above all else, i was a coward
and long ago, with some careless movement
of my hand, i admitted that to you.
but i'm not so sure you listened to me.
maybe you were too caught
your eyes on how perfectly my hands rested
folded in my lap.
i'm sorry.
i know you think i'm hardly at fault
but you'll never see past my placid expression
and the rosy shade of my cheeks.
stop looking at me.
i have nothing to offer you anymore.
there is no charm in being candid.

----

"let's go to the museum."
i looked up from the pages of my book.
"i didn't think you liked stuff like that."
"don't be silly! we've only known eachother for a little while, how can you know such things?"
she was curled up in the armchair with the cup of tea i fixed her.
"you have a point. i just-"
"no worries, i understand why you would think that."
she sat up.
"i know i seem like some odd little child in your life, knocking on your window
at odd hours and showing up with a variety of odd things you hardly like each time but--"
"i like when you bake things for me, even when they're hardly edible. i appreciate your efforts."
"oh? well, that's good. i do try. i only started all this because i figured you must be
kind of lonely here. always a lot of work when you're living by yourself."
"it's not unbearable. i'm glad you're around. you're not a little child."
"compared to you, i am. you're so composed, intelligent..."
she reclined back in the chair, sighing.
"i only made the museum comment because you told me you hated reading. people that
like browsing galleries also like reading about the paintings that reside there to understand them."
"but a lot of people also just like looking, you know."
i began to laugh, and i was laughing pretty hard. she looked at me with a puzzled expression.
"what's...what's so funny?"
"i realized how silly i was being. a museum is something anyone can enjoy. how have i gotten to
be so pretentious and..."
i stopped laughing and looked down. i realized something crucial. i was faced with it again.
"well, it's okay. you don't have to be pretentious, though. just be you, like what you like."
i wish i could tell her everything. there's no use in looking like this.
"i am me. i'm just..a little guarded."
"what do you mean? why would you--"
"let's go to the museum."
i smiled.
that smile.
"well..well, okay then."
she grinned a bit.
"let me go get ready."
i set my book on the coffee table and went upstairs to the bathroom.
i sat on the floor and wrapped my arms around my legs, then rested my head against them.
and so badly, i wish they were back.