I know that spark.
It feels like pinpricks that dot your skin when you pull a sweater up and over your head on a humid day, microscopic lightning that reminds you how hot and how uncomfortable you are. It’s the first time your heart beats loudly, echoes against your ribcage as if the vibration itself might split you open.
I felt it the first time when a boy kissed me, really kissed me, and made me believe I could will time to stop in that moment if I just stopped breathing.
It’s a feeling that tickles and stings in all the right ways, how that sensation makes you whine in pain and laugh at the same time. It’s the kind of hurt that doesn’t really hurt, but it’s still memorable in a way that you crave it over and over again.
But I know now that not all sparks manifest that way. It’s not always needles and electricity, not always sharp or sudden. Sometimes it feels gradual and slow, a little like a game of hide-and-seek as you count down from ten to one, the undercurrent of something frenetic blossoming only when you find the person you were looking for.
I understood, then, that the first time didn’t count, a mere stumble to my graceless falling during the one time it mattered: the edge of summer, stars coalescing in our bloodstream. I looked over at you howling at the sky in wild exhilaration, stealing the light with your earnest youthfulness, and for a brief moment the stars in me melted, and I could swear that in the haze of heat and dust, the sun shone brighter with envy.