I think an ex introduced me to Maybe.
We are lying in bed, discussing something ordinary. Our childhoods, perhaps. We romanticize playdates and temper tantrums. We wax poetically on what it feels like to be seven or twelve or seventeen. We share nostalgic memories that we forget never happened. We round a corner and head towards the future. I quietly declare, over the trickling of the fountain outside her half-open window, that I’m going to finish this year and become something else.
“Maybe,” she says.
We are sitting on the grass, discussing something extraordinary. The daytime moon rising above the clouded mountains, perhaps. We try to describe the view with big words that tumble awkwardly. You snap a picture that you know will be bad. We fail miserably at watching silently as it quietly inches over the ridge. We imagine what it’s like to be there, now. You imagine it’s wonderful.
“Maybe,” I say.
Oh, I know this word, you think to yourself.
When we’re discussing the party that your kind-of-friend-but-mostly-acquaintance is throwing and you weakly say that maybe you will go, that’s maybe. When we’re bickering over the best flavor of ice cream and I grudgingly whisper that maybe you’re right, vanilla is better than strawberry, that’s maybe.
When we’re drive in the pouring rain and you softly assure my nervous ear that we’ll make it home safe and and I tell you Maybe.
When I do something awkward and you quickly make one of those compliments that can turn anyone’s day around and I ruin the moment with Maybe.
When the rhythm of our conversation is moving exactly as it should and you touch my hand and, even if it’s just for a moment, we feel in love, and I say it and you say Maybe.
Try it. Maybe.