I wish I could love you.
It'd be so perfect, wouldn't it? Opportune. A meet-cute. A story to tell at a cocktail party surrounded by new friends.
I'd stand at your side as your hand found the small of my back. It'd be warm, possessive - but not demanding. We'd share a knowing look, and laugh together at all the right times as we settled into this new life. I'd marvel at the tiny lines gathering beside your eyes, learning each one. I'd watch your lips part over imperfect teeth and know that when we got home from the party, slightly wine-drunk and sexually charged, all bets would be off.
It'd be convenient to love you.
Because when I'm with you, my head swims with possibility and exhilaration and uncertainty. You change me, challenge me, turn me inside out on the very best of days. It feels an awful lot like the drumroll leading up to a relationship. But it's not. You want the Big Things. Things that frustrate me. Things I can't give to you. You lure me out of my own head, just to scare me. And I wonder what it even is I'm doing here.
I thought I could love you.
I rest my feet on your lap as we listen to old records on vinyl, and I consider if this means we are in love. The old Polaroid of us at the beach hangs on the fridge. In it, your fingers are tangled in my wet, salt-crusted hair, my eyes are closed and hands outstretched at nothing in particular. We both show our teeth to the camera and they glint with happiness. From the outside looking in, it looks like we are there - in love, I mean.
It'd be nice. Obvious. Right.
I almost wish I could.
But I just can't bring myself to love you.