I couldn’t say, “I love you, too,” because I was not sure whether I did, truly, wholly, deeply, love you. And now that we’ve spent some time apart, I can honestly say that no, I did not love you. There was a morning, however, that I thought I did. I remember waking up to your beautiful eyes, and in that moment we shared a different kind of connection to all of the ones we had shared before. You laughed, you smiled, and my heart grew heavy. I thought I may have loved you then, but before I could decide, you left.
I couldn’t say, “I love you, too,” because you couldn’t kiss me goodbye. We spent a moment looking at each other for the last time, and although we shared a quick peck, you didn’t kiss me the way you’ve kissed me before. That brush of our lips did not read passion, or warmth like all the others, but read of embarrassment. We both turned away and walked in separate directions, and I’m glad neither of us looked back.
I couldn’t say, “I love you, too,” because I knew that once I did, you’d have me. I mean, you always knew you had me. But if I were to have felt it, and forbid say it out loud, you’d know that I was completely yours. And I just couldn’t give you that satisfaction.
I couldn’t say, “I love you, too,” because I was, and still am, not him. We both know whom you really love, and how I was just a placeholder until you and he were ready to be together again. All the times you compared the two of us, and all the times you’d mention his name, I could hear the subtle desire and yearn in your voice. So when you called to tell me that you two might get back together, I was not surprised.
I couldn’t say, “I love you, too,” because I don’t believe that you really did love me. You had days spent holding my hand, and days rejecting my glance. Days spent kissing down my spine, and days introducing me as a friend. Days spent in bed reading me poetry, and days ignoring my messages. I don’t believe you loved me because you couldn’t keep hurting someone you loved the way you hurt me.