Your eyes are still the same green I called beautiful once, when the air was liquid and the sun warm, and your arm linked with mine and everything was perfect. Yet your smile is different than I’ve ever seen it. Softer, smaller, and somehow more real because it is there without your knowing. Your eyes are still green and your lips still chapped, yet everything about you is more than I have ever seen you be.
I look at you, and there is happiness in your eyes. True happiness, of a kind I have never seen before. It baffles me, and I want to look closer, longer, peer into the green and find the beginning of it. I know I couldn’t do it if I tried. The happiness goes too far back, too deep into the very soul of you for me to be able to reach the place of its growing, the moment of its birth. But I try anyway. I try to reach the depth, searching your eyes until you turn away.
I call it happiness, though that is not the right word. But I do not know what else to name it, for it is not Joy. Joy is the thing that tears me apart from the inside out, tears me silently to pieces while my heart beats, shudders, beats. Joy is the thing that makes my soul weep. I know Joy. I know Joy well.
But this happiness of you…this happiness that radiates from some place deeper than my Joy can penetrate, this happiness that is so tangible I feel it repel me as I step near you, this happiness…this happiness is greater than my Joy. I cannot understand that. How can happiness be greater than Joy? It goes against everything I thought I believed in. It goes against the Truth I thought I knew. Maybe what you have is not happiness at all, nor Joy, nor anything that I or anyone can name?
You turn away from me, pause to glance back. Your eyes meet mine, and I am drowning. The nameless thing flooding your soul overflows and washes into me, knocking me back. There is warmth in every part of you. I can feel it, though I know it is not for me. And in that moment, in that intake of breath between seconds, I understand that I cannot feel as you do. I try to stand by you but I cannot do it, for the warmth of you presses me away. A current for someone else.
This happiness, which is not happiness, is too much for me. But I hope the well of it never dries in your soul. It makes you beautiful.