pink rose bouquet on white wooden wall

Does This Mean I’m In Love?

One day, someday, today, the light will come.

It creeps up, the crawling dawn sleepily lolling over the horizon. The light is gentle and warm and glowing, dripping; melted ice cream across the window pane.

Can you fall in love with the way early morning light presses into bookshelves, spreading warmth into cold corners of the room?

It will seep beneath your skin, a layer of heat that blossoms from rose buds kissing the inside of your elbows, teardrops of sweat beading along translucent folds. I am tantalized, infected, enamored.

If swollen lips should tingle against soft skin, aching, searching, does this mean I’m in love? I don’t mean love in an endless sense, in the way you dream of romance as a child. All white lace and church bells ringing high, singing promises of forever.

I mean in love in the way that your heart aches when you fall into bed, crushing worn jersey and soft flannel into exhausted limbs. That feeling of peace when you come home from school after a hard day to be met with arms extended and heart open, ready to be cradled while the darkness passes into nothing.

But the light will continue. It will bubble and fester until it is too blistering to simply press your tired eyes together and bask in the pleasure of the heat.

No, this light demands you. Your attention, your mind; your voice, your body.

Before you know it, they have arrived. The sweet talkers, the soothing voices, the well-meaning and the well-mannered. The hellions, the soul crushers, the confidence eaters. In whatever form (and don’t be surprised should they shift before your eyes), they will come, and they will try to steal this. They will see your light, maybe before you see it yourself, and in their way siphon this from you.

And it might even feel good when they take from you. Punishing you in the way you’ve always felt you needed to be punished, justifying your worthlessness, highlighting the caves that swiss cheese the inside of your ribs, the weak tissue of your body that has been waiting, hoping, holding its breath until it could let go and collapse and fall fall fall—release into itself, into nothing at all.

We cannot help but seek fullness, roundness, in this life. To fill the dark parts with soft cotton soaked in sweet cream.

It is then, in that moment, when you realize what has always been true. They could never take from you what is you, what you are made of. Starlight and moon-dust and all that is beautiful on and in this earth and far beyond.

Maybe this is just the magic of the early morning, or the feeling of smooth coffee coating my tongue and throat, or the faint taste of honey warming my lips. But I feel hope in the tender parts of my stomach, radiating.

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too busy daydreaming... Read more articles from Natalie on Thought Catalog.

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