You were hurt badly in the past, burned by love you thought you had. You decided then and there that you would never love again, that you would never let yourself love someone enough to hurt you. So you closed yourself off. You shut everyone out: your family, your friends, maybe even your pets. If you didn’t let anyone in, they couldn’t shatter you.
Despite shutting everyone out, despite turning off every emotion, you yearned for human companionship. You searched for someone, anyone, who could hold you the way your body and soul craved, all while not letting yourself get hurt, because you couldn’t afford to shatter yet again.
Eventually, you stopped looking for someone to fulfill your craving. You let a few people in, trickle by trickle, just to stave off what you thought was going to be your spinsterhood. Slowly, these people got under your skin, behind your walls, you couldn’t get them out, didn’t want to get them out.
“Fine,” you thought, friends can’t shatter me. So you opened up a little more. You became the third wheel, you listened to your girlfriends gush about their love lives. All the while, you were slowly resigning yourself to face life alone. You believed you had it all figured out. You went from casual relationship to casual relationship, hopping beds the way planes hop countries.
You grew tired of this too, and stopped dating altogether. Some time passed, and before you knew it, you were single and fine with it. You were comfortable with yourself. You took yourself out on “solo dates” to your favorite restaurant, to the movies to see the film you desperately wanted to see, to museums and amusement parks. You did all the things you would with a significant other, but alone. And you enjoyed it. You loved yourself.
But then you went to some event, maybe a party your new best friend threw. You said you would go, but you’d be responsible — no hard liquor — since you know how you can get while drunk; jumping the first thing that moves. And so you were, sticking to light beer and wine all night, staying away from the shots of tequila and bourbon.
Then you saw him. His eyes drew you from across the room. He sat in the corner, talking to one of your mutual friends, holding a beer. His gaze stayed on you for just a fraction of a second longer than they should have. He looked away, yet you kept staring. There was something different about this one. So you struck up a conversation you can only half remember. Something about ice and zip ties, but who knows, you got drunk off that stare.
Months pass and now you’re falling. You fought it for so long, but you can’t help it. Your life revolves around him. You still manage to be your own person, but he’s in your every thought. He keeps your demons at bay, fights them by your side. He holds your hand and whispers sweet nothings in your ear. You tell him the truth and he says it right back.
You’re the girl who said she would never do it, would never fall in love. Yet, here you are, laying in his arms, watching his favorite show since you both already marathoned yours. You ate pizza earlier with your feet in his lap and his hand on your calf.
You both need each other’s touch like you need air, and when he leaves for the night, it feels like your heart was ripped out of your chest, like you can’t breath. You tear up, you ask yourself why you let yourself fall in love. You question why you gave someone the ability to break you, shatter you into millions of little glass shards, so small you’d never be able to piece yourself back together.
But then he texts you those three little words you need to hear, and you know he feels it to. You aren’t alone in this plummet toward him, because he is falling just as hard and just as fast. And you smile and say goodnight to him, both of you promising to text each other the next morning. And then you fall asleep, a smile on your face, the sweatshirt he left behind on your pillow.
Drifting away to dreamland, you think one last thought: maybe falling in love isn’t such a bad thing afterall.