1. When she’s drunk. When all of her inhibitions, her insecurities, and her innocence flutters away. When she isn’t thinking over her words — once, twice, three times — before she speaks. When she says whatever pops into her intricate mind and moves with a clumsy grace.
2. When she’s with her best friends. When she laughs hard at nonsensical jokes, without worrying about her snort or the attention she’s attracting from passersby. When she’s simultaneously a childish, carefree young girl and a twenty-something woman with a mature elegance. When she’s completely and utterly her.
3. When she’s grieving. When her pet, her parent, or another person she felt extreme love for is taken away from her. When she stands over their grave, counting the memories that they shared. When she digs her head into your shoulder, because the tissues aren’t enough to stop the tears and she’s hoping your body can soak the remainders up.
4. When she’s making love. When she lifts her dress and reveals the skin reserved for men of a certain class. When she looks in your eyes and wordlessly tells you how much trust she has in you. When she gives you a glimpse into her private world and prays you don’t take the experience for granted.
5. When she’s watching her favorite TV show. When she doesn’t even hear you speaking, doesn’t even feel your hand clasp on hers, because she’s so immersed in the plot. When the season ends and she cries, because to her, the show isn’t pure fiction. She sees herself reflected in the characters. The show mirrors her life.
6. When she’s with her pet. When she drops to the ground to get covered in sloppy kisses. When she slips into her baby voice, because that’s what her pet is to her — her child. When she doesn’t even realize the outfit she took hours to pick out is sprinkled with fur, dotted with lick marks.
7. When she’s tired. When all she wants to do is smash the snooze button and crawl back under her cotton covers. When she snaps at you, just for speaking, because she isn’t fully awake yet, isn’t ready to start the day. When a cup of coffee isn’t even enough to quiet her crankiness.
8. When she’s on her period. When she’s cranky. When she’s whiny. When she doesn’t want you to touch her and then climbs up on your lap five minutes later. When she doesn’t know what the hell is wrong, but that her back is killing her.
9. When she’s arguing with you. When she’s pissed and unable to contain her rage, despite her love for you. When she struggles to deal with her emotions, so every word comes out wrong. When she slams the bathroom door and turns on the sink to muffle her crying.
10. When she’s singing. When she unexpectedly hears her favorite song and lets out the tiniest squeal. When she doesn’t realize you’re close enough to hear her cracked voice and watch her gangly body glide around the kitchen. When she lets the music transport her to another place, another time.
11. When she’s working. When she’s on the phone with her boss, speaking in a professional voice reserved only for colleagues. When she’s practicing a speech that could make or break her career, and has cultivated such a strong focus you can’t help but be impressed.
12. When she’s in love. When she looks at you like you’ve solved life’s greatest question. When she kisses you with a level of intensity and degree of passion you’ve never experienced before her. When she promises you forever and does everything within her power to make her oath come true.