1. Like an eye roll. Because it’s so ridiculous to have a feeling associated with another person’s life as dramatic as the one you’re experiencing due to a picture you aren’t in.
2. Like a mindfuck. Because like…you’re fairly certain if the two of you became closer they would like you back. You would creep into the dreams they never anticipated and the thoughts that weasel their way in around at 1, 2, 3 AM.
3. Like an ambivalent shoulder shrug. Because what’s another ‘like’ compared to the other 167 they’re going to get.
4. Like self-betrayal. How very dare you like a picture where they look happy, and healthy, and in LOVE with someone other than you at your very very very best.
5. Like an itch you can’t scratch. It’s faint, it’s almost non-existant. But it’s there. It’s present. And you can’t reach it so this like, this gesture, is the next best thing.
6. Like screaming. Because you want to grab their perfect, perfect shoulders and yell into their adorable, adorable face, “DON’T YOU LIKE ME TOO?!?!?!?” But you can’t. So a double tap with your right thumb is all that you have.
7. Like exhaling. Because for better or for worse…they’re happy. And that means something. That is almost like a premonition that happiness, that contentment, that peace with another person, is in fact achievable.
8. Like absolutely what-the-fuck-ever because maybe it was just a really cute fucking photo that deserved a fucking like and meant nothing more than that OKAY?!?
9. Like a muscle spasm. You’re so used to reacting positively to everything they do that it was basically instinctual at this point. So when you liked the photo of them and someone who was not you it was almost out of body. You couldn’t help it.
10. Like holding your breath underwater. Like you’re waiting for them to text you to ask you about something so insignificant but you know they aren’t going to. You’re just waiting for the moment when you can let them go because you can sense that they aren’t meant for you to hold on to.
11. Like the ultimate dosage of self-awareness. Because it’s right there! You just double tapped! They don’t belong to you, they don’t need you, they don’t want you in that moment in that captured second. And you acknowledged you. You acknowledged it.
12. Like giving up. Because you’re obviously awful and will die alone and like-less for the rest of your days.
13. Like surrender. Like throwing your hands up and saying “okay FINE.” Because they’ll probably never love you back or fall into as much of a spiral over something like an Instagram like as you do, and that means letting go in the most poetic sense of the phrase.
14. Like contemplation. Because…what if they noticed your “like”? And what if they’re concocting their own list of reasons why it’s more than a fleeting heart symbol some developer came up with. What if they’re analyzing your actions as much as you analyze theirs. What if…
15. Like nothing. Because after all, all it is is a “like.” So who the fuck really cares anyway.