It happens in less than a fraction of an electric second. A sudden realization hits — which isn’t really all that sudden — a feeling of oh-my-goddess, I think I love her and once it hits your waking mind, once you’ve thought that thought and it’s in your memory there is no turning back because there is at least one person who knows and once one person knows — let’s say that person is you — well, the genie is out of the bottle and she has some demands when she hold up a mirror for you to see your thoughts.
You can’t say it didn’t happen. You can’t say to yourself that the thought wasn’t real, that you didn’t think it. You can’t say that the thought originated independent of any feeling and that the feeling isn’t real. So there you are. You will have to do something. You’ve got some choices, ranging from take two aspirins, go to sleep and hope the feeling is gone when you wake up. Or ignore it, do nothing. Not all feeling and thoughts have to be acted upon. You can wait. See if she says anything first. Or, you can tell her so that she will know.
You wonder if there’s a way to tell her that is perfect, that will appease the gods and goddesses and muses and good omens to make it all turn out just the way you want it to, because you are unsure what the best and most right way to tell her could be, but, but as you think about it, and wonder how to go about planning it, even though you don’t know what the right way is, you are quite certain that there’s a wrong way to tell her, a way that is horribly wrong, that will scar you for life, that will mess everything up and that will mean you’ll never see her again and that’s not something you can bear to think about, the thought of her not being in your life, not to mention you being scarred for life. So you take a deep breath and think that maybe you won’t tell her.
But you see her again. You wonder if she knows. You wonder if she feels the same way.
You worry about how she will react if you do tell her. You wonder about what happens once the words leave your lips, once they’ve escaped and can’t be taken back. You worry about afterwards: if she will say, I love you, too, or if she says nothing. Or if she says oh, I didn’t know you felt that way.
Then you see her again and you know that the feeling you are holding inside of you is too big to keep for much longer and you must find a way to conquer your fears and tell her.
You start to spend a lot of time thinking of how you can stage the perfect moment to tell her you love her. You wonder if there’s a guidebook for such a thing. And if there is, where would you find it?
There is no best way. There’s just the way that it happens, when it happens, where it happens for the two of you. Here are some ways it can happen:
You can tell her in a boat, you can tell her in a plane
you can tell her in the shower, you can tell her in the rain.
You can tell her in the kitchen you can tell her on the street
you can tell her, I love you, don’t you think that’s kinda neat?
You can tell her at the cafe, you can tell her in the pool
you can tell her I love you in the library as you step up on a stool.
You can tell her face-to-face, it’s really the only way
you tell her, I love you — more and more each day.
You can tell her when she’s laughing and she moves to take your hand
You can tell her when you’re cuddling tight, waaaay longer than you planned.
You can tell her when your heart’s full of pins, needles hope and many other things
you can tell her when you’re both looking at the night sky and see Saturn’s rings.
You can tell her in the car at the drive-in that you need to tell her a thing or two
you can tell her, I’ve wanted to tell you this a while now: I love you.
And when you’ve told her, as the air around your head does something funny that you will remember for the rest of your life, you will notice that you’re in the midst of another moment in your life, a moment that feels like suspended animation, a moment that seems as if you and your universe and your breath and your heartbeat are waiting for something because because because: now you have told her and you don’t know what’s going to happen, what she will do, what she will say, what it means for you.
That’s life. That’s life with the door of invitation open, inviting love in to be with you. That’s life’s and love’s daring. Unguaranteed. Risky. Wonderful. And so very often, well worth it.
“Love is the kind of thing that’s already happening by the time you notice it, that’s how it works, and no matter how old you get, that doesn’t change. Except that you can break it up into two entirely distinct types — love where there’s and end in sight and one where there isn’t.”
…Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi