When in love with a friend

“I think I’m in love with you,” I want to say.

“But don’t worry.”

I’m in love with you, but it’s a slower, gentler burn than what you are picturing.

The way I love you is quiet. It always will be. It is a big love, foundational like the tidal pull of the moon, but I don’t need to scream it from the rooftops. This love is simply there, like the scars on my left knee from where I fell when I was 11, in a screaming, triumphant leap down the stairs to the beach on a family vacation. I like to choose my own catastrophes.

I might dream of you sometimes and I know you can tell when you look at me. But don’t worry — I’m in love with you, but it’s softer and less fervent than what you are imagining.

We’re in a crowded room, you look up and our eyes meet; everything is very still and the background blurs, and you can tell by my expression that I’ve thought about kissing you. Don’t worry, I won’t.

Though I hang the moon by your gaze, I’ll sit on my hands so I don’t take yours.

Hana Golightly is a second-year media studies student and a staff writer for The Ubyssey. This year she has kept six small plants mostly alive, and that’s all anyone can really hope for if you ask her!