I think, therefore you are.

There were eight hundred and three scenarios I’d imagined, occasions where I’d see you again; watch you running towards me, by my side, past me, around me, through me, behind me. Eight hundred and three. I’d counted patiently, woven each one with rich detail, from how I’d look to how you’d appear, down to the dialogues we’d exchange in each case: replete with witty quips, playful banter, carefully crafted body language, subtle flirtation, overt passive aggression. There were eight hundred and three ways in which we’d meet once again. Because once wasn’t enough.

Fate dropped you into my cupped palms and gave me one chance to look at you, one chance to see your magnetic eyes, behold your body, memorize the lines of your face and the warmth of your November smile. I had just one opportunity to gaze at the way your pupils dilated ever so slightly when it scrutinized my frame. Once, only once did I see your smile directed my way. Just one time I heard you laugh at something my mind created and spelled out for your sole pleasure. That one time on a rainy Friday morning, my heart stopped as the clock froze at 8:03 am — your hands melting into mine, your fingers finding a home between my own soft digits, your name sealing itself on to my tender heart. Once wasn’t enough to hear you croon songs of love, songs of pain, songs for me and songs by you. Merely one time I’d been lucky enough to have you as my own, have you in front of me, have you concentrate all your energies towards me, have you give me all your attention and time and devotion. You were whole only once. One only once. Now you’re split, broken into eight hundred and three fragments.

Eight hundred different ways in which your eyes sparkle and three in which they dull. Eight hundred and three ways in which I hear your unfamiliar voice addressed to my unworthy ears, and just as many ways in which my mind records every word you say for careful scrutiny of meaning in posterity.

My brain is an empty vessel of mediocrity and simple thoughts; you are the only idea it elevates to a realm of imagination that requires an overuse of every one of its nerves. You make me nervous. The signals that originate in the limbic system spread towards my limbs, tingling my toes and fluttering my fingers. My heart thumps a tune that sounds not unlike your voice. Every fiber of my being has known you without ever knowing you.

There are eight hundred and three sides to me you haven’t seen and eight hundred and three ways in which I let you in to my museum of madness. In eight hundred ways I win in this game you started, in two I concede defeat and in my favourite one, the eighth hundred and third one, it’s a tie and everyone wins.

Your face is inches away from mine. There’s an unexpected quake in the distance but Mother Earth smiles. You invite me to swim in your eyes that aren’t pools of blue but hues of a colour you can’t find in rainbows. I drowned in your rainy eyes that clouded all logic from my own. I inhale love and you breathe out smoke. In scenario 632, you’re my swashbuckling romantic protagonist, saving his girl from a deadly fall off an impossibly high ravine. (Don’t worry; I won’t tell anyone that it was you who pushed me).

Eight hundred and three ways in which we’d meet again. How different can each situation be, you ask? The core elements remain the same. Girl meets Boy. Everything is Illuminated. A few wicked games for the audience. Why do they call it a happy ending when there’s nothing happy about you turning around and walking away? I look back eight hundred and three times, and watch you recede as my heart breaks in eight hundred and three pieces.

I Shut My Eyes And The World Drops Dead, but you’re real, I didn’t Make You Up Inside My Head.

The eight hundred and three versions of you make me happy, happier than the one version of you that everyone thinks is true. The eight hundred and third form you take is more me than you. Truth and fantasy collide head on, no casualties save my heart.

Seventeen brave knights tried to win my dark maidenly heart one summer. Each of them wore coats of mundane tints and pigments, trying to shadow your colourful countenance that I’ve painted with eight hundred and three palettes. But I’d always pick you over seventeen boys; I’d ignore seventeen hundred for you every time, in eight hundred and three dream worlds or even in one real one.

They called the moth that loved the flame stupid and self-destructive. But, I understood, because I’m a pyromaniac just like her, burning myself in the blaze of your fiery gaze. Fight or flight? I half run, half soar towards Neverland. My Wendy holds your Peter in one, two, three, through eight hundred and three lifetimes.

Two intersecting lines meet at one and only one point, this is true. But, one multiplied by eight hundred and three equals how much I love you.