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Brisk Waltzing in a Burning Room

Your eyes locked with mine from across the room, the same red cup of cheap beer between our fingers. You’d walk over, a cheeky grin playing on your lips, your soft curls almost hiding the glint in your eyes. We’d speak about the weather and fine wines, all while sipping whatever lukewarm party mix our friends kept bringing us. Anyone looking in on the conversation would’ve thought we’d known each other for ages.

“I think we’ll make fast friends”, you’d say, and I’d laugh.

You’d tell me about all the things you love, and I’d tell you about all the places I hate. You’d write me letters and I’d make fun of them. You’d ask me to drive safely and I’d ask you not to make a big deal about it.

“I think we’ll make a good couple”, you’d say, and I’d laugh.

Everything unfolds like a movie, the starlit nights and falling asleep on phone calls. The poetry readings, with your warm gaze on my moonlit face should’ve felt surreal.

“I think I’m in love with you”, you’d say, and I’d laugh.

Your friends heard about me and there was playful teasing about your foolish love. There was suppressed giggling, and your cheeks would turn a bright shade of red. In a moment of weakness I couldn’t help but smile. You looked perfect, surrounded by every bit of love you’d ever need.

“I think I want to spend an eternity with you”, you’d say, and I’d laugh.

You had started to notice. The small moments where I’d seem aloof and distant. You’d always known I was skeptical about expressing my feelings. The spell had begun to wear off, and slowly but surely, you’d realise I had no feelings to express. If this was goodbye, you pretend I broke your heart and I’ll pretend it meant nothing to me.

“I don’t think I can do this anymore”, you’d say, and I’d smile.


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