In the weeks before we became a “we,” when we were still circling each other and trying to figure out whether our feelings were mutual, I knew. We were at a bar on the Upper West Side for a mutual friend’s birthday. Our group was more than a few pitchers deep and multiple tequila shots had been taken; the night was beginning to go hazy at the edges. I was talking to someone when you came over and kissed me on the forehead, soft and simple, like you’d been doing it for years. It was the smallest moment — a blip in the casual composure we had carefully weaved — but I knew. I knew I wanted to watch that moment ripple out endlessly.
When my best friend came to visit and you spent the weekend getting to know her — the way you two fell into a natural rapport while watching Game of Thrones and drinking beers at the bar and singing awful nostalgia-laden music at 3 am. Later, she told me that you two mostly talked about me, but the image of you laughing together felt like spring blooming in my chest.
It was a random Saturday morning during one of my visits to Jersey. As usual, I had claimed most of the bed and you had stolen almost all the blanket. When I rolled over and looked at you, I knew. I knew I wanted to wake up next to you every morning — feeling your warm body curled around me — wondering if the sun had risen just for us.
I knew when we spent the morning sipping coffee and silently reading the newspaper; when we fell asleep together, your head tucked in my lap, while watching the Mets game; when you told me I make you the happiest you’ve ever been; when we stole a private moment on the dock at your lake house; when you woke me up by saying “good morning beautiful;” when you looked at me the way I’ve always wanted to be looked at.
And now, while writing this, I know. Even when you’re seventy miles away and I’m constantly counting the sunsets until I see you again, I know. I know what it feels like to miss you like a phantom limb, to ache for the melody of your voice, to crave your touch like an addict. I know every time I round my lips around your name; every time your hands find a haven in mine; every time my eyes go soft just looking at you.
Now, because I finally understand that falling means trusting someone enough to catch you.