I have always loved sexual tension.
The kind you get when you meet someone you’re physically attracted to, but either you can’t or don’t want to admit it. Maybe that person is attractive in that physical way that appeals to you, and then they go and say something that pisses you off. Or you can’t help but enjoy the way their gaze is stuck on you, but then you find out they are the son of the man that fired your father. Or maybe you find yourself fantasizing about your boss, but you need your job more than you need to test your theory on sexual chemistry. Or perhaps your skin tingled when he brushed past you, but then the girl who bullied you in school walks up and slips her hand in his. You turn away determined to forget this person. No way you’re going to think about him. No. Way. But then you do. Again. And again. And its mental torture. He’s the one man you can’t have, for a whole list of legit reasons. But he occupies your mind like a mental virus, slowly sickening you with that disease called love. It’s the constant push and pull, fight and surrender, hope and devastation. The roller coaster ride of wanting, slowly climbing toward that moment when you cross the line from friends to lovers, like hovering at the top, staring down the steep slope of railways, and feeling the thrill as the coaster zooms downward. Then the abrupt jolt at the end when the ride is over.
It’s the fact that this kind of love makes you FEEL.
I want to FEEL!
I only read about this kind of enemies-to-lovers desire in books growing up. It wasn’t until I was a reporter on assignment at my third TV job that I got that push-and-pull feeling while on the job.
My first assignment outside of the United States came when Cuba’s Fidel Castro invited Pope John Paul the second to Cuba for a meeting. I worked for the ABC station in Tampa at the time. The Bay area is home to a large and politically active Cuban American Community. Many fled Castro’s revolution, settling in Tampa, and had not been back to their homeland in over 30 years.
My TV station sent me to cover locals going to Cuba with a group affiliated with a Catholic Church. I chose to do a story on a family with five sons. Only two of the five decided to make the trip to Cuba with their parents. Those two wanted to see the island through their parents eyes before their parents died and both feared – with restrictions on travel – this might be their only chance. The other three brothers refused to go to Cuba as long as Castro still ruled. They blamed Castro for forcing their parents to flee with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
While interviewing Juan and Josefina Figueredo about this historic trip back to Cuba, both began to cry. Juan cried while recounting his decision to leave his home country, so his children had the freedom to practice the Catholic religion. Josefina cried while describing the moment she hugged her father for the last time, knowing she would never see him again. One of their sons, Jorge, stopped the interview and began to chastise me because I made his parents cry. I thought, “The nerve of him. This is my job, and this story is heartfelt and compelling. It needs to be told.” I ignored his resistance and finished my interview. He glared at me the whole time.
And that was just the beginning of our push and pull during that trip. And despite his resistance and mine, I found myself looking forward to seeing him. To the test any conversation with him would likely put me through.
And he was handsome.
When I was around him, he challenged me, and pulled me up that slow incline to the top of the rollercoaster. Falling in love with him was like that plunge down towards the ground.
It took my breath away.
Ours was a true enemies-to-lovers romance. 😊