If I Ever Tell You I Love You

Shutterstock / Dara J
Shutterstock / Dara J

I dreamt that I told you I loved you. The words slipped out of my mouth like breath, easy and unquestioned and sure. I said it like it was the most natural thing to say. I said it like I was sure that it was welcome. I said it like it was safe to. But then again, it was a dream.

I woke up in the morning, still disoriented, figuring out if i really said it or not. And “no,” I thought to myself. I could never have said that. “The courage is too good to be true,” I thought. I should have at least stammered or hesitated. I should have bolted out right when I was about to blurt it out.

“Calm down, self, it was just a dream.”

And then I wished that it wasn’t.

I don’t know if you know this feeling, but I get saddened every time I am filled with all the beautiful, pleasant emotions, and I want to tell you that I love you but I don’t say it. It’s not that I can’t say it. It’s just that I really don’t. And it’s a conscious choice. A constant repression. It’s like trying to hold back a sneeze or a yawn – deliberate and possible but not without a little ache. It’s a silent, inside explosion. I’ve had a number of them now. Haven’t you noticed the little coughs?

Yes, I believe that actions speak louder than words. I’d rather show than tell, right? But sometimes, the urge to hear myself say it is just so strong, and it becomes even stronger when I picture that I’m going to say it to you. I need you to hear it. Listen to it. You have no idea how much I’ve longed to say it again and know that it’s true. It’s been quite some time since the last time I’ve said to anyone at all. I’ve waited for you, don’t you know that? But now that you’re here, I’m mute.

Maybe it’s my ego, maybe it’s my fear, or maybe it’s my rationale telling me not to say it because I shouldn’t. Because maybe I’m thinking that people should only say those words to someone they have clear terms with. Something like an exclusivity agreed upon. And we don’t have clear terms. We have no terms at all. But wait, I’m not complaining. Terms are not a big deal. It’s just that I couldn’t say that I love you because I’m not sure I have the permission to. To say and to feel it.

And so most of the time I just hope I’m sending some telepathic message when I look weirdly into your eyes. I’m sorry when I do that. You ask me why I stare, and I tell you that it’s nothing, but really it’s when I’m feeling almost everything all at once. Happiness and wonder and comfort and a little throb and a lot more filling feelings. Then I give up with a sigh because my lips are too stubborn to speak of what I want them to.

I hope you feel it when I kiss you, longingly or calmly or lingering. Every kiss is the same unspoken words. Shouted or whispered and sometimes, echoing. I hope you feel it when I say your name. I hope you feel it when I try to make you laugh. I hope you feel it when I share my warmth. I hope you feel it, hear it, in the silence. I hope you feel it when you feel me near. I hope it escapes me, quietly, and without me noticing it.

And when it does, you might ask me how I even know I love you. Well, I don’t know. I could never give a definition of love or pinpoint where it exists or where it doesn’t. And it’s not my logic that’s working here now. It’s my instinct. Call it irrational but I have no plans of rationalizing it. If I ever tell you I love you, it doesn’t mean that I know what love is.

I know it’s supposed to be strong and big and a lot of other things. But I don’t know what it really is. So when I tell you I love you, don’t ask me anymore how I knew. Just know that it means I’m thinking that if I ever find out what it really is, I would be right about you. I would be right about thinking I feel it for you. I love you. I love you and I would say it over and over once I start to. If ever. If I ever tell you I love you. TC mark

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