And for some reason, I worry that if we called it “us” instead of “me” and “you,” maybe it would change irreparably. That’s what scares me the most.

But then, just for a minute, I think about what it would be if we gave “us” a chance. What if we threw caution to the wind, and ignored the “what ifs” and the “buts” and the fear, and just tried to be more than we are?

If we could be “us,” maybe we could be honest about what we’re feeling. Maybe we would get a chance to try honesty, instead of biting back feelings that we assume are better left unsaid. The truth is, I don’t want to bite back feelings anymore. I know they are there, and I know they are real. And I know you feel what I feel.

If we gave “us” a chance, we could build each other up, and depend on each other instead of just hoping the other person would make time for us. We would allow ourselves to explore the feelings we have for each other together, instead of just thinking about them when we’re walking away from each other, wishing we could’ve just stayed side-by-side.

We wouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable about wrapping our arms around each other whenever we felt like it. We could show each other the affection we’re trying to limit right now. We could hold each other’s gaze and never have to stop staring, never have to look down because we were too embarrassed. We could stay in bed all day together and have sex in the afternoon and then go out to dinner without a care for what anyone else in the world is doing. We wouldn’t have to find excuses to see each other, or make up reasons that our friends couldn’t hang out with the two of us on a given night.

We could make plans for the months coming up, and introduce each other as more than just another friend. We wouldn’t have to hide that we mean more to each other than that. We could care for each other without worrying about whether that’s “too much” or whether the other person will read something into it. We could cook and drink and stay in, instead of having to arrange encounters that seem like chance just to be able to spend the night – and next day -together. We could express ourselves fully and openly and know the other person is unconditionally there for us, through our darkest moments and weirdest moments and happiest moments. That’s what we could have, if we just gave “us” a chance.

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