I saw you standing across the room with your friends. At first, I pretended that I didn’t see you but the gathering was too small for me to keep hiding all night. I don’t know why I was avoiding you. I guess I just didn’t want any awkward interaction between us, since we haven’t seen nor spoken to each other for a long time.
You looked good. You’ve always looked good when you suit up. It made my heart pound a bit stronger when I saw you smile at something your friend was telling you and then suddenly, your eyes went to my direction. I froze, but then I forced myself to give you the softest and calmest smile I could muster at that time.
You excused yourself and walked toward me. My friend, who hated you more than I ever did, gripped my arm protectively. I told her that I’ll be fine. We’re adults now. Right?
So we grabbed a glass of wine each and went out to the balcony. No words were exchanged, only soft chuckles and meaningful glances. We both felt the awkwardness that we never felt before.
“I missed you.” You said casually. I wanted to say I missed you too but my pride wouldn’t let me. I wanted to make you feel like I was doing perfectly fine without you. Instead of saying what I really wanted to say.
I said “You seemed fine without me.” I smiled teasingly but I could feel the bitterness in me. I tried to subdue it.
“It was never the same without you. My best friend.”
Two years ago, that word would have felt like a stab to my heart but right now, I only cringe inwardly. You saw the change in my mood. You knew. You’ve always known and you said nothing about it. Maybe it wasn’t really going to happen. It just wasn’t meant to be.
Courage began to swell in my chest and I knew that I had to say something. So I told you everything that I should have told you years before. Things that should have been clear between us. Things that I’ll never say to anybody else but you. I was amazed by how brave I was to tell you all those things. And when I was finished, you only looked at me with confusion in your eyes. I wasn’t really sure which parts in what I told you weren’t clear enough. So I simplified everything into three words.
“I loved you.” I said firmly.
And then finally, you said, “I loved you too.”
That was it. We finally said it. But those words weigh nothing on us anymore.
If only it was said two years ago, it would have affected us in a much larger and in a life changing way. But that night, as I looked at your left hand with no wedding band as I expected, we just both smiled and finished our wine.
And then at the end of our conversation with two more glasses of wine in our system, I realized….I feel nothing at all.