There are signs I’ve noticed about you. Signs that I picked up after ages of staying by your side and being in your life. Signs that I know only I ever notice, because no one else is ever looking for them, but I am…

Because I worry about you.

You’re uncomfortable and you can’t escape; you crack your knuckles and try not to make eye-contact. You shift uncomfortably and look guilty when your joints make more noise than you thought they would, but no one noticed, because no one ever does.

You don’t want to be here, and you feel trapped; you worry your bottom lip between your teeth and bite the inside of your cheek. You try not to do it when your parents are looking, because you know they’ll get mad.

You’re thinking; and your eyes tend to lose focus, and I know your mind’s wandering along glittering pathways and moonlit scenes are playing through your mind. You snap suddenly back to reality, and you get back to work, a smile flitting over your lips.

You find something funny; and your lips try to resist the urge to twitch upwards, and you wind up rolling your lips back into your mouth, biting your mouth closed and keeping your eyes down.

You laugh; and quickly put a hand over your mouth, because you think your laugh is weird, but I think it’s beautiful. You don’t laugh much, not really, and when you do all I want is see the happiness spread over your face.

You’re lonely; I scoot in a little closer and brush my shoulder against yours. You give me that look that sums up a thank you and you’re a life-saver all in one, and I feel a little better about life, because I know you’re not as sad.

You’re sad; I hug you and you bury your face in my shoulder, because you don’t want to have to face the world. You pull me closer and breathe deeply and evenly, and I can feel your heart thumping solidly against my chest. Your heat manages to work into me, and I don’t feel so sad either.

You cry; I pull you over and kiss away your tears, and you resist, because you always resist. I stop and pull you into my arms, and finally you cave and let me hold you because this is what you want. It’s what you always want.

I finally kiss you, and you resist again. I’ve played this game with you, I know when to drop it, I know what to do and what to avoid. I know what buttons to push and which to not touch at all.

Your lips are rough from where you bite them when you’re anxious, and the scab that hasn’t healed all the way still tastes a bit like blood. I hold your shoulders, avoid your waist. I kiss your lips, not your neck. I pull away before you have to, because I know that’s what you want.

I slip my hand into yours, lace together our fingers. I press my forehead against yours, and smile at you. This is what you want, this warmth, this closeness, these occasional kisses and constant soft touches.

I know the signs. I know your signs.

Because I know you.


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