I wonder, sometimes, if it is possible to quantify the exact, specific moment that you fall in love with someone.
Many people beleive that falling in love takes time, anywhere from months to years, sometimes a whole lifetime. It does not. There is a difference between the time before you fall in love with someone and the time after, an obvious, discrete, seperation. However, the moment itself is elusive. You can reduce its boundaries to an arbitrarily small space, if you are watching closely, but you cannot identify it. Thus we approach asyptotically, but never touch, the truth.
I fell in love for the first and last time at the age of sixteen. I can identify the moment to within a minute. This is, of course, in retrospect; at the time I did not recognize it as love. I am not deluding myself with this. There is of course, no such thing as love at first sight; but it was not at first sight. I did not fall in love with him until we had exchanged words, until he looked up at me and asked me if the spirits that fed the tree felt any pain. Sometime between the moment he finished the question and the moment I smiled at him and told him I would make a bet with him, I fell in love.
His hands are long, slender, perfectly formed. The stars on the back are oddly discordant. They stand out, if you have the ability to see them. The skin on his hands is thin, almost transparently so, and the veins on his wrists stand out so much you can almost see his pulse, if you look closely enough.
Every time I touch his hands I hurt. Every time he reaches up to brush my cheek with that strange shyness he retains ever after so long I feel a tightening in my chest like the beginning of a heart attack, as I feel the scars there. The only good thing about those scars is that I can always feel them. I know where he is. The worst thing about those scars is that I can always feel them. I am reminded of how much I have changed him. He doesn't seem to mind.
I know every inch of him, now. I know how he feels, how his skin grows thinner on his wrists and his ankles and his neck. I know how warm he is, how fast his metabolism is, even now that he is done growing. I know how touching him on his neck, where the skin is thinnest and most sensitive, makes him shiver helplessly. I touched him there, again and again, until he was trembling and whispering my name.
I let my hand rest on his throat for a moment before I let it slip further down. He didn't even go tense.
The moment of falling in love can only be approached asyptotoically, narrowed down, although sometimes I think it can be located with sufficeint precision. Still, I know at least my moment was unique. It will never be returned. He will never love me, although he will think that he does. The stars on teh back of his hands bind him to me. I could hate myself for that. I could take a kinfe to my own wrist for every moment of pain I have ever caused him, if it were not ordained otherwise.
But for a little while, I did nothing to hurt him.
We will never spiral all the way in, and our lines will only keep curving closer, never meeting. We will only keep going, every meeting bringing us one iteration closer to understanding, but none of them bringing us all the way.
He trusted me, and I did nothing to hurt him.
Someday soon, I will die. I will die at his hands. This was destined. this is what I want. I want this, because I love him. But he trusts me, even if he does not love me. We have found a point of stability, although we will be thrown out of it soon enough.
Perhaps we've come far enough.
RR: It doesn't show at *all* that this was written by an Engineering major, right? Right.