We started out as a fling. I never expected it to go anywhere. You liked me, I liked you – just not enough to love you.
So we took the easy way out. We ‘dated’ – essentially (you) falling in love without saying it – never boyfriend-girlfriend, just straddling between dating and “hanging out.”
But as your fingers spread across the palm of my own, lacing together like white school shoes, I almost thought I loved you. But I didn’t.
So then everything came crashing down. You were the slow tune before the climax I did not want, the foamy wave crashing on the shore of what I mistakenly thought was just a stream.
But your eyes were not home, and your voice was no lullaby. I liked you. You loved me.
Then as easily as it began, it all came crashing down. Tentative touches became begging tears and shy kisses became one-sided goodbyes. Because how do you say goodbye when you’re the only person really walking away?
You said you would cry.
This is how it feels to break the heart of someone you like. You watch the wheels along the breaking stitches of their heart remember the soft kisses between aisles at the grocery store.
And you want to tell them: ‘I remember too.’ But you don’t.
You watch their now-familiar hands before you, close enough for you to take everything back.
‘Everything will be back to normal.’
And in between everything, you forget who said what, and his I love you’s make you think maybe you do love him too. It shouldn’t be hard, you already like him. Why can’t your heart just go a little further?
But you remind yourself, you take your hands back, draw them back into yourself, the same way you drew your eyes away that one night when a joke about the future went too far, when quiet conversations settled into whether or not you would give your children a happy home.
You remind yourself that remembering is never enough. Because if love is not enough, like will never be enough.