Series: Entertaining Love
Jesse Anderson and Sienna Stellano, two pop folk music artists, collaborate on a song through video calls due to a global pandemic. Across the country from each other, Sienna is at home in Arizona while Jesse is in Florida. It starts out professional, but they catch themselves chatting about their daily lives and getting to know more about each other, spending hours on phone and video calls. It becomes clear that they are catching feelings for each other. Both charismatic and passionate about what they do, and both completely smitten from day one, but are their feelings strong enough to withstand the distance?
It didn’t take long to realize that this collaboration would become more than just writing a song together. From the moment I laid my eyes on Jesse and his crooked smile, I knew I would be thinking about him non-stop. Being on opposite sides of the country, and with everything going on, we had no choice but to get together through video calls only. We were writing a song about love that passes the test of time and distance and the irony was ridiculous. While I had no evidence that he was infatuated with me as I was with him, I still felt something different in the pit of my stomach every time we spoke, and he did seem to enjoy our talks. It was definitely a comfort to be able to work on a musical project during this time, even if I was taking it easy, trying to at least. I ended up staying pretty busy with my Nana. Before he reached out to do this project, I had decided to go back home to Arizona and take time off to be with my family, particularly my grandmother. I had consistently been on the road the past couple of years and I missed seeing her, so in a way, I was glad to have an excuse to go back home and spend time with her, and with everything going on, I made sure she was staying healthy, rested and indoors. It’s been great, and now, the past week and a half, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Jesse. I find myself lost in thought when I look at him.
“Maybe we should actually add a little tidbit about waiting for the day when we finally meet?” Jesse’s voice chimed in to interrupt my thoughts.
“Hmm? I’m sorry, I spaced out for second,” I replied.
“I was just saying that maybe we should actually add a part about eagerly waiting until we meet, I mean considering everything, what do you think?”
“Yeah, I think that sounds good, play me what you got.”
He went on to sing the new verse while playing the same tune I am now well acquainted with.
“That was great, Jess, it fits perfectly,” I responded, still feeling a bit spaced out. He had internally been a distraction from day one though I could usually still get through the creative process with no issues, but tonight, for some reason, it’s like it had all started to bubble to the surface and I needed to process what was going on in my head, and my heart.
“Cool, cool,” Jesse said while laying his guitar down, “Well, I’m going to write that part in and record it, and I’ll send you your part to do, and just get it to me in the next day or so.”
“Okay,” I replied flatly.
“So, is there anything on your mind right now? You seem a little distracted,” he asked.
Oh yeah, I was distracted alright, but what could I say? He had been charming and a bit flirtatious, but I wasn’t sure if that meant he shared any of the feelings I was having, and while we could go on and on talking about everything under the sun, this particular subject had not come up. I mean we are technically working even if we do get sidetracked. I wouldn’t I know if he was just being nice because of our collaboration or if he thought I was a nice friend…or, if he thought of me as something more. Meanwhile he sat there waiting for me to answer.
“Um, honestly I’m probably just really tired, I didn’t sleep much last night,” I lied, but truthfully being all in my head was extremely exhausting.
“Oh okay, I’m sorry, you should probably go catch up on some z’s then, huh? What kept you up if you don’t mind me asking?”
I thought for a moment, “honestly I was just achy, maybe I pulled a muscle or something while working out, but I feel okay now, just tired”.
“Ohhh yeah, I see, definitely a pain when that happens,” I nodded to agree with him, “well hey, let me let you go get some rest and we’ll just chat either tomorrow or the next day okay?”
“Yeah, sounds good,” I quickly replied.
“Hey, and just know, if anything is ever bothering you, I’m all ears, you can talk to me about whatever is on your mind, just so you know…” he trailed off and looked down as he said that, and then met my gaze again before I spoke.
“Thanks Jesse, I appreciate it, same to you,” I smiled and he nodded back to me, “well goodnight and talk to you soon.”
“Talk to you soon, goodnight, beautiful,” and then he logged off, leaving me stunned for a moment.
Beautiful? Did he just call me beautiful like that?… Well now I really do have some things on my mind. Tonight might be the night that I actually don’t sleep…. Another part of me wanted to pick up the phone and text him that yes, I did in fact have something to talk about, but right now wasn’t the time, I needed to think this over first. I had been questioning whether or not I was imagining the chemistry between us, assuming I only saw what I wanted to see, but truth is, I can’t help but think he must share my feelings, even a little bit maybe. Now with him calling me beautiful as a closing goodbye, late in the evening, I just feel flustered, I wish I knew what he was thinking right now…
Sienna, I just can’t stop thinking about her; I remember when I first approached her to do this song with me, I thought, I love her style, I love her voice, how exciting would it be to work with her? Obviously I was crushing on her from the start but my only intentions was to write a song with a lovely girl with a beautiful voice, and her style fit mine and that’s all that mattered to me. I literally had what they call butterflies in my stomach when she agreed to collaborate. However, everyone went into lockdown from a worldwide pandemic and alas, I thought it might delay our plans but luckily we were able to make it work through the wonders of online technology. It doesn’t have the same feeling as working together in the studio, but it gets the job done. Of course, I was disappointed, I had truly looked forward to meeting her in person, shaking her hand and expressing my adoration for her music; I was still able to express myself to her, though it was through a computer screen rather than face to face. I guess I’m grateful that I get to have this opportunity at all. But now, here we are, only a little over a week into working with each other and already I’m feeling like I’m in a daze. We actually only spent maybe half of our interaction on work. The rest of the time was spent talking, we would just get into these conversations that would go on and on until one of us finally had to go eat or sleep and such. We would then switch over to texting a lot of the time, since we exchanged numbers, which again, would lead to us staying up late just saying random things to each other. We shared so many common interests that there was always something to talk about. It’s crazy what can happen in a week.
Meanwhile, I still had other things on my plate that I had to do. This song is a part of an album I’m working on right now, I had only begun this project right before everything started and being on lockdown, only made me want to finish it quicker. I don’t like not having something to work on. Sure time off is great, but this isn’t really time off. This is working from home and watching so many people struggle who don’t have the means to work from home, it’s maddening. So, in between working on my album, I’ll be working on getting involved in fundraisers within the community to help out local businesses. I wish there was more I could do at the moment, but I know it’s a start.
Nonetheless, I find myself here at home, spending time alone in between phone and video calls and projects, and in that time, I can’t help but wonder how Sienna’s day is going.
3 Days Later…
We were getting closer to wrapping this song up, but we dragged things out with our talks. I didn’t want to stop and I kept mulling over ways to keep chatting with her.
“You know if we were in person, I would invite you out for coffee,” I chuckled while looking down.
“Yeah, that would be nice. You know, I know it’s not exactly the same, but we could always order coffee in or even make our own and then come back to chat on here,” Sienna said while smiling, tucking her hair behind her ear. I laughed and smiled myself.
“That’s not a bad idea, how about this, what’s your favorite café that’s nearby where you live?”
“Hmm, I guess I’d have to say Sunny Side Café, it’s about a mile or so from where I am so I go there often.”
“And what exactly do you usually get there? What’s your go-to?” I asked while picking up my phone.
“Um, well I usually get a grandé almond cappuccino and they have these little cranberry vegan muffins that are really good… what are you doing?”
“I, my lady, am ordering you coffee as we speak, while also ordering my own. The café I go to is a little farther off but still shouldn’t take too long,” I say with a smirk.
“Jesse, no you didn’t,” she laughs, “you didn’t have to do that you know.”
“Oh I know, but if I were to invite you out to coffee, it would be my treat so I thought I would keep it as real as I could, and now, it’s done,” I set my phone down.
“Well, thank you,” she crossed her arms and nodded.
“Of course, and your coffee and muffin should be there in about 20 minutes, mine, probably more like 30.”
“Well, I’ll keep mine warm while yours gets to you,” I smile and nod to her. “This is kind of silly you know?” she giggles.
“Yeah maybe, but it works, you gotta get creative while in lockdown am I right?”
“That’s right,” she smiles and nods. “Would it be alright if I logged out for a few moments to go do a couple of things and then get back on once it’s here?”
“Absolutely, how about you just send me text when yours comes and I’ll message you back when mine gets here, sound good?”
Just like you… “Okay then, I’ll see you again in a few, bye.
We ended up talking for nearly two hours before she had to go. That semi coffee date went well, or whatever you would call it. It’s strange to think of “dating” over video chats, phone calls and texts. I mean obviously people have been doing it since the beginning of the internet and long distance relationships have also always existed. It’s just never been my style or something I was interested in. Every person I’ve dated, we met face to face. Oh sure, I know what it’s like to have your girlfriend far away, but only after an established relationship was in place. Here I find myself falling for a girl on the other side of the country and I’ve never once shook her hand. But thanks to modern technology, I still get to see her face and watch her smile and laugh. I’m kind of thinking that no matter how lame it might seem, maybe I could plan a “date” for us. I could order in our favorite meals, we can sit and chat while eating, truth be told, I wouldn’t mind face calling her while taking a walk and showing her where I am. Yeah, that’s not a terrible idea, I wonder if she would go for it. We could even watch the same movie together perhaps. The thoughts of all these things we could do together just through the phone alone made me excited but also a bit disappointed. What I wouldn’t give to be able to touch her hand, hold her close and feel her warmth, take in the way she smells, and kiss her lips. It’s actually driving me crazy now. My thoughts went from daydreaming about all the things we could do, to all the things we couldn’t do, and all the things I’d like to do, with her, and to her… But, I’ll have no choice but to accept the way things are until the moment comes when we can make that happen. For now, I would have to try to convince her that dating me long distance would be a good idea, I feel like she might share my same feelings, but I won’t fully know until I straight up ask her, which honestly makes me nervous to think about. It usually wasn’t a hard thing for me to do, to ask someone I have feelings for out, I like to just lay things out on the table instead of beating around the bush, but I’ve never done it with the possibility of a girl just turning off her phone or computer on me and that being that. So, I guess it’s time for a new experience.
As I sat there playing music and finishing up some things, I kept replaying in my head all the different ways to finally approach this question. I thought maybe I would reference the fact that I enjoyed our virtual coffee date and that I was hoping to maybe do more. I mean we already spend hours talking, I feel like it’s obvious that there’s something between us. Considering we’ll be wrapping up the project soon, the worse that could happen is that we just move on when we’re done. Only I don’t want it to be done, and I want her to know that. I just gotta try.
I’m laying here again with my stomach turning, not really knowing what I should do. Hmm, that would make a good start to a song. Maybe I should write a song and it would help take my mind off things, or at least help me process them. Jesse and I just got done chatting and having coffee, and as soon as we were done, I just felt light as a feather. That was such a cute gesture. Every time I think about him, I can feel myself getting warm in the face and my heart starts racing. His eyes, his smile, his laugh, the way he looks at me, it sends me into a spin. How am I supposed to cool off now? I keep wanting to text him but we literally just spoke. I’m wondering if I should just fess up and tell him how I feel. But what will he think? After all, we’re professionals and maybe I’m just reading into this too much. Maybe he is just a really sweet guy but that’s it, no intentions behind his manners. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how hard I try to convince myself of this, all I see his face in my head and I’m back to square one. I don’t want to spoil what’s going on with us, the music, our friendship; but the project will be over soon and I feel lost. Maybe I better just keep it cool until we finish up at least. Then I’ll think about what I can say to him to let him know that I want more than just his friendship.
We’ve been sitting here nearly an hour and a half. I only needed about thirty minutes of her time but then we got to talking as usual. It’s been a lighthearted chat but looking at her I feel like something is bothering her. I really want to get my feelings off my chest already but, I also don’t want to pick the wrong timing. If only I knew what was going on in her head, maybe I could make my move. Well, there’s no use continuing to put it off, I’m gonna say something somehow. She stared off into space again and when we finally got a moment of silence I decided to speak up and ask her what was going on.
“Hey, not to keep pressing about this but are you sure everything is okay? It just seems like something is bugging you.”
“Honestly, I was gonna ask you the same thing,” she chuckled, “maybe that’s why I look like something’s on my mind.”
Hmm, so now the tables have turned, maybe this is my chance. “Oh dang, do I really look that stressed?” I smiled.
“You look anxious, like maybe you need to go or something.”
“Oh, no, I’m fine, I don’t have to go. Not tonight anyway, I gotta be somewhere in the a.m. but for now I’m good.”
“Okay, so what’s up then? Is it the music?”
Now I could feel the lump in my throat and the heaviness in my stomach. Once I say it, it changes everything. Do I just straight forward confess my feelings, or do I casually ask her “out”? “Not exactly…” she looks at me with curious eyes. “Um, you know how we randomly decided to get coffee together but virtually?”
“Well, I just really enjoyed that, I mean it was silly and all but it was fun,” I pause, “and well, I was kinda thinking that it would be nice to do that again but maybe more than just coffee this time around?”
“Okay, like how so?” she looked up at me nervously.
“Well, I just really enjoy our talks so much, that I thought maybe we could plan a virtual date of some sort, I mean, something more than just randomly chatting during our sessions,” I cringed as the word date came out, but there was no other way of wording it. It’s out there now.
“A date?” she asked.
“Yeah, I mean, is that okay? Or if it’s too much then we can just forget it-“
“No, no, it’s fine! I mean, I’m completely fine with that, but what made you bring it up?”
Hearing how quickly she responded made my heart race, so I guess I was right.
“Uh, I mean, isn’t it kinda obvious?” she sat there thinking for a moment. “I don’t really know how else to say it except to just be straight forward at this point. I’m kind of developing feelings for you, I think I have been for a while. I think I was feeling something from the first time we technically met, but I was too afraid to say anything. Even now I’m thinking, am I going about this the right way, I’ve never really asked anyone out by phone or computer before, and then there’s the fact that we’re working on a song together…a love song at that, I don’t know, I just feel, I mean, you make me feel something I haven’t felt in awhile but was secretly wishing for, I thought about not saying anything but I don’t know, I finally decided that I couldn’t continue to act as if there wasn’t something going on, plus I thought I might be pretty obvious as it was, you know?” …and just like that, I started rambling and laid out my feelings, and now I can’t go back. There was another moment of silence between us and I was trying to think of something else to say when she finally spoke up.
“Wow good? or wow bad?”
“Good, definitely good, I’m sorry I guess I’m still just taking it all in honestly, I, I have something to say myself. I’ve been feeling the exact same way about you but was scared out of my mind to say anything!” she covered her face as we began to laugh together.
“Oh my God, really?” I felt as though I could finally take a real breath as I had been holding it since my confession.
“Yes,” she said while wiping away a tear. She was clearly blushing, which honestly so was I but I was doing my damnedest to hide it, but seeing her like this made me want to reach out and touch her more than anything right now. “Jesse, I have been doing nothing but think about you ever since we spoke for the first time, I kept debating myself whether or not I should say anything, I didn’t want to mess anything up and so obviously I kept backing out of admitting it. When you started talking about it just now, I literally thought I was gonna pass out.”
I grinned from ear to ear, “you don’t know how happy it makes me to hear you say that.”
“What, that I almost passed out?” she laughed, and so did I.
“No, only that it was because you were feeling the same as me, I was terrified you were gonna turn me down and just log off or something to be honest.”
“Why would I ever turn you down? You’re one of the sweetest, funniest, most amazing guys I’ve ever known and you’re completely adorable on top of everything else,” she blushed as she said this and I could feel the heat spreading across my face as well.
“You think I’m adorable?” she just smiled and nodded. “Well I happen to think you’re the most beautiful, angelic woman I’ve ever met.”
I took this opportunity to see if I could really get under her skin for a moment, to do what I could without being with her in person, I leaned in real close to my camera and looked her in the eyes, “Yes, Sienna, I really do, I’ve wanted to tell you that for awhile, of course, I only wish I could be there to tell you in person, and reach out to you.” I definitely believe I was getting under her skin.
“Yeah, I do too honestly.”
“So, how do you feel about it then? A virtual date.”
“Hmm, well I’ve never done one before—-“
“Neither have I!” I laughed, “It’ll be a new experience for both of us.”
“Well, there’s nothing wrong with trying something new,” she said as she crossed her arms.
“That’s right,” I nodded in agreement.
“Okay, let’s do it, let’s go on a virtual date. Does this mean we’re online dating now?”
“I guess so, assuming the date goes well,” I smiled.
“Based on recent events, I have a feeling it might,” she smiled back.
I sat there grinning like an idiot but I felt so happy knowing that we were on the same page, I felt as though I could ease into this with her now and no longer have to make up excuses to keep her on the phone or computer.
“So how does this Friday evening sound?” I finally asked.
“Friday evening sounds perfect.”
“Good, I look forward to it, Sienna.”
“Same here Jesse, thank you for asking me.”
“Thank you for accepting.”
“Well, why don’t we call it a night on that note, huh?”
“Alright, it’s been great talking.”
“Definitely, goodnight Jesse.”
“Goodnight Sienna,” I said as we logged off. Did that really happen? I sat there for awhile just taking it in. I could see me really falling for this girl, and everything with her had been so harmonious that it just felt right. I got up and walked around a bit and then plopped down on my couch and pulled my phone out to look at photos of her again for the millionth time. Even though we had just got done talking, I still wanted to reach out to her, I decided to send her a text.
I sat there after we logged off and couldn’t help but squeal to myself. He did feel the same way that I did. I got up and found myself walking lightly around my place. I went to my mirror to see how I looked right now, and I couldn’t stop smiling, Jesse Anderson had feelings for me, just as I did him. I pulled my phone out and looked at my favorite pictures of him that I saved. Butterflies fluttered as I looked at his face, and then I saw a message pop up on my screen from him. More butterflies.
Hey Sienna, I know we just got done talking, but I couldn’t help but reach out. I can’t stop thinking about you, and I know we just now brought this up but I wanted to tell you that anyway. I hope it’s not too forward of me, I just can’t wait to talk to you again. I hope you have a wonderful night.
I smiled and I couldn’t help but text back.
It’s definitely not too forward, I can’t stop thinking about you either. I’m really glad we finally got all this out in the open. 🙂 Thank you, you do the same, can’t wait for Friday.
Friday came in the blink of an eye, and it was obvious that I was excited. I had told my Nana that I had another “meeting” with Jesse but she figured it out pretty quickly.
“Ah yes, a meeting, and that’s why you’re digging through the dresses in your closet?”
“Yes…” I said, clearly lying. Nana wasn’t just my grandmother, she was my mother also. My everything. I didn’t know my father and my mother had died when I was a toddler so she raised me by herself and knew me better than anyone.
“Mhm, I’ve seen that look before, it’s been years since I saw it but I noticed it as soon as you started writing this song with that young man,” she laughed, “ah it’s sweet though, it’s nice to see your face full of smiles and happiness, especially during these times.”
“Oh Nana,” I went and sat next to her, “you know those smiles are also from being here with you right? Taking care of you and spending time together.” She wrapped her arm around me.
“Child, my dearest Nena, you do so much for me, I’m glad to have you home for awhile, but I’m also proud of everything you’ve accomplished and still continue to accomplish.”
“Well I couldn’t have done it without you, I love you.”
“I love you too baby. Now let’s pick out a nice dress for this obvious date or whatever you call it now, and I want you to tell me everything.”
I laughed and went on to tell her more about Jesse as I continued getting dressed. She already knew everything about what we were working on, but I hadn’t admitted my feelings until today. Of course, she had already guessed anyway.
The time had gotten closer to our date and we had been texting every so often all day, just like our coffee date, he asked me what I wanted for dinner and ended up ordering it my house. I brought everything to my studio and grabbed my laptop. Nana wanted to “meet” Jesse so I told him I would be in my living room with her when he called before heading back to the studio. He was happy to do so, stating that he wanted to meet the person who raised me to be so wonderful.
After our sweet three way chat, I kissed my Nana’s cheek and headed back to have privacy. I could tell she liked him just fine and that made me happy. Of course Jesse was easy to like, he was just that kind of guy, easily likeable. But underneath that, it was also extremely easy to fall in love with him.
I settled into my seat and positioned my laptop.
“Wow,” he smiled at me as I got comfortable.
“Wow?” I asked.
“You look absolutely stunning, I mean, you always do but in particular, tonight you look, wow.”
“Thank you, you don’t look too bad yourself,” I said while smiling at him.
“Ha ha, thanks. So, you’re grandmother is really sweet, I can see where you get your kindness from.”
“She is my rock, I do what I do for her, I mean I do it cause I love it but I wanted nothing more than to make her proud.”
“And I’m sure you have.”
“Thank you. So how has your day been?”
“It’s been good, I played around in the studio all day, adding some finishing touches to our song and working on another one I’ve been writing as well.”
“That’s awesome, can I hear it sometime? Your new one I mean?”
“Maybe,” he chuckled, “after I’ve done a little more work on it, then I’d be glad to play it for you.”
“Okay, I can’t wait,” I said while taking a bite from my dinner.
“Is it good? I mean did the order come out good?”
“Oh yeah, it’s great! And yours?”
“Mm, delicious, you wanna bite?”
“Oh sure, of course, send it right over!”
“Okay but it might take a few days, not sure if it’ll still be good by the time you get it,” we laughed together.
“Well, maybe I’ll take a rain check on that then,” I smile and continue to eat.
“Have I told you, that you have a beautiful smile?”
“Thank you, I love yours as well.” I adore it.
The night went well, to no surprise, and we were more laid back than usual since everything was out in the open now and I could freely say what I was thinking. My heart felt warm and I my mind began to wander as I imagined us together. These thoughts kept me up at a night, dancing around all the possibilities. Being in quarantine was going to feel a lot harder than it did before, but to be able to be with Sienna, it was worth the wait. I no longer dreaded the ending of our project, I knew now that there would be a reason to talk to her everyday and until the day when we could finally be together, I can spend my time daydreaming of what it’ll be like.
After the night of our first date and finishing up the song, we eased into a routine with each other and just like that we began a long distance relationship, constantly attached to our phones, awaiting a text or a call.
We went on walks together via video chat, we even had some movie nights together, and still play music for the fun of it. Our song was already completely done and released. We even ended up doing a virtual performance of it on a talk show already and a short interview about the collaboration and what we’re both up to these days, leaving out all the details of what was going on between us.
Of course, that didn’t stop people from speculating as they always do when two people work together. No real rumors, just people talking about how we’d make a cute couple and all, I mean they were right.
Unfortunately no matter how much we tried to move our schedules around, we couldn’t find time to visit each other. Nor could we go through the process it would take to travel, it would be irresponsible and I am staying with my Nana after all.
But regardless, he found a way to make me feel loved any chance, either with a sweet text or call. He even sent me flowers and a small stuffed bear, which I now cuddle with at night whenever I think about him. I too sent him a few things, like pictures and a gift on his birthday.
While I’m not quite sure how everything will work out in the long run, one thing I am sure of is that I’ve decided to enjoy this while we have it. There are the days where it becomes frustrating, not being able to be with each other in our day to day lives, but I tell myself that it’ll all be worth it.
Three months later…
Tonight’s the night, I get to finally see her face to face. It’s only been a few months, but it has felt like an eternity since everything began between Sienna and me. It’s felt even longer since this whole pandemic fiasco started. Now I’m prepping for the first major performance I’ve done in awhile, as well as meeting the girl I’ve fallen madly in love with.
Our song hit the charts almost immediately and when an end of Summer show got put together for a few popular artists, wouldn’t you know that Sienna and I got picked to sing our song. Neither one of us have been able to make it work to visit one another so this came like a blessing from above. Unfortunately we only have tonight as we’re both still busy regardless of this lockdown, but I know we’ll figure it out somehow. I can’t wait to see her smile right in front of me, I can’t wait to hold her, to smell her, to kiss her…just the thought of all this was intoxicating. I felt high from the feeling of all of it already. I got a text from her saying it wouldn’t be long until she boarded her plane and would be on her way. She can’t get here soon enough.
I’m so nervous that I feel like puking. I’m getting dressed and ready to fly to a show tonight, not just any show, a show where I get to meet the guy I’m crazy about these days. A guy that I’m completely in love with but we’ve never once been in each others physical presence. I guess love’s funny that way though. So we’ve video chatted like crazy but still I check the mirror wondering if I look good enough to see him, will he find me just as pretty in real life as he does through the screen? Weird thought I guess but I can’t help but wonder. I’ve put myself through the works getting ready for tonight, making sure every little part of me looked and felt perfect. I don’t usually get this worked up but here I am reapplying my face powder for the millionth time, I’ll look like a china doll if I keep this up, but I’ve never had to wait to meet a guy I like, to meet a guy I’m dating already…so I guess this is how all online daters feel I’m assuming. Anyway, tonight we’re performing at a controlled show in Georgia, there won’t be many people there, the main focus is it being televised. This is actually the first time I’ve performed in person anywhere since the pandemic began whereas Jesse has played some small private events where he lives. So tonight is special for so many reasons and I’m excited on every level. I get to see his smile in person, I get to reach out and touch him, have him touch me…I swear I’m going to end up running into his arms the second I see him.
I’m scheduled to arrive shortly before our performance begins which means we won’t have time to chat before the show, but that’s alright because we will have time after performing. How strange is it that our first major moment together in person will be in front of so many people. I hope I don’t make a fool of myself from nerves. Jesse is already there since it was only a quick trip for him. Knowing it’ll be less than hour before I see him and stand next to him on stage, feels so surreal.
When we finally landed the intensity of my anxiety only strengthened. I was guided backstage where they would be doing last minute touch ups on me. We would not be rehearsing here as we basically rehearsed through video already, we had it down perfectly, but I still felt like I might stumble over myself. Immediately my eyes began searching for him, we weren’t able to text each other for the past hour but he knew when I was due to be here which meant he could be anywhere looking for me as well. I was stood in front of a mirror while being patted and touched up, someone on my hair, my dress and face, mostly reapplying lip gloss, I had to hold still but my eyes still looked up and that’s when it happened, my gaze met his. He was leaning on the edge of the door that led to the stage stairs, he couldn’t have been standing there long, minutes at best but he was relaxed into a spot where he could smile at me and watch me being done up. I felt like jumping and we did an excited grin at each other. How long must they keep doing this? Almost as if my secret wish was granted, they all pulled off of me as my in-ear monitor was attached. But instead of moving forward, I ended up frozen right where I was, blushing all over as he slowly walked up to me. We stared at each other for a quick moment, and then he scooped me up in his arms and held me, putting his face against mine, I took in his warmth and scent and I felt like I was in perfection, it was so hard not to press my lips to his in this moment, but see, the general public knew nothing of our relationship yet, and considering we haven’t even been on a physical date yet, we still wanted a little privacy before going public. I could honestly see the same longing in his eyes but we kept it cool. We looked at each other and started laughing nervously.
“I’m sorry for being so quiet but I’m still trying to find the right words to say,” he said.
“Don’t worry, I’m going through the exact same thing,” I laughed.
“Good, I’m not alone, how was the flight? How are you feeling?”
“It was fine, I’m feeling, fine…” I trailed off while looking into his eyes.
“That’s great,” he nodded.
“It’s so hard to not act like there’s something going on between us right now, I’ve been thinking about this all day.”
“Trust me, I feel the same way, you’re so beautiful.”
“Thank you, Jesse, so are you. I see you shaved.”
“I had a reason to,” we laughed, and before he could say anything else, we were interrupted.
“Alright you two, it’s time to get in place, you’re going on in five.”
He looked at me, “this is it, let’s go”.
Regardless of the fact that we had to be careful right now, he still put his hands around my waist and led me to the stairs, which made me shiver. As we walked up, someone handed him his guitar and we continued on to the stage.
As we stood on stage, lights flooding us, cameras from every angle, I felt like passing out. I had sung with Sienna so many nights in our chats, with a screen standing between us, that seeing her now, right next to me, with everyone watching was overwhelming. I kept imaging what it would be like to kiss her right now and let the world know about us, and then my stomach turned. I don’t like people involved in my relationships, especially when we haven’t even had the chance to fully embrace each other, but it was hard to act like she was just my collaborator singing a song with me and nothing more. I couldn’t stop staring at her and smiling. She was even more beautiful in person than I could have ever imagined. Like an angel had just flew into my life. Driving me wild with her eyes… she doesn’t even know what she does to me.
I heard our cue and so we took a breath and gave each other another nod as they announced us.
“And now please welcome, Jesse Anderson and Sienna Stellano with their new hit single “Hey, I’m in Love!”
“Hey, it’s a beautiful day, to say I’m in love.
But hey, this love seems so far away,
will you say you’ll stay and never run away,
when push comes to shove?
But if you say you feel the same way,
Then hey, we can say we’re in love.
Seems like the world is falling down,
and crashing all around,
but with a thing called love, we’re gonna be okay.
Don’t’ know how long I’ll have to wait,
to finally see your face, to know,
if it’s chance or if it’s fate, hey hey…
My love you’re out there, I know it
If you’re ready than show it,
I need you here tonight,
I’ll be waiting underneath the moonlight.
Cause when the world is crashing down,
and it’s falling all around,
And push comes to shove,
it’s gonna be you and me and a thing called love.
Now we’re here, we’ve made it,
Look how long we’ve waited to say…
Hey, have I told you I love you today?
Because today is a beautiful day,
Oh yes it’s a beautiful day to say,
hey, we’re in love.”
That was one of the most exhilarating shows I’ve done, and I only sang half of one song. We couldn’t take our eyes off of each other and it definitely made me weak in the knees, the same way you feel when you’re around your crush in high school. But this wasn’t school, and I didn’t have to wonder whether or not he wanted me back, I knew he did, and I also knew that he kept finding every opportunity he could to put his hands on me. It had been so long since I wanted someone this bad that I felt every single part of my body fill with heat when he was near me, and we haven’t even kissed yet.
I managed to work it out for me to stay just one night though I would need to get back home in the morning. No way were either of us passing up this opportunity after waiting so long and while this was the first time even being in the same location, I had never felt so connected to anyone than I was to him. Not a single thing could prepare me for tonight.
My mind has never felt so cloudy but yet so clear all at the same time. The entire evening I’ve felt like I was floating and having her next to me within arms reach just heightened that feeling. We had to speak to a few people as soon as we were done which left us standing silently with each other yet again, having to hold back our obvious tension. The moment I finally found us able to walk out and leave, we grabbed the bag she had brought and I took her hand firmly. All I really wanted to do was pull her aside and kiss her but I kept hesitating, I didn’t want the first time to be like this, I was waiting until I knew we had no chance of getting interrupted, all this waiting just made it more exciting.
“So, are you hungry? You wanna go somewhere?” I asked. She hesitated. “Well, truth be told I’m a little hungry, but I don’t think I could eat a thing right now.” “Okay, I can’t say I’m not feeling the same way. What would you like to do then?”
“Honestly…I just want be alone with you tonight.”
I gulped as she said this. I wanted this too, but I didn’t want to suggest it immediately. Sure we had talked about all the things we wanted to do once we were alone, but I didn’t want to assume that’s how we’d spend our first night in person together. Still, I was relieved that she felt the same way, and hopeful about what would happen when it was finally just the two of us.
“I booked a room for the night already, do you wanna just go straight there?”
“Yes, I would like that,” she said as she nodded.
I smiled, “Alright then, let’s get out of here.”
I had a driver ready to take me where I needed to go, so I directed him to the room I had booked. We sat in the back seat together basically acting like two foolish teenagers since all we could do is awkwardly laugh every so often, but still, I grabbed her hand and intertwined our fingers and it felt like time stood still for a moment. I had been waiting to hold her for so long, obsessing over the thoughts of her skin, her hair, her eyes, tasting her kiss for the first time, and right now, just to touch her was like ecstasy. I kept wanting to pull her face close to mine, I didn’t want to wait anymore, but I continued to hold back, it wouldn’t be long before we’d be there.
As we sat and held hands, waiting for our destination, my heart was racing so fast that I thought it might stop. On top of everything, it seemed no matter what I did, I couldn’t speak enough to make a full sentence, the past few months we were nothing but chatterboxes every time we spoke, and now, silence. But the truth is, I guess we didn’t need to talk all that much, and right now, his eyes said it all, he always had this way of staring at me intensely with his light brown, hazel eyes. At one point he ran his hand across my face and I felt chills. “This is so wonderful, yet so strange, you know? Being here together, after all this time,” I finally managed to speak.
“I know, I feel like I have so much to say yet I also feel like I can’t find the words.”
“Maybe we don’t need to say anything at all, we’ve talked for hours on end these past few months and now I just want to enjoy this night with you,” I ran my hand across the back of his as I spoke. At this he took my hand and kissed it. This car ride can’t end soon enough.
It only took about twenty five minutes to get there and I could feel the butterflies increasing the closer we got to being completely alone together. We each had one bag so after signing in, we rushed to the elevator and straight to our room.
“Ladies first,” he said and held the door open for me to walk in, “and you know, we can just order room service for dinner, they have plenty of options for us plant eaters, I checked before booking.”
All I could do was nod and smile, my stomach was obviously empty but I didn’t care, I still couldn’t bring myself to eat. I just ran my hand along the edge of a nearby chair. The room was very nice, wide open, soft lighting, neutral relaxing colors, everything was inviting, it was the perfect setting for a night alone with Jesse, though any place with privacy would work for me. I was lost in thought imagining what would happen tonight, and I noticed from the corner of my eyes that he was staring at me, as he reached out for my hand. He pulled me close to him and we wrapped our arms around each other. I pressed my face against his chest and then he finally took his hands and tilted my face towards his, this is it, I felt like my stomach would just drop, as he stared at me and leaned in to press his lips against mine. I felt dizzy as we sat there sharing our first kiss, and I couldn’t bring myself to pull away from him. Every time we stopped, I kissed him again, and he leaned against my neck and began softly kissing all over. I felt like doing this forever, and then he reached and ran his hands slowly up and down my back, I could feel myself melting to his touch and suddenly my sensations were interrupted by my anxious thoughts.
“Jesse, I need a moment in the bathroom, okay? I won’t be long.”
“Take as much time as you need, beautiful, I’ll be here waiting.”
I smiled at him and grabbed my bag. When I closed the door behind me, I let out a big sigh. I felt as nervous as I did my very first time. When I looked in the mirror, I was clearly flushed in the face, but my makeup was still in place. I took the clips and pins that were holding my hair in place and pulled them out so I could shake my hair free, I ran my fingers through it. Then I took all my jewelry off, rolled some more perfume on and continued to freshen up. I wanted to look perfect yes, but I was also stalling. I just needed one more moment to emotionally prepare myself. But I couldn’t be more ready to finally be with Jesse.
I slowly opened the door and caught a glimpse of him running his fingers through his own hair and looking into the mirror, his shirt slightly unbuttoned, shoes off, clearly as flustered as me. When he heard me, he turned around and saw that I had let my hair down and all we could do is smile once again. Seeing him this nervous was so cute, and it made me happy. As I walked up to him, he grabbed my waist and pulled me into his body space. He reached over to the light switch and dimmed the lights. This time I was less timid as I kissed him, I wanted him more than anything right now, and I wanted him to know that. I ran my fingers through his soft hair and he did the same thing to me. I felt his hands go down my neck, my back, and then to my hips where he grabbed my dress and started to pull it up, I pulled away so he could take it off of me. We kissed again and I unbuttoned the rest of his shirt slowly, tracing my fingers down him as I pushed it off his shoulders. His body was perfect and I could see that he didn’t just have freckles on his face. Taking each other in we kissed deeper and before I knew it he was picking me up to lay me on the bed. His warm body on top of mine, kissing and touching me everywhere, we took each others hands and he put my arms over my head while kissing my neck, I broke free and ran my fingers through his hair once again as he reached for the clasp of my bra. It’s happening, it’s finally happening.
We made love for what felt like hours, making up for all the times that we couldn’t touch each other. Regardless of how nervous we both were, it was the most intoxicating experience I’ve had. I had daydreamed about this night for months and it was almost exactly how I had imagined it. Jesse was so gentle yet so passionate and it only made me more crazy about him. I laid in his arms while he caressed my hair, we were silent at first but then he spoke.
“Sienna, remember that night when I told you that I was falling in love with you?”
“Yes, because I said the same thing.”
“Did, I ever tell you that I am in love with you, no more falling, I’m already there.”
I looked up at him, “I love you too Jesse,” and I kissed his cheek.
“Baby, I don’t want this night to end.”
“I don’t either, but I’m sure we can make it work soon,” I said, still thinking about my schedule.
“I was thinking about taking a break, maybe a week or so to come out your way.”
“Really? But you have a deadline.”
“Yeah, but, things have been moving slower than we planned and I was thinking of pushing it back. I mean, I don’t see what one week would do, with everything still going on and all. I don’t see the point of rushing things anyway, it’s all going to be promoted online, I still can’t go anywhere physically so why not do it from where you’re at? And I thought we could go on that hike to Sedona together, and maybe we could make love under the stars,” he whispered in my ears as he said this.
“I think I’d like that very much,” he kissed me on my forehead.
“So how do you feel about dinner now?”
“I definitely think I could go for that.” The tension had let off some after everything, and I was feeling more relaxed. Curled up in blankets only, we placed our order to room service and then got up to put our clothes on, I had brought with me a tank and shorts to change into and he threw on a t-shirt and some shorts of his own.
When our food finally arrived, he pulled our chairs to be side by side rather than across and we sat down to eat and have a conversation. We were finally able to go back to talking each others ears off and we found so many things to laugh about as we shared with each other how we were feeling all day before meeting. Let’s just say that we were definitely feeling the same things. Hearing about his possible plans to come spend time with me in Arizona made me the happiest of all. It would be nice to be able to quarantine together.
I had watched him eat before but this was still the sweetest sight, his hair all tousled and slightly hanging over his eyes. Grinning at me with each bite he took. This is exactly how I wanted to spend our first night together. I wouldn’t change anything about it. I wouldn’t change anything about our romance at all, the song, the way we fell in love, it was better than I could have imagined and we were only beginning.
Seeing her smile and hearing her laugh in person definitely topped all of our video calls we had ever had. I could sit in this moment with her forever and I would be content. This is our first night together and yet, she already feels like home, I see forever in her eyes. This year so far has been crazy to say the least, and while I have no idea what the future holds, I’m hoping for the best possible outcome because I’m completely in love with this woman. The best decision I made was asking her to do this song with me, and I was graced with something much better than a hit single. I didn’t feel alone anymore, even though many miles had stood between us, she had filled a void in my heart and in my life. The morning would be here before we knew it but my mind was made up that I would not wait to come see her and be with her again. I was ready to dive into this new life with her and everything it had to offer.
“Hey, I was thinking, we should make more magic happen in the studio when I come out,” I looked up at her.
“Hmm, I think that’s a great idea!”
“We do seem to be good at making great music together after all, amongst other things,” I nudged her side.
“I couldn’t agree with you more,” she reached over and we kissed.
“Isn’t it amazing, this unlikely love story that happened, all because of one simple love song.”
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