I have a friend whom I’ll call Six. Six is tall and her kisses quench me like a drink of iced tea on a hot day. She has an elegant, gawky, geeky grace, and she sings along to the songs she knows at the karaoke bar without any embarrassment, moving her lithe body to the beat, un-self-conscious and beautiful. I never have to worry about seeming cool with Six, because she’s the coolest, and she’s not worried about seeming cool in front of me.
Six has skin like silk. She has the perfect rose-pink mouth, eyes like the deepest part of my favorite swimming hole, and a heartbeat that sounds like low, soft music. I have been smitten since the night we met.
The way I feel about Six scares me sometimes. It reminds me about how I felt about a certain someone five years ago, and that is a path I never want to walk again. There’s a certain magical quality to our interactions sometimes, like we’ve stumbled upon something hidden and rare, like Six is the sort of drug or meditation that can set my head right and give me some peace. But I can’t afford to be addicted to anyone the way I was five years ago, the way I felt like I was being knocked over and washed away by a tide of LOVE LOVE LOVE, that I was helpless, that I would do anything not to have to give up my new favorite thing.
But I’ve grown up since then. I am more myself. And though I have to be deliberate and careful and take extra measures not to lose myself in love with someone else, I now know that [redacted] wasn’t the only person I’ll ever feel this way about. I had been frightened that I’d already had my one great big love and that everything else for the rest of my life would pale in comparison.
Last night, after I’d had a bit of a freakout the night before, Six said “I still love you,” and then a pause. And then “you know that I love you, right?”
No, I didn’t know that. And while I’m aware that you don’t mean that you’re in love with me, knowing that you love me, being able to take that and hold it in my heart, made me feel like my chest would burst with happiness.
I love you too, my dear and darling one. And I feel blessed and very grateful that I get to know you.