My friend Joseph needed to get home. So I got myself to San Francisco and we drove across the country to Pittsburgh. Afterward, I headed to NYC for the first time. To return home a week later by plane. It was a chance to challenge myself, escape routine, and take risks. I succeeded.

While in New York I met a woman. She’s different. My first impression was that she was immature and superficial, yet intelligent and cunning. Her bubbly, yet strong, “I’m a princess, worship me” routine was completely unattractive and lost on me. Yet, I saw something else within her. As if all that was some sort of a fa├žade. So, after indulging her a bit, mainly because she was just so quirky, self-confident, and interesting, I had to choose whether or not to continue my trip with her as a companion.

I did, and I didn’t regret it. She is definitely an odd person, but thankfully, those are my favorite types. She is probably one of the more social people I have ever met, a true socialite. Her charisma and charm were unabashedly on display everywhere we went. I began to realize, some of what I perceived as ‘fakeness’ was actually her personality being so foreign. I later understood that she was alone and probably lonely in a lot of ways. She seeks companions as she travels the world almost as accessories. It made me wonder, how she felt about me. Was she just using me?

Her strangeness and forwardness kept me suspicious, I could not shake the feeling of being manipulated. However, I have seen a glimmer of vulnerability, of a real person beyond this persona she wears. I trust her in some way I cannot describe, and I don’t know if that is because I want, no, need, to trust someone, to let someone in. She is delightful. And I eventually felt I could let my guard down, be myself. I didn’t really care about charming her, so I was carefree and uncensored. She seemed to gravitate towards that. At one point, on the way to Central Park, I was a bit loopy, she was a little goofy. We were laughing and playing off each other, enjoying the moment to its fullest. And then we began to hold hands.