Then I Love You - Jimin
“Have you ever been in love?” I asked, peering down at him. We were both reading on the couch one quiet afternoon. I sat at the far end with Jimin’s head resting in my lap.
“Hmm?” He was only half-listening, eyes still immersed in the fantasy world of his book. His lips did this cute pouting thing they do whenever I call his attention away from his current task.
“The main characters in my book just declared their love for each other, but I don’t get it. Like, I understand why they’d be in love, but like…I don’t know. I don’t get it.” I resolved, shrugging away my confusion.
“What does that have to do with me?” He chuckled.
“Well, have you ever been in love before?”
He sat up to consider my question more seriously. “…Yeah.”
“What was it like? How did you know?” I asked, excitedly putting my book down.
Jimin smiled at my eagerness. “Do you want to know what love is like or who I was in love with?”
“Oh I don’t care who it was with,” I dismissed with a wave of my hand. “I just wanna know what it was like. And I mean real romantic love, not like, how much you loved your pet turtle or something.”
“Mr. Miggins?” He stared off into the distance, biting his lip and pretending to be distraught.
“I’m being serious,” I said, playfully slapping his arm.
He let out his signature light-hearted laugh as he ran a hand through his fluffy hair. “Well, it depends.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, it can be the most amazing feeling or it can feel like torture. Usually it’s a bit of both.”
I furrowed my eyebrows. “That doesn’t sound fun.”
“Not everything is like you read in books. Real life is usually much more messy and complicated.”
“Well, how’d you know you were in love?”
He sighed, probably fed up with my incessant questioning. I was about to tell him to forget about it when he finally spoke. “I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Day or night, they were on my mind.” He shook his head as his lips curled into a smile. “I suspected I was in love when I’d think of something I was sure would make them laugh or saw something they’d like and want to immediately show them. But I knew I was in love when I’d just want to be near them or even just in the same room as them, we don’t even need to speak.” His eyes twinkled at his explanation, but then his smile slowly began to fade. “It can hurt if you don’t know how to express your feelings or are afraid they might not be returned.” A shadow cast over his twinkling eyes as he continued. “It can be torture when they leave and you can’t wait until you see them again but don’t know if you ever will, when you think you smell their perfume or hear their laugh but they aren’t really there.” He sat up with his arms resting on his knees, his expression far away as he recounted memories he dare not speak.
“Oh, well I know all about not being able to express how I’m feeling.” My whole body was turned to face him as I drank in every detail of this unfamiliar concept. At my statement he seemed to snap back to the present. As much as I was curious, I didn’t want to pry into who he was thinking about, yet for some reason I wanted someone to have such strong emotions like that about me. “I feel like everyone around me gets it, ya know, like they all understand what love is, but I didn’t get the memo.”
“You probably lost it,” he joked, easing the tension in his expression.
I smiled weakly, “Yeah, maybe that’s it.” We sat in silence for a minute, both lost in our thoughts. “Did the people you loved ever love you back?” I asked finally.
He sighed again as he stood up. “Not people, just one person and I don’t know.” He walked into the kitchen and grabbed a water bottle from the fridge with me trailing close behind.
“Only one person? And what do you mean you don’t know?” How can someone who’s been in love only have been in love with one person? This kind of thing had to be second nature to Jimin, it didn’t make sense. He’s the most patient, kind and gentle guy I know, the only one who’s stayed by me this long.
“Well it’s not a competition,” he chuckled. “And I don’t know, I guess I don’t fall in love too easily.”
I pouted at his answer. “You said you don’t know if they love you back, why not?”
He eyed me curiously before he took another sip of water. His eyes seemed to soften, like he was trying not to break at the thought of why his love wasn’t returned.
“Well, for one, I haven’t told them I love them and secondly, I don’t know how they’d feel about it.”
“You’ll never know if you don’t ask! What if they love you too?” Was he being difficult on purpose? The solution to his problem was so simple, so easy.
He smirked at my determination. “Just to let you know there’s more than one type of love you can feel for a person. What if the love I feel for them is romantic but they feel another type of love that’s not so romantic?”
I thought about it for a minute. “Then technically they still love you, it’s just in a different way.”
“You think so?”
I nodded, too sure that Jimin had nothing to worry about when it came to the one he loved.
He stared into my eyes as he contemplated my words. Having reached an appropriate conclusion, he pushed his body off the counter he was leaning on and strode over to me. “Then, I love you,” he stated and kissed my forehead before walking back into the living room to continue reading his book on the couch. I stood in the middle of the kitchen even more confused than before