I think it would be magnificent if you were thinking of me too.
We are not “together” in a formal sense, just us standing next to each other, shoulder against shoulder in the middle of a crowded place; or sitting, our legs leaning on each other’s, on one of those too-big sofas drinking tea.
I think about the lovely way your eyes are shaped, the white of your shirt, the completely un-self-conscious, self-confident way you’re standing in the middle of all these people. I am proud for a moment to be there with you, like some of your self-assuredness might rub off on me.
When you look around you and the people passing by, the things happening, I think of the curiosity in your eyes, how you’re always wondering about things. When you turn back to look at me, I notice how it is you always seem to lean forward a little to hear my stories. I hope that you find me interesting too, like all the other things that sometimes catch your eye.
Sometimes, you touch me in a casual, gentle way, in the middle of conversation or as we’re walking. I wonder if maybe your finger tips thrill as much as my waist or my arm or my knee when you touch them, even for those few tiny seconds.
In the following moments, even as you’re talking to me, I think (hope) of your hands taking more than a few liberties. I think of your hands against my stomach, the curve of my lower back, the insides of my thighs
Then you start making a joke or ask me a question, and I snap to, a little embarrassed like you’ve seen into my daydream. I remind myself that maybe you have none of those feelings about me, maybe you really only think of me as “a friend.”
I think maybe that would still be okay—to just be your friend.
I’m learning this: there can be romance without there always needing to be a relationship or even, sex. There can be romance in friendship too, a rare sort of delight that makes the most ordinary things a little extra special. There is always this ‘romance’ with you, even if you don’t know it. You are cheeky and teasing, and I flirt and laugh a little too loudly in return. We have good, clean fun, and I always leave you feeling buoyed and happy.
I think about not trying too hard around you because that’s how our friendship started anyway—neither of us trying too hard to impress or do anything out of the ordinary. I’ve only been feeling more self-conscious since I started thinking so much about you.
But when I’m with you, I sometimes also wonder if I am enough for you. I hope I am.
I wonder what kind of girl you might be looking for, to spend Sunday afternoons with and to tell your old secrets to. I think about how far or near off the mark I might be.
By now, all this thinking is making me panic a little. So, I breathe, try to not think about you and catch your eye. I smile and your eyes glint back at me.
I try to be present and listen to you talk, ask you intelligent questions, make you laugh because I like seeing you light up like that. I keep smiling; so do you.
But this not thinking proves difficult. You are surprising, funny, delightful, and say and do things that make me love you a little more each time. So I start to think about you again. I think about whether you’re enjoying this (me) as much as I am enjoying you. I think about how to make the hours stretch a bit longer so I can spend more time with you. I think about when I can see you again after today ends and I wonder if maybe you’re wanting to see me again too.
As the day ends, I think—not quite so reservedly—about how I’d like you to just take me home, take all my clothes off in a hurry and make me giddy. This doesn’t happen. You just touch my knee in a gentle way before we part.
I think for a second about how I would like to grab your wrist and reach over to kiss you. Instead, I just smile a bright smile and thank you for a great time. I stand up to go, thinking that maybe you might reach out to pull me back and tell me something a little more (I don’t allow myself to think what). You don’t. You just smile back and wave goodbye.
Until next time we meet, then.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Barlianta Sigit/Pixoto