Melissa Portan MSW, MEd

Writer & Sexologist

Melissa is a 5th generation spiritual guide and healer who specializes in helping others find their own spiritual path. She is also a sex and relationship therapist practicing in NYC.


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Heart Palpitations

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

There is nothing more beautiful than feeling the rush of excitement when seeing that person you love, or you think you love, or you want to be loved by. Whatever it is. There is something magical about that moment when the eyes connect and nothing is in between, when nothing else matters.

I have only been in love three times in the total span of my twenty-three years. And I don't even think you can say that I was in love. It is more fitting to say that I was infatuated and projecting my inner desires for romantic love onto persons that fit my ideal of a partner. But that is going into too much detail about it. What I felt was real and intense and what's more, it was never returned.

No, I have never been loved. I have only been lover. I have only been lover to dreams, to shadows, and pictures. And so, that moment that is shared between two that are attracted to each other has never been lived by me. For two years now I have dedicated myself to everything else that constitutes my person. I have been studying French, the language of love, and I have been rereading the fairy tales of my childhood, of Disney, in French. I didn't know those stories were so violent and so void of love. Life has given me pure irony when it comes to matters of the heart.

It was when I was sitting out on a bench, in the courtyard of my college, that someone decided to sit next to me. I remember the day very well. It was spring, the flowers were blossoming, and the birds were singing, and the wind was blowing all that pollen up my nostrils. And so, I had tissue in all of my pockets and was constantly blowing my nose. But he sat down next to me anyway. He took out his sandwich, looked over at me, and smiled before taking a bite of it. It was then that I noticed my heart begin to beat faster. It was nothing like I had felt before. I smiled back at him, but by the time I did so, he had looked away and was busy chewing. He must have been very hungry because he chewed and chewed and barely looked away from his food.

Two weeks passed and I did forget about him. I carried on with my classes. I continued to watch my favorite t.v. shows and I continued to just be. I was calm and collected. I was a good student even though I hated school. People were always telling me that I was such a good student! That I should teach and that I would be a great college professor. I really didn't care. What the hell for?

When I was walking out of the bathroom I stopped by the water fountain and took a long drink. That day, it was a Monday, I had forgotten my bottle of water. As I bent over and opened my mouth to let the water in, I noticed that my pant's zipper was open. And then 11:15 struck and the classrooms around the hallway began to empty. I tried to drink a lot of water. I tried to keep drinking water until the hall emptied, but I could not stomach it. Then someone approached me and leaned against the wall to my left. My heart began to beat faster as I tried to figure out what to do. I could not see his face, but I did have a great view of his groin area. His blue jeans were very very well-fitted and I suddenly found that I was very thirsty. I saw that he was leaning back on his right leg, his left leg was bent and his hands were in the pockets of his jeans.

He cleared his throat and shuffled his feet. By then, the hallway was empty and the water was just splashing against my lips. We were alone in the hallway, just the two of us. I moved slowly because I tried to hide the fact that my underwear was showing. It wasn't lace underwear. It was not the kind of underwear that would seduce anybody. I moved slowly and I realized then that he was right in front of the bathroom door, the bathroom I needed to go back into.

Before I could finish standing up and releasing the fountain, he said, "Your zipper is down." I stood up quickly, my face red, and rushed past him. I didn't even look at him.

The bathroom was empty and I stood in front of the mirror adjusting my pants. I stayed there for five minutes, making sure that he would be gone by the time I went back out. When I did not hear any noise, I walked back out. I looked to the right of the hall and saw no one and then I looked to the left. My eyes were confronted by him and he was again leaning against the wall. Perhaps he was an architecture student and thought the walls needed extra support.

I saw him looking down at my pants and I cleared my throat and crossed my arms to get his attention away from there. He looked up at me, his eyes moving slowing over my body, and I felt myself blush slightly as his eyes lingered over my breasts. What was he looking at? I was a B cup. My heart was beating at a rate that can only be explained poetically as very quickly and hard. I could not move away from him and I stared at his face. I stared at his hair and how it framed his face and I simmered on the feeling of taking hold of it and pulling with all my might. But I did not see him as mocking me, his smile was different and soft. Again, I felt a very hard heart beat as I stood there.

"Are you hungry? I'm going for lunch across the street. Want to join me?"

It was his eyes that convinced me to go with him. There really was no malice in him and I felt bad for having thought about pulling his hair. "Okay" was my response and he smiled freely.

We walked through the halls of the college until we reached the glass doors of the exit. There was the sidewalk, crowded with people who had just gotten off the train, either going to class or leaving campus. Our campus was a sidewalk, the hallways of the buildings, the courtyard, and the surrounding restaurants. The main street was crawling with cars and the local bus dropped off even more people. We walked side by side, but then we began to get separated. He began to get ahead of me and he would look back at me, making sure that I was still there. I didn't know the man and despite this I still felt a tension of fear in my belly as he moved away from me. He too seemed to feel something, that or he saw the panic on my face, because he tried to walk slower and stay close. Then I felt a hand grab my own and I saw it was his. I instinctively grabbed onto it. The feelings that were rising in my belly up to my heart began to calm. The warmth of his hand really did make me feel safe.

When we finally reached the restaurant and ordered our food. We sat there in silence. I looked at him and he looked at me, his smile constant but subtle. Maybe I was imagining that he was smiling, I'm not sure. I looked away as I realized that our food was coming. When I looked back he was no longer in front of me. He had moved his chair to be right next to me. My heart jumped because of how close he was. There was nothing more arousing to me, nothing had ever felt so amazing and sexy, than being next to him.

"You don't recognize me?" he asked as he began to drink ginger ale soda.

I looked at him, his face, his body, his clothes trying to remember if I knew him or if I had seen him somewhere. And then he began to chew. I recognized him. He was the guy that had sat next to me two weeks ago and who had been attacking a sandwich. "Now I do."

He smiled and his body moved with his soft laughter. I couldn't help but laugh too. My heart began to race. I felt afraid. I took my glass which had been filled with soda and drank. As if that was going to calm me. He grabbed my forearm and I shivered.

There was only an inch of space between us and that moment that two share when attracted to each other was now mine.


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