Not really a spoiler, more of an Author's Note. This is an experimental piece I wrote a while back, exploring the possibilities of writing in the second person. I hope you enjoy! This is something I really enjoyed writing, so if you have any ideas, show me!
It starts with ‘I’m in love with you.’
Well, maybe ‘starts’ isn’t the right word. Because really, it starts with a lesson at school, and a joke you can’t remember anymore, but which had you giggling so hard you got a detention.
A couple of years later, it continues with a game of cards, some alcohol, and a kiss carried out for a dare.
Even later, when you’re so head-over-heels in love that no matter how many warnings you get, or how many other people ask you to dance, you ignore it all. You only have one focus.
In your mind, all it will take is a little push, and you’ll be together. That’s all you want.
So really, it ends with ‘I’m in love with you.’
And it ends with a kiss given not for any dare, or because you’re both drunk, or high, or whatever – but because you actually want it.
It ends with a gentle push backwards, an awkward smile and an ‘I’m sorry, but you’re just not my type. I love you as a mate, yeah? But I’m not attracted to you.’
Of course not. Why would anyone be attracted to you?
So something new starts – or maybe something old carries on.
You ignore any interested glance which comes your way, because really – they must be looking at your mates, mustn’t they?
You push your life forward, ignoring the desire for someone who is just yours, of belonging, or the bittersweet envy of watching another couple. You gave up on that rubbish when all of this started. Or finished. Whatever.
You’re so focused on everything else in your life – your family, friends, and work; anything but that – that you don’t notice when it begins again.
Sure, you notice the awkward smiles, and the blushes, and hurried attempts to offer tea, ‘or anything you’d like, really, I don’t mind. Just... would you like to get a drink?’
But you don’t notice why. You don’t look at yourself anymore; don’t have your photo taken at your friends’ weddings, so you haven’t seen the changes. You’ve grown up a lot, and lost some of that 'I'm an idiot' appearance you had when you were younger. You look good in almost anything you care to try on, more sophisticated; and somehow, without you really looking for it, success has crept up on you. Your years of focusing on anything but that have paid off, so well that now you can’t even recognise the signs.
So it starts with a cup of tea, in Starbucks, because you like coffee, really you do, but only the way your mum makes it.
And it continues, a couple of months later, with a box of your favourite donuts, and tickets to a concert you really wanted to see.
It continues after the concert with a kiss you didn’t expect, and a shy ‘good night.’
For you, it really starts on a Saturday, when your dog – the one you hoped would fill any voids – starts yipping at the front door. When you open it, the smiles are no longer awkward, and it’s easy to open the door. Easy to let someone in, properly.
You share a bottle of wine, some take out and your sofa. For the first time in years, you watch a film with a romantic subplot without scoffing – much – and enjoy yourself. You don’t say good night when midnight draws near, and instead the words coming out of your mouth are: ‘Come to bed with me.’ It isn’t amazing, because it’s your first time, and all you’ll remember is blonde hair and blue eyes fixed to yours. But it's perfect, because you're not worrying that you're unattractive. You don't worry about how skinny your hips are, or how much your ears stick out. It's brilliant.
It starts with an unwanted ‘I'm in love with you.’ That’s the way it stays for years and years, but then, abruptly, ‘I love you’ changes everything. Ends it – that self-imposed loneliness.
Because this time, it wasn’t you speaking; you weren’t pushing anything. This time you just let things happen.
A couple of months later, it really ends with:
‘I’m in love with you, too.’
Well, maybe ‘ends’ isn’t the right word.