Your living room is cold and empty and smells like a doctor office's waiting room. You wonder why I never want to come over, but I never say anything. In the cluttered streets we nearly passed each other like strangers, but you reached out for my hand and made an offer I couldn't refuse. How does one turn down a drink without searching for excuses? The stiff couch and rough carpet does nothing for my bare limbs. I'm constantly shifting in my seat while the radio hums and you cook dinner unaware. You're over the stove and your back is to me, but you're deep in thought, and the butter burns on the stovetop anyway. Wishing I could vanish in the smoke like an escape artist, I say instead, "There's always Chinese."

And of course a drink has turned into us staring at each other's flaws over bowls of soggy rice and flimsy chopsticks. Isn't that how it always goes for us? A casual friendship turned into a few dates where awkward chemistry was mistaken for excited nerves, which turned into a few nights in my sheets. But sometimes some companionship is better than none. Sometimes a hug from anyone can make me feel whole and fulfilled. And sometimes waking up to eggs sizzling in the kitchen or a cup of tea brought back to bed make me smile enough to forget that there's nothing inside of me. "I don't know how to say this," you interrupt my thoughts as if you know what I am thinking, "but I'm falling in love." I pause and wonder how one person can fall in love when there's avoidance, lack of communication, and terrible dinner dates. I smile, crooked and sweet, and say the same thing I said about your stale living room - nothing.