She says again, without expectation or pretense, apology or redundancy, “I love you.”
Her intention this whole time, has been to love him. That is all she wants to do. She wants to love him more than she wants to do anything else. She wants to love him fully and completely. She wants to love him the way he deserves to be loved and the way she knows she can.
When they were kids and she loved him, it was small and cute, inexperienced and unsure. She honestly didn’t know what she had when she had him back then, and he wasn’t really into telling her how he felt either. She thought he saw her as a fuck buddy. She thought they were two people who liked to be with one another and who made each other laugh. But she had no idea, no clue that he loved her.
She loved him though, and the love she had for him was true, though unfamiliar to her. She didn’t know how to handle what she felt, especially in light of the situation they found themselves in. Not only did she not know how it was going to work, she didn’t know if he had any intention of making it work. So she let him go. And that was a terrible thing.
She cried countless nights after she left. She buried herself in work and school and thought about him constantly. She tried to keep moving away, but all she really wanted was to go back.
Fast forward twenty something years. She will never forget the conversation they had. When he asked her what she thought about him back then. She told him, “I really liked you.”
He asked, “I know you said you liked me back then, but how did you REALLY FEEL ABOUT ME?”
The tone of his voice asked for complete honesty and she couldn’t help but tell him truthfully, “I was crazy about you.”
She said it softly. She hoped he wouldn’t hear the earnest tone betraying to him that she still was.
She continued on, “I wanted to be with you, for real. Not just secretly. I loved you… How did you really feel about me?”
She didn’t breathe after she asked that question. She knew his answer would make or break her.
“I wanted to be with you. I loved you.”
He finally told her he had loved her then. And her heart soared. She was astonished, amazed, and flattered. In that very moment, she gave herself over to him and to what she was feeling for him. She had waited twenty years to hear him say he loved her, and when he did, she knew she would never want him to stop.