The night seemed to melt around you like paraffin; warm and soothing. You’ve always looked at me as if it’s the first time you’ve seen me, but this time it was true.
You didn’t finish your yogurt. It wasn’t important. There was only time for what was important. In the moment, we were important. I pretended I didn’t know why.
Do you remember when..
We always do that. And there’s always something to remember.
I think I’m only now seeing you.
That’s my fault. Before now I’ve shown you only what you needed to see to be comfortable. It seemed best.
I’ve misjudged you, I think.
Most do. I prefer it. Still, it startled me that you could be so much more when there was so much less of you.
I would say the night was more like peanut butter. I like peanut butter. But everybody knows that peanut butter is only ever in your hair by intention. It’s only ever there because it needs to be. Because you put it there to get the gum out. It’s for the best, mom always said..
Well, mom, boys don’t get gum stuck in their hair. Someone has to put it there.
But that’s okay, I can handle it.
It’s not a fair fight. I’ve seen you from the beginning. It took you a long time to say those things, but I’ve always seen them. I knew those things would eventually be said.
You love the beginning, the first step. The little sliver between freedom and risk, the tiniest of moments that makes you forget for half a second that you’ve ever felt heartache. I loved how much you loved it. So that’s what I’ve always given you. A dozen first steps, free of risk, free of pain. That was more important than whatever I couldn’t decide I wanted.
You are a bad person.
Now we come to it. And I suppose you’re right. See, I played that playlist because I knew you would like it. I didn’t play the other one because I knew you’d like it more. Because that’s who I am. Cocky and cautious in one step. Crunchy and smooth. I had hoped you’d see around it.
I’m not that silky José Gonzalez song, or the hundred other songs on that playlist. No I’m that sticky Billy Joel song. The one you’ve listened to a dozen times trying to understand why anyone in their right mind would care for a girl like that.
Maybe not everyone likes peanut butter.