I fell in love with you quietly.
Like a summer breeze you don’t realize is grazing over you. Like the sand softly shifting beneath the towel. Like a sun bather’s sigh as they cat-stretch.
There’s something to be said of love crashing over you. Romantic movies portray true love like a wave on the shore or the loud crackle of a bonfire. Flamboyant and undeniable to anyone nearby, impossible to ignore it’s announcement…
But you, I fell for softly.
It wasn’t that your presence was deniable or your characteristics ordinary. I have no doubt in your ability to be the kind of love that washes over, please don’t think that. Maybe you did? Maybe you were the surf breaking while I lay on the beach, headphones in, unaware…
If you did & I missed it, I’m sorry.
I fell in love with your details. Like the small wonders left behind as a shoreline ebbs. Like the sparkle of seashells on the recession. Like the cool of the sandbar, newly exposed by the wave’s remission beneath my feet.
It’s the little things about you I treasure.
I fell in love with the way you run your hand up your neck when you’re nervous. The way you smirk when you’re being sarcastic. Your hand quickly, softly, grazing my chin, centering my attention back to you when I’m distracted.
The way you soften your voice if I raise mine.
I admire that your posture never falters. Your eyes are always telling, even when your expression isn’t. The way you click your tongue when you blush. How even your messes are organized and you like things “just so”. The laugh from your core when I catch you off guard. You have many laughs, but that one’s my favorite…
These are my keepsakes.
Like the tides change, love comes and goes. And we were no exception. After all, we were never a bonfire or a deep crashing wave. We were not a steadfast cliff to hold hands & leap faithfully from.
I know this.
There’s something to be said for hindsight. Romantic movies portray it as a straight forward, an exact signal of what could have been. Like a lighthouse warning to a ship captain. Maybe I should have been so clear? Maybe I should have loved you louder? Would that really have kept a changing tide?
Or would you chase the moon’s pull regardless?
You have goals as big as the moon, ambition as big as the waves. Yet I fell in love your details. Not the long-winding shoreline or the moon-lighting walk, but their reflections dancing in the night. The way your eyes do when you’re smiling. See, the world is full of qualities, all worthwhile. But how we prioritize them in value is a difference we cannot change…
If that’s what you want, then I can’t. I’m sorry.
I can only love you quietly.