You can tell. There's that moment when you look at them and they look just like you need them to and you're dying in the best way and you're falling oh so hard. You can tell when you see them bathed in sunlight and feel jealous, because why can't you be that close to them, illuminate them like that and make them shine – and then you realize you are being jealous of the sun and fell like slap yourself in the face if it's possible, because, really? It's when you look at them and you realize all you want is just to have breakfast in bed with them, waffles with little marzipan roses, taking pictures and have them around, have them be with you long enough to watch the Polaroids fade with them; and suddenly it's just so blindingly obvious that it's them, that it's always been them and you're not going to say anything dumb like, "who?" because why deny it if it's true? It's when they tell you that they hate the rain, and you hate the rain. Simple as that.
You know you're in love with them when as cliche as it is, you walk into a room and they are all you can see – yeah, there are other people in that room, but the only thing that matters is them, and how beautiful they are and, "please, won't you come with me" and "how can you shine like that." It's when you go online, looking up pick up lines and reading articles titled things like, "how to make that special someone love you" and imagine yourself saying and doing those things, saying those lines, and having it work. Having them love you.
It's when you think how nice it is to touch the small of their back and that ridge of their collar bone and the nape of their neck and you just want the feel of them there. When you want to be their anything, and their only thing, nothing less. You know you're in love when you need them to know how brilliant and fantastic they are and, god, it frustrates you to no end how they just don't get it, and you can't stop telling them how wonderful you are, just so they can see what you see. You can't help it. You've lost control of your mouth. You can't stop talking about them, even to people who don't know them and don't know you and couldn't care less, but why shouldn't everyone else care this much about them and to you, everyone should know who they are to you and who you are to them. Your friends hate you for it. You think you're going crazy.
You know you're in love when you wince whenever you hear their name and you get this aching feeling in the cord of your neck and your pulse goes up and you feel butterfly's and see stars and you can feel yourself stop breathing for a second there. You refer to them as "we" or "us" and it sounds right – yes, a little bit presumptuous, but it fits; it feels binding, like each tiny string of "us" and "we" is tying the two of you together, and you don't want them to feel trapped. Because no matter what anyone says, things like ownership and entrapment are not romantic. And you want to be romantic. Only for them. You want to sing to them from below their balcony in the pouring rain. You want to write them love letters and send those letters with passenger pigeons. It's pathetic.
It's when you don't. You keep on second guessing yourself and wondering and telling different answers to different people to see how each answer feels. You think you love them. You think you need them. You think you want them. You think, you think, you think. All you want to do is make them happy, you think, and if you loving or not loving them makes them happy, you'll do whatever. If it's better for them to think you don't feel for them as much as you do, you'll keep quiet, and if they want you to want them, make outstanding testaments proclaiming you love, written in the sky, that's all you'll do, and you will get a private jet to fly your love across the sky, just wait one minute. You will do what you can so they can have what they want.
You feel obsessed, nauseous, like you're on some kind of drug, but better because the high lasts. It is exactly like a drug, you think. You are addicted. You are so damn good at using them. You need that high, and you need them. You look at pictures and write down things they've said just so you can feel that buzz again. Their love might just be your drug.
(But goddamn, don't you just hate that fucking song)
You here how horrible love is. It's not that bad. It's not all bad. You have something to push you, something to fight for. At the least you'll have something to write and think and dream and talk and sing and whine about. Another thing - love makes a person whiny, annoying to be around. You don't know why the government doesn't issue a health warning.
It's when they make sense to you, beyond collage and beyond a job and beyond tomorrow night, and you can see them everywhere. Everywhere. In every adventure, every place, all your plans – they're there. You find a space for them, because suddenly, they're added to all your dreams. And you love them for it. You want them. You want to marry them; even though you don't need a label for what they are to you, you want everyone to know that, oh, this person loves me and wants to be with me and they are mine and can't the world see how well we fit together?
You just know.
You don't know.
It just happens.
You can feel it.
You bring them all your favorite things to impress them and watch them hold the things you love most in their hands and blush when they love what they love. Blush when they say your name. Blush when you hear someone say their name. Blush when they brush against you, when you get put near them, when people say your names together and they just sound so good like that. You think your names should be said together like that for always, and you blush. You blush a lot around them.
It's when you can't deal with the rest of your life because all you can think about is them-them-them and all you need to do is talk to them and think about them and feel them and hear them and see them and love them and everything else that your life used to be becomes something so huge you can't take it, with or without them. It's when you start to understand whey people kill themselves. You want to give them something, the world, but all you have to give them is yourself. And they deserve so much more.
If there was someone you thought about repeatdly during this piece, you might just be in love with them.
Now go tell them.