It was our first date, and I was flustered, I got lost on the way there and was running very late. This was partly due to my poor navigational skills, but more so, because the anticipation and excitement of finally meeting him were consuming my thoughts

I arrived, a little wet from the rain outside, marking the beginning of the storm that was brewing. He of course was already there – had been for an hour or so, waiting, I had let him know I was running late. I gave my name at the door, as I was his +1 for the evening, and he was working that night reviewing the bands.

I anxiously scanned the room, but he spotted me before I spotted him, and motioned me over. I sat down and he got me a drink. I felt at the same time relieved to have finally arrived, and also full of nervous excitement that the moment had come for us to finally meet in the flesh. We had been emailing each other for a week or so, and I had found these exchanges very stimulating and unique, so I was hoping that that would continue and intensify when we met. Now that moment was here – and I was late, wet, and flustered – not quite the state I had planned to turn up in. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he seemed completely unperturbed by any of these factors. The energy I felt from him was more of curiosity, interest and acceptance rather than judgement of my inability to find the place, my slightly damp appearance, or my nervy demeanor.

The music was loud, making conversation difficult, so he wrote me a note, asking if he could touch my hand, I found this intriguing and agreed, I wanted him to touch me.

My hand was resting on the table and he reached out and gently stroked my fingers and the back of my hand. His touch was soft and gentle, but it felt like a lightening bolt had gone through my entire body. He did not touch my hand for long though, he withdrew and looked at me thoughtfully. I could feel myself quivering from the intensity that this single, soft touch, had had on my whole body. I glanced down at my hand, still resting on the table, to see if it was trembling, revealing my feelings, but it was still. I wondered if he had sensed the effect of his touch on me anyway, and I wondered if he had felt the same electricity that I had. I looked at his face, searching for an answer, but he didn’t give anything away, he just looked at me thoughtfully with a slight smile on his face.

I did not know what to do, my body was pulsing with the heat triggered from that one small, brief touch, and from the desire to be touched again. It was an intense physical reaction, and not one I was accustomed to feeling, well not for a very long time anyway. I concluded that it must have resulted from the addition of physical chemistry to the intense mental connection I felt we had made through our correspondence.

But he made no further move. He just rolled himself a cigarette, sat back, and took notes on the band that was playing. After all, the evening was not just a date for him, he was working too. I reminded myself of this, and as the music was too loud for conversation anyway, I tried to listen, to focus on the band and quieten my arousal. But I was too distracted, by the sensations in my body and the thoughts in my head as to when and how he might touch me again, or even if he would. I had no idea what he was feeling, all I knew was what I was feeling. Perhaps I had not had such a profound affect on him as he had had on me?

Then I felt him touch my arm, and he motioned towards the table, where another note was waiting. This time he asked if he could kiss me. My body was flooded again with heat, and I was grateful for the darkness of the pub, as I was sure that the flush would have shown on my face and betrayed just how excited this idea made me. I also felt very nervous, the first kiss can tell you so much about what may come afterwards, it’s a crossroads, how that first kiss feels for both people is a pivotal moment, often telling you which road (if any) you are going to travel on together from that point on.

I was feeling an intense desire for him. Although the idea of sharing a kiss with him excited me because of this, I also felt slightly scared to be at that moment in time, that crossroad. What if he did not feel what I was feeling, what if the magic and connection I had sensed was something that had been stimulated by him, but not in him, and only existed in my own mind and body? I knew I wanted more than a touch on the hand – much more. So, I agreed to the kiss.

It felt to me that it should be a private moment, so he took my hand, and this time held it, leading me through the people and noise and out the front door of the pub.

The noise and chaotic feeling inside the pub, were replaced by the noise and chaotic feelings of the natural elements outside. It was a very stormy night, the rain was pelting down and there was thunder and lightning. This suited my mood and matched the feelings I was having inside. There was no shelter outside, and with the rain pouring down on us, he lead me around the corner. There was no one else around, just me and him surrounded by, and part of the storm. It felt like we had entered our own private little world, separate and distinct from anything else that was happening in the pub, the streets or the houses surrounding us. It was just us, in the storm. It felt new, clean, safe, exciting, intense, private and beautiful, all at the same time.

He put one arm around me and I felt my body start to liquefy, and naturally mould to fit his. He ran one finger down my cheek, slowly and tenderly. I looked up at him, my lips parted slightly, inviting his kiss. And as my heart was pounding and my breath quickening his mouth met mine. My anxiety washed away, it felt natural and right, and I felt cleansed, and purified by both the kiss and the rain pounding down and the storm raging all around us. It felt like we blended with, and became part of the elements, nothing else existed at that moment in time than the intensity of our bodies connecting matching the intensity of the storm that we had become part of.

The embrace and the kiss were slow and gentle at first, an exploration of new territory, and the wonder of how our bodies reacted together.

The kiss deepened, at times matching the ferocity of the storm. I felt him touch the bare skin on my back as his hand slid under my top, I could feel his erection pressing against me. I wanted to feel his skin too. I wanted to touch all of him and I wanted him to touch all of me. The rain kept pounding down, I felt saturated, inside and out – moist heat, and engulfed by sensation and emotion. I wanted to wrap my legs around him and feel him slide into that moist heat between my legs, like his tongue had done earlier in the moist heat of my mouth as our kiss deepened. I did not want the storm to end, I did not want this private, magical moment in time to finish. But it had to stop. Reality crept in, we were up against a pub wall, out in a public street. We drew apart, with regret, but out of necessity, calming the storm, with the lingering feeling of being refreshed, renewed, changed somehow.

He took my hand again, and we walked back into the pub and sat back down at our table, as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile the storm still raged outside. But everything had changed, everything. We’d gone to the crossroad, in the middle of a storm, and the road we were going to walk down had revealed itself, shimmering and vivid. A new road, one that had not been walked before. Where exactly that road would take us was still to be seen, but those first steps had been taken.

– Judi Reed, 2012