This Is Why I Couldn’t Say, ‘I Love You’

You knew. You knew and that’s why you let me go. You couldn’t be the potential person I needed you to be. Not just for me, but for us. You needed to let me go to keep me from loving you any more than I already do. Because more love would mean you would have to show you love me too. And be real. And really let go – surrender everything.

And you can’t.

I asked you if you can’t or if you won’t give me what I need. Because there is a difference. And you didn’t know. For the first time you didn’t have an answer for something and you admitted you can’t have me waiting for you anymore. That you know I deserve something that you say you’re not able to give. I will never know or understand fully exactly why you can’t (or you won’t), but I will never forget what you were able to give.

You watched me cry, you held me and still I didn’t feel like it was really ending. Because we are connected through some strange forcefield, that will never go away. What I feel for you is real, and I know you feel it too.

So please don’t leave and please don’t say goodbye.

But you walked me home, hugged me so tightly and pulled me closer to you, nuzzling your face into the crook of my neck as three more of my tears rolled down my cheeks and onto yours. You kissed me too many times for me to remember and that to me felt more real than any other moment we had before. We were both finally surrendering to that feeling of “goodbye for now” and uncertainty unfolded in front of us. 

As we kissed for the last time, I found my hand holding your face again, like so many times before, and felt safe for a split second. I looked into you as though I were looking at your soul and I wanted to tell you. I needed to tell you.

But as quickly as my mouth opened to tell you those three words before you walked away it shut and instead I smiled as more tears ran down my face. Fear took over me once again and I knew I would regret that moment forever.

Because the things you don’t do are the things you regret most. 

I didn’t feel that regret until this morning. I thought I could brush it aside and it would have been the right thing I didn’t tell you. Instead, a rush of emotion flooded through me, knocked the wind out of me as I crossed Fifth Avenue and those same tears came back. 

I will never regret having you when I did. I will never regret thinking I had you when I really didn’t. I will never regret not telling you I love you in that moment.

Because one day I will be able to. It just isn’t today. TC mark

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