Mamihlapinatapai: (noun) A look shared by two people, each wishing that the other would initiate something that they both desire but which neither wants to begin.
I know I shouldn’t stare, but I can’t stop looking at her.
I want to cup the slope of her neck in my hand, like the bowl of a wineglass. Pull her closer to me. Drink the sweetness off her skin. Because I know it’ll get me drunker faster than anything else.
There’s a headiness to her laugh. The intensity of her gaze when she lets it rest on me. Which isn’t often.
I pause for a moment, considering this. Is she avoiding my eyes because she’s uncomfortable or is she also trying not to stare at me?
Her flightiness is either a wonderful or a terrible sign. Her eyes dart here and there.
I feel a frisson shiver through me, peeling through a baseline of nervous energy. It’s a mix of fear and excitement. Because I can’t tell whether she’s running away from me — or towards me. I wonder if even she knows.
I do know that we’re both nervous. Nervous, but smiling. But the Hell if I know what that means, exactly, outside of my own feelings for her.
I don’t have to wonder for long. A quick second later, she lunges towards me. We melt together in a kiss that dissolves everything else. I lose track of where I am. It’s only us. Our bodies. The moment.
Everything else is noise that washes over us like a wave.
I’m still thinking about that kiss three days later. Quietly replaying it in my head as I go about my day. She’s marked me. Claimed me in a way that I can’t place. Affected me in a way that makes me wish I were a better writer so I could explain it to her.
It’s become obvious to me that we belong together. For however long she’ll have me.
I’m not 18 anymore. I’m well aware that most relationships end before our lives do. I know the long odds. The improbability of this lasting as long as I’d like. And I’m well acquainted with the dangers of pedestalling another person.
But I’ve fallen anyway.
I know that the odds are you’ll break my heart. But it’s worth it.