I like it when you falter, are made shy and unsure.
Not by me, really, though there is that.
It comes from you: That voice in your head that tells you to stop it, to not say that, to not do that, to not THINK that, but something in you urges you to say, do, think it anyway.
I watch your conflict like a predator watching prey, keenly, intently. It makes me want to lean forward and run a slow tongue from the side of your mouth across your soft lips and over your cheek, to lick the fear from your beautiful face, to experience what your indecision tastes like, the thought of which makes me smile. But I don’t smile. I wait, and watch.
It must seem like forever to you, like the moment is suspended and circling lazily, stretching out, making you anxious, but in reality, the time is short, a few seconds, not more. I recognise its flavour, crisp and sharp, like the thin air atop a mountain that you either scale or back down slowly from.
I know you love this uncertainty as much as you are scared by it. I know you want to be braver than that. I wonder if you know that in my patient silence, I am willing you on, silently urging you forward, that I am on tenterhooks also as the slow seconds tick by.
I see it, you know, your disappointment in yourself when you close down, retreat to somewhere safer and less interesting, when you shore up the walls and back slowly away, an awkward smile on your face. I clock it the instant you make the decision, before the words even come out of your mouth, even as I turn away. I’m disappointed too.
I know you will regret it. Maybe you will be brave enough to bring it up some other time, to explain, to justify. It’s not necessary, you know. Maybe you just aren’t ready. It’s okay, I understand.
Perhaps next time.