Your mouth drops when you see her. She has on a long black dress that flows to her ankles. It falls just off her shoulders, giving you a glimpse of her strong back. She looks kind of lost or at least kind of lonely. Come to think of it, you have never seen her at one of “these” types of parties. The ones that rich kids throw where anything goes and the parents can influence the cops to look the other way if need be.
The half-drunk DJ puts a slow song on. Many of the party goers protest. It is nearing 3 o’clock in the morning and the party is almost over. They want loud music, fast music. But not you. You have your eyes set on a beautiful brunette. You decide it is now or never. You just turned eighteen and will be leaving for Harvard soon. What do you have to lose?
You walk over to her and tap her gently on the shoulder.
“Do you want to dance?” you ask. It is a simple question but it leaves the tip of your tongue tingling.
Much to your surprise, she accepts, and the two of you start to move slowly to the song.
**** I can still feel my head on your shoulder // and hoping that song would never be over ****
“My name is Olivia,” she says in a voice so smooth that you are sure would captivate you even if she was reading the phone book. She goes on to tell you about her cousin Abbie Carmichael, who forced her to come to this party. You know Abbie pretty well, but you never knew she had a cousin.
You rest your head on Olivia’s shoulder as she tells you that she graduated early from high school two years ago and is home for the summer from the Police Academy.
You have only known her for a few short minutes, but you feel so comfortable in her arms. You wish the song would never end, but you know you will never forget her. The way you fit perfectly in her arms. The way the full moon highlights the contours of her face.
As the song comes to an end, you finally tell her your name. You were so captivated by Olivia’s voice that you completely forgot to even introduce yourself.
“Alex,” she says, testing the way it feels to say your name.
The song is over, but you still stand there slowly swaying and holding each other. She presses a feather-light kiss on your forehead. Then she turns to leave, but you suddenly don’t want her to leave.
“Olivia,” you half-whisper, half-say. She turns back and before you can talk yourself out of it, you kiss her firmly on the mouth.
**** you headed off to college at the end of that summer and we lost touch // I guess I didn’t realize even in the moment we lost so much ****
You are still smiling when Abbie comes to tell you she is ready to leave. She is a little drunk and won’t stop trying to get you to tell her the details. But you won’t. No, you will keep this memory of Alex all to yourself.
It is impossible, you tell yourself, that you could have fallen for someone after less than an hour. You noticed her as soon as you stepped outside into the warm July night. Blonde hair, deep blue eyes, and gorgeous black glasses that reminded you vaguely of a librarian. The cute kind.
You heard from Abbie that Alex was going to Harvard. She didn’t ask why you wanted to know, and it was long enough after the party that she didn’t connect the two together.
You never forgot her, but after Alex left for college, you never talked to her again. You curse yourself for not thinking to get her phone number or even her last name.
****I haven’t seen you in ages // sometimes I find myself wondering where you are // for me you’ll always be eighteen and beautiful // and dancing away with my heart ****
“Hey, space cadet,” your partner, Elliot Stabler says, “Are you okay?”
For some reason, you had been thinking about Alex. It had been nearly ten years since you last saw her. You wonder where she is now. Did she graduate from Harvard? Settle down with a family?
You reassure Elliott that everything is fine and you were just remembering an old friend. If you could call a woman you met one time and somehow stole your heart a “friend.” It is funny how even now, ten years later, you still picture her as she was at eighteen.
“Well, DA’s office called and it looks like we are getting a new ADA. She has only been practicing for two years, but Jack McCoy says she is the best they have,” Captain Cragen informs you and Elliot.
“That’s what we get for working a Sex Crimes unit,” Stabler jokes to you, “a new ADA every couple of years, someone who got the short end of the stick. Bet this new one’s no different. She probably won’t last the first few months.”
But you only listen to him with half of your brain. Because the other half is spent wondering if you are in a dream.
Captain Cragen returns to the squad room with the new ADA in tow. Your jaw drops as he introduces her, “Guys, this is Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot.”
ALEXANDRA CABOT. ALEXANDRA CABOT. ALEXANDRA CABOT. Her name is like a mantra in your head, pushing out all other thoughts.
She hasn’t noticed you yet, as Cragen introduces John Munch, Monique Jeffries, Elliot Stabler, and finally you.
The moment your eyes lock, the rest of the world falls away. Alex has turned into such a beautiful woman. You can’t believe that after ten years, she is finally standing in front of you again.
“Olivia,” you hear yourself say, before you can stop yourself. What are the odds that after a decade of being haunted by this gorgeous brunette, you finally would see her again. You hear Cragen introduce her as Detective Olivia Benson.
OLIVIA BENSON. OLIVIA BENSON. OLIVIA BENSON. The name echoes in your mind on a loop.
You have a sudden desire to wrap her in your arms, regardless of the other people in the room. From the look of pure hunger in her eyes, you know she feels the same way too.
Instead, you shake hands and share a secret smile. At the touch of her hand, you feel a spark of electricity.