We’ve gotten to know one another well haven’t we, these past three years. Once, you were a notion – something difficult to pin down or describe. A feeling. But now that we spend so much time working together – crafting stories, figuring out what role you’ll have to play, I’ve been forced to examine you under my writer’s microscope. What used to be abstract is now concrete.
Of course, like all of us, there are different facets to you.
When we first meet you, for example. You’re quite different then. We may not even recognise you at first – you can be sly like that, when you want to be. But when we do see you, when we know you for who you are – suddenly everything about our world changes.
Love, we think about you all the time. When we’re driving to do the shopping. When we’re lying awake at night. We wonder what you’re doing, who you’re with, whether you could possibly feel the same way about us. Our stomachs tighten when we’re close to you; our eyes can’t stay away. We feel conspicuous whenever you’re around, wondering if our clothes look okay and if our hair is right – silly things, things we’re embarrassed to be worrying about. Whenever we speak to you our tongues feel thick in our mouths. The words stumble forth. Afterwards, on the walk back to our car, or at home as we go about our lives, we go over and over what we said to one another, looking for hidden meaning. Our minds are flooded; we are greedy, desperate for more of you. More time. More attention. We can’t eat. We feel slightly ill as our hearts beat too fast and our mouths go dry. We hide our shaking fingers whenever you’re near.
Love Sickness is a real thing.
Our bodies want to be closer – we dream of the brush of a hand, a fingertip slipping a strand of hair behind an ear. We dream of more, too. Much more.
Sometimes we stop here.
And it hurts. A wrenching apart, as if what drew us together is torn, thin as it is. Like tissue paper.
But other times, Love, we go onward.
It can be easy. Slow. Tentative.
Or it can be explosive. Hot. Consuming.
We decide this together as we work and sometimes, you show me a side of yourself that even I have not yet seen. I like that.
And after a while, even in the hottest and most consuming of loves, there is a softening.
This is your other side, the side that you keep hidden until much later, until you’re sure it’s safe to reveal it.
We laugh more now – not just because we think we should laugh when you tell a joke, but because you’re so funny and you think I’m funny too. We move easily around one another – when we walk, when we cook. You pass me the wooden spoon without me having to ask; I hand you the salt.
We know things about each other. When we’re with other people, you give me a gentle look when someone brings up a topic that you know I don’t like talking about.
You say, It’s okay.
You say, I understand.
We no longer long for an accidental touch, but, oh – your palm around the curve of my waist as I set the table. Your lips on my temple.
Dear Love. Dearest.
I’m so thankful that we get to spend so much time together. That we have so much more work to do.
- My thanks to Susannah Conway for these prompts.