Rehearsal

The discomfort of trying to hide your feelings.

“I love you”.

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I love you.

Pause.

Oh god okay I’m so sorry I just
That was a line from a play I need to practice,
Were you surprised? Shocked? Disgusted?
Sorry, I just really needed the practice the line that I will never, ever, have the guts to say to you.
In fact, I will never tell you this.

Instead, I think… I think Thea would.
Our dear friend Thea would be the one to tell you that I have a crush on you.
Despite all my protests and arguments and pleading and well whatever the hell I’d say to a friend who tells me they’re gonna tell my crush i have a crush on them or some shit like that,
Thea will be the one to tell you.
And she’d make sure I’m there when you find out.

And I’d just stand here. You’d stand over there and Thea would be over at the side like a tennis umpire waiting.
Waiting for the soap opera that may never, ever happen.
We’d stand here. And I won’t mind. I think whatever’s going on here, this silence that we’re both carrying out is quite comfortable.
I’m… not sure why and also notice how my eyes are looking down here at the ground where your feet are
And not up there looking into your eyes and having to analyse your expression
And notice… How I’m waiting.
I don’t wanna say anything that might start something because boy this is a situation I’ve been in and I really, really, do not want to be in this position.

Thea would leave once she realises that this soap opera isn’t gonna start.
You won’t watch TV when there’s nothing on.
So she’d leave.

And a minute or two afterwards, maybe you’d say something.
That one moment where you’d speak and you’d say:
“Is it true? Is Anthea telling the truth? Do you like me?”

And I’d, well.
I’d say “Yeah. It’s true. I have a crush on you. I like you.
But I don’t like you in the way where I want a carnival kinda love, I like you in the way where I wanna cuddle with you on a rainy day, the two of us sat on the couch covered in too many blankets and falling asleep on each other to Wall-E playing on Netflix
I want a love so comfortable we won’t be afraid to get tangled up in a mess of arms and legs and feel like we need to do something about it
And I want a love so gentle, so slow, it’d be like being on a small boat with you- a raft for two.
We’d be floating down the river, no wind, no speed, just floating down as we enjoy this cool, calm weather together and feel comfortable and free and relaxed.
I want to love you tenderly.
I want to love you so much that I’d feel sad when we finally hit the shore.
I want to love you, and when we hit the shore I hope we can both look up at each other and say ‘Well that’s that.
It was good,
I enjoyed that.
I’m sorry it didn’t last longer. But it was fun while we lasted.’
I don’t want this to turn us into strangers.
I hope this could end up meaning more to us that just a passing relationship.
I hope, at least, I’d mean more to you that that.”

And after this long rant you’d probably look at me like I’m an idiot.
And pat me on the head, because I’m small enough for you to pat like a small child.
I don’t know what you’d say.

But rehearsals are meant to make you less afraid,
And if I were to be perfectly honest with you,

I don’t feel much stage fright right now.

 

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