I Know I Can’t Say I Love You (So I’ll Say This Instead)

Lissy Elle
Lissy Elle

It’s 4 in the morning and I’m sitting on your couch, wrapped up in this Cowboys throw, crying. You’re asleep, as you should be. In two hours I’m going to leave and you may remember our conversation, but probably not. I know you did drugs tonight. I know you and her are nothing serious. I know you saw someone that piqued your interest that you may want to pursue. I know you’re “fucked up” and crazy and aiming to “be something someday.” But what you don’t know is that you already are.

You told me you want this to end, because no matter how much we talk about this, you’re still never going to want a girlfriend. Those words don’t surprise me. I guess they don’t really anger me either. I told you that I will not beg you to be with. I cannot be more or less than what I am. I came into this, numb. Conscious, but dulled. I was safe in distance. Casual. Collected. I didn’t see this coming the way it did.

But I do know when I stood in front of you in a bar parking lot and kissed you, a stranger, that I chose you. When you sat me down, Thanksgiving Eve, and told me about your family, I chose you. On drunk Sundays, sleepless nights, Jeopardy marathons, and crazy food cravings, I chose you. And now I’m sitting in your living room, thinking about the first time I walked through this door –and what it would be like to do all over again –same place, same people, same circumstances. I would still choose you.

There are times I wish you’d come along for the ride, take a drive to Newport, or kick it at a chili cook-off. Go for a hike, catch a game, see the world with me. Things that don’t always cost money. And things that do. Investment. In you. And experience. And in something new.

There are times I wish you knew more of me than what you see. And also times I think you maybe already might. I don’t know how to ask for things and tell you all the thoughts I think of you. I suppress more than I should. I act like I have it all together, but I don’t. No one does. But I know how to care for someone and make sure they know it. I’m fiercely loyal, wildly independent, and innately passionate. And all of that is genuine.

I know that whatever this is, that we’ve had, is a force of nature. Organic energy. Fire that can’t really be put out. Maybe it’s our zodiac signs, I don’t know. But I took a chance on a guy with a great face and I did things I’d never done before. And every moment of it was precious, flawless. Even the not-so-good ones.

You have driven me crazy, but in all the best ways. I didn’t care that you got a little drunk and dramatic or bet one too many football games. Because you also cleaned the snow off my car and cooked me breakfast. You called me up late on a Saturday night to tell me how you came home because you couldn’t hook up with a girl at a party. There are so many stupid, silly little things about you I couldn’t forget if I wanted to. And those are the things that I’m crazy about. Even if you talk me to death or drain the life from me like a 9 to 5. You’re worth it because you’re you.

In about an hour I’m going to go, and I don’t know if I’m going to scream because I wrote this or cry because I’m really bad at goodbyes. Or if I’ll be too hungover and sleep deprived to feel anything besides the pain in my head. But I do know, whether you read this or not, and still want this to end in the morning, I will be glad to have known you and all your not-so-good parts. There will always be others–guys in different places with more coin and credentials. Girls–much prettier and slimmer than me.

But through time and space and defied energy, there will be the fire that we found in one another. And that is real. TC mark

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