It was clumsy the day they first met
A hot day in New York City, photography at a baseball game, purple hair, and overpriced lemonade. There was a 15 year-old girl and her friend, and there was a slight fangirl moment when meeting a 17 year old boy who was famous school-wide for his singing and acting. There was an exchange of names, a photograph, and a friendship.
It was clumsy the second day, too.
Persistently bought coffee from the little round shop with way too many sugar packets, a misguided museum employee, too much root beer, and pigeons that were startled by the boy yelling “44!”
The third day was no less clumsy.
There was a broadway show in Shubert Alley, an unknown desire, and a sleepless night for the boy, though the girl remained ignorant of his new-found crush. If only the girl knew that a year from now, a promposal would be reenacted, a first kiss would be given and taken, and “I love you” would be said. If only the boy knew that his “immature” desire would be replaced with love, and passion, and, well, her. If only they knew what would happen in the next 365 days.
It was clumsy that one night in the pool.
A sticky, humid heat in the air, string lights hung over head, four friends swimming in the girls pool, stars in the sky, and the boy, throwing the girl into the pool simply because he could. The girl loved him then, though she wouldn’t allow herself to think about it, so they remained as they were: friends.
It was clumsy that day in Hershey Park.
There were sharp turn on the Wild Mouse, a stranger met and then lost again, and the boy, who kept telling the girl of other boys who were staring at her. Maybe it was his secret way of telling her that he thinks she’s beautiful, but she never knew.
It was clumsy in the movie theater.
There was crab rangoon and smuggled sushi, an 11:00 movie about superheroes, and a returned wish to hold a girl’s hand, though the girl, somehow, remained oblivious still.
It was clumsy in September and November.
There was a girl with a broken heart, betrayal from the friends from New York, a different boy who was never meant to be, and the boy who was meant to be, listening to every word, watching every tear, and slowly, unknowingly, fixing her heart. Through three hourlong video calls, text messages, and abandoned lunch periods he loved her still, though he remained the friend that he knew she needed.
It was clumsy in December.
There was a realization of how much he meant to her, a lot of poems, a revelation of jealousy of the girl who was flirting with him, and a lot of tears. There was a still 15 year old girl and a now 18 year old boy, and she allowed herself to fall, in the clumsiest way possible, into him.
If was clumsy on Valentine's day.
There was a singing Valentine, as well as one with a bad pun, there was a comparison to a sister, there was a"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and there was a hug. A question was asked that day "Does he like her?", But was disregarded with a shrug "He said she was like a sister, so I guess not". It stung her her heart just a little, but she accepted the hit that was unintentionally given. And clumsily, once again, she laughed and smiled, after all, he and to her.
If was clumsy at the cabaret Cafe.
There was some pie and ice cream, a song sung to her, though she only wished he meant it that way, a slippery cafeteria for and tights, a confession, and two questions. The confession being to him, that she was happy to know him, a question to her, does she like him, to which she lied "no", and when the question was returned, the boy avoided an answer when the girl returned a question.
It was clumsy the Monday afterwards.
It was clumsy when he wouldn't meet her eyes. She still can't explain how much that hurt her, it stabbed at her heart and caught in her throat. After all: her best friend didn't even want to look at her. Her heart was slippery and clumsy as it sunk towards her stomach. There were tears during first period, and a text after school from the girl who apologized for lying because she liked him after all, and was too afraid of rejection to tell him before, yet no confirmation came from him.
It was clumsy on March 3rd.
There were poems, missing heart beats, and grammar mistakes. There was relief and there was fear. There was nervousness for the next day, knees shaking, heart racing as she turned every corner, waiting to see his face.
It was clumsy on March 16th.
When she fell to the ground. There are six pink roses, a stuffed turtle named Cleopatra, and a PowerPoint slide with a pun. There was an expectation he had wished to live up to and there was success. She fell to the ground and feel into his arms and they both cried of happiness and shock.
It was clumsy on March 18th.
There were silent cellos, empty risers, a dark room and racing heartbeats. There were seven kisses before saying goodbye, they were her first. There were two definitions of perfect, coincidentally, there were also two names. There was a broken water bottle and a boy in a parking lot. There was a girl, now sixteen, and a boy, now eighteen, and they were talking in love in the dark.
It was clumsy on April 3rd.
There was a stairwell, a thought, a confession, and an "I love you" returned in the same breath of air held between them.
It was clumsy in the hammock.
There was an unbalanced swaying, a list of questions and answers, and a metaphor about falling.
It was clumsy at lunch.
There was an attempted hug, an accidental tackle, and a girl who tripped over her own feet.
It was clumsy yesterday, it is clumsy today, and it will be clumsy tomorrow.
There was New York City, coffee, Broadway in Shubert Alley, root beer, Hershey Park and movie theaters. There was a broken heart, video calls, realizations, poems, songs, and apple pie with ice cream. There were grammar mistakes, pink roses, turtles, teddy bears, silent cellos, risers, absent heartbeats, and stairwells. There was love unreturned from fear of rejection born from the roots of doubt. And then, there was love, and memories, and secrets. And they became them, and "us" was their new favorite word.