I love you ____________.
There, I said it. I wrote it down: I love you.
I know, that’s weird. But it’s true. I’m not even sure if I know exactly what love is. But I know that when I think of you, every time I think of you, my heart stops. And then it skips, and then it goes so fast, I feel faint. You make me nervous, and you make me calm, all at once. You make me want to be someone better than myself. Even though all I want is for you to think of me as enough. Just enough.
I know that you’re not supposed to love someone that you can’t have. Someone who has told you their heart is unavailable. But here we are. And yes, I’m supposed to move on. We’re all supposed to move on because that is the sane thing to do. I can already see myself as a 40-something, maybe telling a 20-something who asks for some wisdom on love and loss, giving this well-prepared response, “I wish I had got over things and people quicker.”
But I can’t. Or I won’t. Not you. Whatever it is, these feelings – I’ve wished and I’ve waited – they won’t go away. They haunt me in my sleep.
And I wake up in the morning and you’re the first person I think of. Everything throughout my day reminds me of you. I can be in conversation about work or war or politics, or with family and friends, and all I do is think of you; I wonder what you’re doing at every moment. Yes, I am infatuated.
But I am not just infatuated. I am in love. And I am in pain. And I know the pain will pass. Or maybe I don’t know. But it does go away eventually, doesn’t it? There is an end to this torture, isn’t there? But even if there isn’t, then whatever. I will live with this pain. I will own it. It will become a part of me. And I think it already is.
But I keep hoping that somehow, that by some miracle, one day you’ll realize that I am someone you could love. I am someone who would hold your hand unexpectedly, who would laugh at all your bad jokes loudly, who would take care of you when you’re sick, who would give up everything and move across the world for you, and with you. Because I am foolish and stupid and irrational, and totally and completely and entirely in love with you.
And that’s it. That’s all there is to it, really. Just love. Pure, sacrificial, unadulterated, maddening, frightening, love.
But I have to sit here quietly with it, and pretend. Pretend to be strong, pretend that it’s okay that you probably love someone else the way I love you; pretend that I am okay. And maybe I will be. Maybe everything will be fine. Maybe. But for now, I love you. And it hurts.
So please, and yes, I am begging, won’t you love me back?