discussed.

Wow. A guy actually encouraging, no, wanting me to creep on his facebook page… This is AWESOME!

"Oh! And here’s my phone number, in case you need me for anything," Kyle said quickly, pulling me aside and putting his number in to my contacts. Even though I knew that some of the other contestants were exchanging contact information with their all stars or already had it from being friends with them before coming on to the show, I hadn’t. We had been discouraged from doing so, and I was usually a big stickler for following the rules. It’s not so much that I don’t like being rebellious, I just hate being reprimanded or getting in to trouble with people that I still didn’t know very well. 

I stared at his number. My heart skipped beat.

Did it just get a little hotter in here, or is it me? Oh, it’s just me making a big deal out of nothing again? Oh, ok, good. Glad to see, you’re still psycho.

"Thanks, Kyle," I said and gave him a big squeeze of a bear hug in excitement. Then, without thinking, I did something I always do with my close friends. I leaned in to him and planted soft, quick bunny kisses, which I like to call "minis", on his smooth, soft cheek. Stepping back in time to see a huge grin sweep across his face, I couldn’t help but laugh loudly at my spontaneous and somewhat bold action. I sent him a quick text so he would have my number as well and then we parted ways. In an organized chaos kind of way, all of us contestants scrambled in to the back of the vans that would take us back to the apartments and the all stars piled in to their vehicles to go back to wherever their Los Angeles residences were.

On the drive back everybody was chatting away as usual and showing each other videos of their routines so far. Some couldn’t shut up, elated with their good fortune of a familiar style, and others looked at their rehearsal footage with lips shut tight and panicked looks in their eyes due to new and apprehensive movement. Me? I’m pretty sure I simply had a big, stupid grin on my face the entire drive back. 

Don’t get ahead of yourself, Rosie. One, you have a boyfriend. And, two, there is no way that he’s in to you. These are all natural reactions that are getting to you from trying to connect with a piece that forces you to open up to your emotions. Which you’re still fighting by the way. Just remember why you’re here. To learn. To dance. To grow. Yes, Kyle is cute and lovely, but you have to get your head out of the clouds because what your feeling is just nerves brought on by emotional exposure.

Still, that night, I had a lot of fun stalking the crap out of Kyle. I hung out with my roommate and some of the other contestants in the hot tub that night and I thought about everything that had happened that day. Everything just seemed to be going so fast and I didn’t want to miss any moment. As my new found friends and I shared laughs and horror stories I couldn’t help but notice the small thought of Kyle still lingering in the shadows at the back of my mind. I fell asleep that night to the song of our dance routine playing softly on repeat. Slowly, I let myself drift off with the music that would forever remind me of Kyle, and let it fill my ear drums until it melted away in to my dreams.

The next morning when I woke up to my alarm, I checked my phone for messages. There were a few from my mom, two or three from friends wishing me luck, and one from Kyle. I opened his up and stared at the message. It was a Bible verse about encouragement followed by a cute, smiley face emoticon. I’m a sucker for those smileys. I held my breath for just a second at the surprise of it and then smiled. I felt a small glow spread throughout my sternum. Happiness. I quickly scampered in to rehearsal clothes and went outside where the trusty vans were already waiting.

That text was so sweet. He probably didn’t mean anything by it, but I still felt that little spark again. But in reality, it’s nothing. And that’s for the best. Because if there isn’t going to be any kind of romantic relationship, I have to spend all my time and energy focusing on the routine. And our connection pertaining to the routine. Yes… But, also, I really hope that we grow to be friends. We can totally be friends. We get along great together and I want someone like him in my life—correction—I want him in my life. *Sigh*…Fate has brought us together, our paths have been crossed, and our lives are now forever intertwined. Everything happens for a reason, right?

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