This Is Why I Won’t Tell You How I Feel

Jose Chomali

I traced the curves of your hand and memorized the ways your fingers bent. My mind kept on telling me that you’re trouble, you’re danger. Yet, I hushed that little voice and let myself embrace each opportunity to hold you, to feel you. I enjoyed expecting nothing from you, from us. It was easier to live a calculated life than to free fall to an abyss of sorrow and despair—to that deep, unknown world of romance and needing someone.

I navigated the situation like a seasoned sailor. I was focused on not catching waves of feelings and putting them in little jars, dreading the possibility of having to open them one day and be washed away by the overwhelming emotions I’d rather not feel.

So, I created little scenarios and stories to justify my choices. I laughed with my friends whenever I tell them about the ridiculous circumstance we’re in.

“It’s like the movies, but like, I’ll never fall,” I proudly said one time.

We also made little theories about why ‘us’ won’t happen. Maybe you’re just a figment of my imagination? Maybe you disappear in daylight? Maybe we’re meant to stay inside the four corners of my room and release our desires in the span of hours that we connected dots with our bodies and enjoyed our make believe reality?

I thought I was smart to finally be able to segregate reason and romance. I felt very mechanical. I didn’t like it, but it’s practical.

However, it was when I stopped overthinking that reality came and sucker-punched me in the gut with the strength of a dreaded blindside. It was during those times that I was certain I saw glimpses of the real you- that despite all my efforts to not romanticize anything, it felt different when I was enveloped in your arms.

I saw portions of yourself I tried to ignore when I was busy telling myself that nothing will come out of our complicated relationship.

Relationship.

The big and scary word that I tried to not want from you. So, I convinced myself that you’re a walking heartbreak. And that if I were to let myself go there, you’d laugh and tell me I’m desperate.

But, there were also those times when you looked at me and I swear I saw something in your eyes. It reflected the things I’d never tell you. Or maybe, it’s just a direct reflection of my desperation to make you want something more. From me. From us. From this.

More.

I assumed you hated that word. Or maybe it’s my own fear of rejection. But, in my heart, I knew the answer—I’ll never know.

Because after months of denial and trying to act nonchalant, I finally accepted the fact that I like you.

But that, I’d never tell you.

If I were brave enough to take a risk- you’d be it.

But, I’m a coward and I’d rather be comfortable. So, I’ll just sit here and try to recalibrate. Perhaps, we’re not meant to happen? Perhaps, we’re both not ready? Perhaps, we’re just meant to touch each other until we’re ready to hold on to something—or someone—more permanent?

I memorized the curve of your jaw and the sound of your voice. There’s no doubt that you’re special. You’re something else.

And if I were brave enough to accept defeat, I’d let myself go and fall fast. But, I’m afraid to take a risk. Instead, I’d continue to pretend we’re nothing.

But please know, that whenever I say your name and whenever I hold you tight, they meant more than just a mere call or a convenient way to keep me warm throughout the night.

Because underneath all the uncertainties and fears, I know two things.

I care for you.

I like you.

But these are the things I’ll never tell you. TC mark

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