This Is How We Fall In Love The Real Way

Toa Heftiba

We gaze in wonderment. We whisper, “I think I’m in love” and later, “I’m head over heels” and then, “I never want to live without you.” We braid legs under blankets. We graze earlobes with eager lips. We laugh until we choke on coffee or beer or morning Cheerios.

We lace fingers and slow dance to silence. We daydream. We compliment. We trace eyes with fingertips. We sing in the car. We pop out of the sunroof, arms flailing and eyelashes fluttering.

We play evening footsie while brushing our teeth. We distinguish shapes from clouds. We people watch while waiting for a table. We try on funny hats and have sword fights with umbrellas. We read books side by side, sneaking glances every few pages. We toss a wink while checking out our groceries. Cheeks grow rosy. Irises twinkle.

But then.

We speak with no filter. We grow impatient. We question. We avoid eye contact. A day gets off course. A cuss word is used. A heavy sigh becomes venom, vaporizing but still poisoning its target. A tissue, stained with mascara, slips to the floor. Eyes are rolled. Blame is placed. Guards are up.

And then.

Walls collapse. Someone caves.

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

A light kiss is offered and accepted. Hair is pushed out of the way so that four eyes can meet. Chests are pressed firmly. Grace is shown.

A smile.

A snicker.

An understanding.

A truce.

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She’s worked for a famous mouse, climbed The Great Wall, become an aunt, fallen in love, and kept Starbucks in business.

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