"Have you ever seen Mannequin?"
After I finished laughing, she was still looking at me. "No, seriously, Jared, have you ever seen that movie?"
I shrugged, and admitted that yes, I had seen Mannequin. "Good," she sighed out, "because that's kinda what love is like. The right person comes along, and just sort of makes you come to life. One day, you're standing in a department store window, being dressed by Hollywood, then your Jonathan comes along, and brings you to life. That's what love is like. My version of it, anyway.
One day you're just standing in a department store window, everyday bleeding into the next, until you can't tell the days apart. Then, if you're lucky, and really, really brave, you take that chance, you take everything you're feeling, those emotions that make your heart beat faster, those emotions that take you from nothing to everything. You take those emotions, and you do the only thing you can. You have to say it, you have to say it, because it becomes a part of who you are. That's love."
I looked at her while she was telling me this, and the thing that I have to tell you is that she was so many things. She was this mixture of sentimental and ridiculous. Even as I listened her explain what love was like, as absurd as using a movie like that to explain her feelings, I couldn't help but be touched by it. She was so naive sometimes, so worldly at others. She was this mixture of all these qualities that you couldn't help but be amazed at. All these wonderful qualities existed in one person. Sometimes it made me dizzy.
She wasn't what you'd consider beautiful. She was only a step or two up from being plain.
If you saw a picture of her, your eyes would skate across it and dismiss it. In person, it was so much different. In person, once you saw her, you could barely tear your eyes away. Everything about her drew your eyes, your senses. She was so appealing, and not just to men. To everyone.
One of the other girls I knew, Liz, was absolutely beautiful. One look at her, and you were on your way to falling in love. She had this gorgeous red hair, big gray eyes fringed with long, thick lashes.
The funny thing is, the longer I knew Jenna, the more I started to notice about her. Just the little things. Her radiant smile, her laugh, the way it was like a boomerang-- it started off quiet, and got loud, and then boomeranged back to being quiet.
I heard her laughing, and happened to glance over at her leaning against Liz's desk. And just for a moment, when she was laughing, she made Liz look average. She outshone the most beautiful girl, simply by being Jenna.
As far as love goes, she had it absolutely right. As she explained that to me, in that moment, my heart no longer belonged to me.
In that moment, Jenna stole my heart away like an experienced pickpocket. She took it, transferred my heart from me to her, and I never even felt the exchange.
It had been building in me for a long time now, but that was the moment it all clicked together. The dancing light in those golden brown eyes, the way I felt better simply by being around her, the way I looked forward to every moment with her. I knew it must be love. Take it away, Etta.