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I Will Follow Kim

Kim is the kind of lover that you’re fated to meet, though not destined to keep.

The minute I saw him I knew, absolutely, that I had to have him. And as soon as I got him alone, in my bedroom, in between the moments our lips rushed to touch for our first kiss, I said as much.

I held his face in my hands, and said “Listen, you’re mine now.”

I don’t know why I said it, except that I truly wanted him for myself and I didn’t see the point in pretending it was just something physical for me, another empty and non-committal hook-up when I’d spent the entire day consumed by thoughts of him.

Usually, I try not to be as possessive as I feel. Usually, I’m not nearly as charming or romantic as I’d like to be, in my flurry of attraction and emotion. This was a particularly well-played exchange and I’m proud of it.

I view our meeting as fate because I’d already missed him when he was staying at the guesthouse.

I was still in my anti-social period.

If not for Bunny, constantly smiling and saying hello. If not for her telling Val to invite me to dinner. If not for Boldi being a half-assed man, running away from the guesthouse because he couldn’t face his own actions.

So there I sat at dinner in the big kitchen, socializing, feeling welcomed, and enjoying the company and humor and interested conversation. And there he stood, tall and lean, beautiful, and sweaty. He seemed a bit nervous, a bit shifty.

My initial gut reaction was, something’s up with this guy. I wondered what was the matter with him. I wondered if he could be trusted.

I don’t know if I do this with everyone. But sometimes people’s energies stand out and I give them a quick read.

But after that instant read, all I could think was “come over here and sit next to me.”

And so I willed him over. It took an hour or so, with a few glances, smiles and cigarettes exchanged, but he sat next to me. And I touched that beautiful green stone around his neck. And I asked him all the questions, as gently as I could.

Because I was feeling it. I was feeling a possessive need to get this guy. But I also didn’t want to let on to anyone else just how hot I was getting.

And not just hot with sexual desire.

Hot with all of it. I wanted to get inside of this man.

I wanted to know everything he knew, and everything he’d done in his life, and every experience that mattered to him. I wanted to know everything he believed and all of his dreams and wishes.

When I tell you. I wanted him.

So we begin our affair. And it’s so tender and beautiful and enchanting. And I love making love to him, and waking up with him in the mornings, and having coffee, and smoking cigarettes and kissing him good-bye, and sending yellow heart emojis, because he is full of light in my eyes.

We’re going to go into the jungle together. He tells me about the ancient Hopi prophecies, and we watch creative and alternative news docs about planned obsolescence and the child miners in Africa.

We also watch Rick & Morty.

But eventually my insecurities creep up. Or maybe they were his insecurities and whatever psychic connection I’d felt with him made me absorb them. My anxiety is with the truth: our time is limited, and it’s not going to last.

There’s more to it as well.

I always battle the thoughts that I don’t deserve my lover, and eventually he will discover this.

Eventually he will see that I’m a muppet, an awkward and goofy-looking halfway-adult who is not very smart or connected or emotionally equipped to succeed at life, much less a relationship.

These are ridiculous ideas because I know that I’m beautiful, intelligent, and clearly capable of taking care of myself. But this is my eternal inner dialogue in love.

Either way, he’s off to Ubud, for some volunteer project. He’s going to investigate it and figure out how we can both go.

He makes this trip twice. But the days arrive that he is distant even when he’s with me. Little things begin to go awry for him, just as I’m getting off the ground with income. I don’t know how to be with him, or how to relate properly, warmly, during this.

The last time I saw him I kissed him good-bye and the words “I love you” popped out of my mouth.

I felt so silly, and embarrassed, and sad to see him go.

And within a week we’d broken up, but maintained best wishes for each other. Then, I got black out drunk at Val’s going away party and cried over him, and twisted my ankle at the top of the street from the guest house.

The entire ordeal felt very fated.

Hati-Hati translates to “Be Careful” or “Caution” in Indonesian.

HATI-HATI by Ruth Nineke is a collection
of love poems, dreams, photography, and personal essays reflecting on the author’s love addiction, romanticism and sexuality.

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