I was so concious of when I realized I was in love with her. We were in a coffee shop just off campus, on our second date. We just talked. Talked for so long that both our coffee cups were empty. I had leaned back in my chair to properly watch her ramble about some weird guy she knew in high school. I wish I could remember what the fuck she was talking about becasue she was already halfway into the story when I realized I hadn't been listening. I'd spent the past few minutes just watching her smile when our eyes properly met, and breathing out tense laughter at her own jokes. At that moment I moved my ring.
In Irish culture women wear rings called Claddagh rings that signify whether or not their heart is open and available to the world., depending on which way the ring is facing. Outwards to mean "I am not in love" and inwards to mean "I am in love". I'd been wearing that silver Claddagh ring out and open to the world since I had gotten it in Dublin.
On that wednesday afternoon, in that stuffy little coffee shop she knew I liked, I took off my ring, and I flipped it around, and I put it back on my finger.
She didn't notice, how could she have noticed? How could anyone have noticed? Only I knew that something was different. Only I knew on that Wednesday, after a caramel macciato, and after hearing her endless chatter about everything she's ever loved, that I loved her. I made it silently offical that I loved her in that moment. And it felt like the world was completely new in that moment.