All The Different Ways I Said ‘I Love You’

Twenty20 / @kirillvasilevcom

I made you coffee in the morning just how you like it — a little cream and a packet of sugar. I set it on the table next to you before you even had the chance to ask for it.

I let you use my lap as a pillow when you had nowhere else to rest your head. I played with your hair and listened to the sounds of your breaths.

I made excuses to stay at your house a little longer, always finding some reason I couldn’t leave just yet. “Have you seen my book? Do you know where my keys are? I just need a glass of water first.”

I stayed awake till 5 a.m. when my eyelids were almost too heavy to keep open just so I could hear your voice. Even when your words stopped making sense to me, I held onto every one.

I washed your dishes when you were asleep so you wouldn’t have to wake up and do the work. I never told you because I didn’t want you thinking I did it for the praise.

I texted you every day. I sent you funny pictures. I told you every time something happened that reminded me of you, which was a lot, because everything reminded me of you.

I asked about your friends, your family, your goals, your dreams. I kept an encyclopedia of your life in my head but pretended to forget things so you wouldn’t feel weird about it.

I listened to you favorite songs and watched your favorite movies. Even when I didn’t like them, I said I did. And it wasn’t completely a lie — I liked anything that reminded me of you.

I encouraged you to do what you wanted, even when it hurt me. Especially when it hurt me. I never wanted anything to hold you back. I was always afraid I would.

I let you into my life in ways I never let anyone else. I told you things I don’t tell other people. I trusted you before you even gave me a reason to.

But I never said the words. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Callie is a writer, editor, and publisher at Thought Catalog. Her debut book, ‘The Words We Left Behind,’ was released in January 2024.

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