I met a girl on a bet.
I told her my name was Theodore, and that I had eleven cats and all of them were named Oliver. I said I played ukulele. I said I once accidentally killed another kid in my karate class with nunchucks because that's just how good I am.
She was getting off the bus and suddenly I didn't want to leave, so I told her I lived around here and asked if she wanted to get something to eat. She suggested sushi; I said I was allergic. We got tacos instead.
When I told my friends about it I pretended I thought it was funny.
She sat on my floor and ate Reese's Pieces while I painted the apartment I had bought in the area I got off the bus on that first day - I said I was redecorating. She told me she wished she was closer with her sister. She told me she liked the way my sweatshirts smelled. I told her all of my cats had mysteriously been killed by the same disease.
We were snuggled up on her couch, watching what she thought was my favorite movie and eating what she thought was my favorite food, and she asked me why I had never played ukulele for her. My heart sped up. I told her my ukulele was broken, and then I rushed to the store and bought one.
Four days later I played her the song I had pieced together from instructional youtube videos, and when I was done she told me she loved me. Staring her in the eye, my mouth cracked into a tiny smile, I told her I loved her too.
It was the first thing I said to her that wasn't a lie.