I wanted to love him in a way that no one would notice. Notice the heart muscle that pulsated a little too rapidly, the speech that was nervous. I wanted to shove that all down to the basement of my psyche. To the overpriced storage closet that doesn't get opened.
I wanted to choke the words that were begging to leap from my tongue. Like a gold fish on a suicidal jump out of its glass bowl. There was no rational reason to release a heart that had been methodically covered with protective gauze, stopping the generous bleed of an old wound.
I wanted to love him in a way that protective layers would stay in tact. I wouldn’t have to unbundle years worth of winter preparation. To de-layer means you aren’t protected from the next inevitable emotional tide. It's easier to maintain an amber alert on all feelings. Early detection is best. Find the feeling. Identify it. Kill it.
But there are some people who eschew the obvious route to your heart. With each chuckle. Each reveal of intimate secrets. They take their time unbandaging you. Until one afternoon, I realized that was a slight shift in the platelets beneath me. The earth had moved long enough to allow a crack of light to shine through the floor.
He came into my life, sweet like jelly beans. Candy coated dimples. The ticking train schedule of my life placed on hold. Lullaby thoughts of him in my sleep. He was a world of bear hugs and saccharine grins. My heart's temperature rising. Desiring to capture his lightning bug in my jar before summer was over.