I think it started with memes. Liking and tagging each other in outrageous Facebook posts was addictive. Only then I didn’t know that this was your way of flirting with me. Very soon, I started attending your house dinners more than my own, and Snapchat-ing you on Friday nights became more important to me than giving Law & Order: SVU my full attention. Entering Chem lectures with you made my Monday mornings just a bit more bearable, and listening to you forcefully protest Epsilon-Delta proofs brightened my Sunday evenings. Your facial expressions would always send a tingle down my body, so I liked blurting out outrageous things just so I could watch your eyes and mouth widen right before your sassy comeback.
Our first date might have been when we went to Little Tokyo after finals – of course, I didn’t know it was a date because your friends came with us. Under paper lanterns and Christmas lights, we took goofy photos and snickered at the security guards who gave us suspicious looks. To this day, I remember you insisted that we check out that Japanese beauty store. Of course, I vehemently objected to the idea because guys don’t do these things (but of course, watching you lather various lotions on your face amused me greatly). Maybe you were trying to tell me something (ironically?) when you wrapped your hand around my shoulder at the Friendship Knot. Maybe telling me straight up that you liked me was too uncomplicated. You were, after all, the most complicated and remarkable person I had met. Convinced that we were just friends, I thought nothing of that night when just the two of us got tipsy on Kahlúa in my room and watched a movie about drug cartels. Or all the times you made clear to me that you despised children and would never have any.
Christmas Eve you texted me: “I really like you and hope we can be more than friends.” Kissing you and running my hands through your uncombed swimmer’s hair were all I wanted to do, and I imagined that 7000 miles away, you wanted that too. Actually, I also wanted to punch you for waiting this long. Too excited to sleep, I studied your gorgeous swamp-green eyes from my collection of Snapchat screenshots, realizing two things. Only you made me feel this happy. Only with you did I feel at home.