A year's a long time to go on pretending

But I have to say, the pretense wasn't only with you.

Didn't know how to trust what was in me all along-

It was a sad, sweet longing that I was pushing back.

Telling myself it wasn't right, wasn't true,

a restrictive feeling of unbridled cynicism.

Love wasn't something I believed in, really-

Just an excuse for acting alive.

I did what they expected of me,

finding others to fill up my time and my bed.

Those relationships, so controlled, felt 'right'

because 'right' meant unattached, uncompromised,

yet in the end, also unfulfilled and empty.

By a stroke of luck and circumstance

I was given a fleeting glimpse of what could yet be-

and though I flinched away, of myself mistrustful,

curiosity overran all cautions, in the end.

At first bitterness, hostility was the main agenda,

still skeptical of the unabashed devotion put before me.

Unused to such affections, I shied back;

There was a skin of false disinterest I feigned.

Still, the pieces were falling together all around me-

The gentle pressure in my chest I couldn't ignore

when in your presence or engaged in conversation.

The electricity of your touch, and the nervousness

that pervaded my fa├žade inexcusably.

That first, reckless kiss-

Unexpected, unplanned, almost beyond my own control,

Tragic and lovely at the same time.

From that moment, the choice was mine no longer

No matter that I didn't realize it at first.

I grew to love your touch, again,

let down my stubborn inhibitions

and allowed a little light inside.

Nothing was perfect, by far, but at least I knew

that I didn't need it to be, to be happy.

An affectionate brush of lips,

your gentle, reassuring smile,

the promise of love without bounds.

This emotion that I once claimed ignorance of,

this devotion that I could now bask in,

this attention that I could now requite,

this love that I could now truly say

that I believed in.