I could fall in love with you if you let me. It would be easy, you know. If our eyes meet when we pass each other in the street or if I caught you looking my way on the subway for a second too long. It could, of course, be a simple coincidence—that you’re reading the ad above my head or just looking around right at the moment when I turn my head, too. But that’s what they call fate, isn’t it? Two people whose eyes meet across the crowded floor? Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies. It’s possible I have. But it’s possible that I could love you, too.
I could fall in love with you if you made me laugh, and if I could make you laugh in return. If you smiled at me, if you made me feel that the smile was for me. And I know that chances are good it was only in the spirit of friendship, and that smiles can exist between friends. Isn’t that where love starts? And the more you laugh at something I say, the more I might give my heart to you in little pieces, like those puzzle piece prizes in cereal boxes you had to collect to see the whole image. If I gave it to you all in one piece, I’d have to do the same thing to everyone who smiled at me in that friendly sort of way, and I’d have no heart left to give. But I could give mine to you.
If you had the same coffee order as I do, if you ordered sweet potato fries instead of regular ones every time, if you ordered the same thing I did at the bar, we could laugh about the coincidence and I could fall in love with you a little more. Not because these things are any indicator of how you are as a person, or how compatible any two human beings are for one another, but they could be a start. It would be easy, I suppose, to remember the way you take your coffee and that you would rather have a bottle than a glass if I knew you liked things the way I liked them. It could make me feel closer to you, those traits and quirks we shared. If we had something in common, if we already agreed on something. We’d still have a long way to go toward love, but that might open the door.
I could fall in love with you if you let me. If you let me in on a secret and told me you liked Disney movies still, even as an adult. If you trusted me with the parts of you that seem so inconsequential and light, the details that aren’t loaded and heavy and rife with conflict. But trust me with those ones, too, the heavy things that haunt you. Let me earn them, let me prove that I could keep things between us. I promise to keep your secrets to myself, those little tokens of how you’re letting me in. I could love you if you trusted me, if you let me prove that I am trustworthy.
If you let me love you, if we let chance encounters and mutual friends serve as signs that maybe, there could be something there between us. There would, of course, be work involved. We couldn’t let everything fall to fate, and hope that infatuation alone would keep us afloat. I would have to learn how to be patient, and there would be things about me you’d find less than wonderful, too. We would have to navigate the scars our exes left, and work our way around the wounds and suspicions we’re still nursing. And I couldn’t expect you to sew me back up any more than I could hope to fix you.
But we could look across the room one crowded, noisy evening, and our eyes could meet, and I could love you. It’s possible. Anything is. And we could get to know each other, slowly but surely, and I could find out how very easy it would be to fall in love with you.