I thought I was very casually telling Rodrigo that I liked him (Picture: Pranjal Jain)
As I looked around the misty bar in Barcelona last February, I noticed a man with beautiful brown hair and a beard.
I was with my friends and he was alone when I suddenly realised something. Every girl in that bar was distracted, throwing quick glances and flirtatious smiles to theman. His silent confidence had us all captivated.
As the night progressed, he seamlessly migrated around the room while dancing and joining new circles of people. In a haze of tequila and Romeo Santos songs, the beautiful man ended up right next to me, dancing with my circle of friends.
One by one, he introduced himself to my friends, saving me for last. ‘My name is Rodrigo*,’ he whispered to me in Spanish, holding one side of my face with his hands and leaning into the other to speak.
‘Mucho gusto’ I responded, pulling back and trying to play it cool.
But the minute our eyes met, my stomach tingled with butterflies and I knew that my efforts to resist him were in vain.
A couple of minutes after dancing with all of us, Rodrigo broke the circle and turned to face me. His hands cupped my face and staring into my eyes, he slowly brought our foreheads to touch. I moved closer to his chest and matched the right and left sway of his hips to the bachata beat.
Without thinking twice, I slightly parted our foreheads so our lips could meet.
For hours, I ruminated in his oh-so European cologne and soft lips. When the clock struck 4am, the bartenders ushered Rodrigo, my friends, and I onto the dawn-lit streets of Barcelona.
Rodrigo turned to me and pulled out his phone, open to a blank contact page.
‘Actually… wanna come back with me?’ I said with a cheeky smile.
‘Sure, but no pressure. I’m around for you any time,’ Rodrigo said, his Portuguese accent peeking through. Smiling, I reached for his hand and gave it a quick tight squeeze and didn’t let go till we made it back to mine.
For the rest of the morning, in my broken Spanish and his broken English, we giggled and shared about our interests, families, and favourite Barcelona spots till I had to head to class.
Previously, I had never even been taken out on a date (Picture: Pranjal Jain)
This is where I learned that Rodrigo was only in Barcelona for a week, visiting from Portugal, and I told him that I was here for a few months while studying abroad from New York.
Considering the distance and cultural gaps, it was clear to us both that there was no serious future for us.
But, neither of us minded that. It was implied that all we had together was the present, so we decided to spend the week together.
Rodrigo showered me with affection and showed up for me in ways my lovers accustomed to college-hookup …read more