…on It Only Hurts When I Say “I Love You”

It was a bitter hug. It felt real and like we would be together again. But I knew that we were never gonna be as young and as free as we felt when we began. It was a hug that I knew meant the end. After the long embrace. After the tears welled up. After we released I knew that as much as I loved every minute – the memory of when I knew when it was love, when I knew she was more than a friend, when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her – we would never reach that again.

She got into her car and slowly pulled out of the driveway. Goodbye love……forever. You’ve been replaced by what would grow into hate.

Not that it would have lasted anyway. She never saw how much I gave or how much I sacrificed. My very being. I had become a “people pleaser”. I had given myself entirely over to her. But in one instant where I voiced my feelings it became a power struggle. How much can I do to break him. I had kept my voice down for the longest time. Never do anything to upset the status quo. I had deserved happiness but was giving up who I am to be that “happy”. And the second I tried to regain it, I was “in the wrong”. How? How is that wrong?

I wanted to be happy too dammit. I’ve earned it just as much as you had. When you needed time for your family “emergency” I gave it to you. But when my sister needed her brother because of what she was facing your response was “You don’t want to see me”. Really? You immediately think that because I love my family, I’m in the wrong. You twisted everything to your benefit. I think most of the anger comes from the fact that I can’t even begin to guess what it was you were using me for. Emotional support? I became attracted to you because you appeared to be confident but it was all some ruse? Like I was some kind of safety? How dare you. Why even consider me that? Like at some point I wouldn’t expect you to give as much as you took?

I hugged her one last time. We had remained hopeful. Like maybe we could eventually work passed what we had become. Like we could over come this parody of a relationship to become a real loving couple again. But I knew.  I knew the whole time.

*****

It had become so difficult to get her to respond to anything I had said. Every time. Send a text and no response. Call and directly to voice mail. I knew that the ending was coming. But sometimes the ending is the hardest thing to face.

What did you want from me? To lie back and let you decide what you needed or wanted. You were so into the relationship. It’s as if I was everything you wanted. Your lips trembled at every kiss. Your body shivered ecstasy when we embraced. You wanted me and everytime we lied together in bed you were at peace.

We rushed into each others embrace. When we first met it was as if the world and all it’s worries melted away. But as soon as love appeared you pulled away. Afraid. Was this not what you wanted? Was this not what you sought when we had met? You seemed so much into all that it brought – the glory, the revelation, the sweat and tears and past and future – made right. And in one evening of confusion you ran. Away.

I’ve been through it so many times that I knew exactly what was going to be said before it was said. And as a defense I immediately threw aspersions. To make you hate me. I will not cry. Or at least as far as you know. Because I’d rather you hate me than know I actually cared about you.

*****

That entire week was a sign. Why hasn’t she just come out and say it already? It was a phone call I dreaded. She didn’t even have to speak. It had become an all too familiar game. Even though she was the first.

We met at a friends wedding. You were the photographer. But there was something about you that made me yearn for you.

Our first date….I was so nervous that you had to take my hand. But the rest of the night we held hands forever. And the first kiss. It was the first real kiss I had in so long. Passion and lust and fire and adrenaline and tender. Your lips were like an unknown sweet divinity given by heaven. Kissing you was like kissing the cheek of God. But I knew that if we rushed, then it wouldn’t be real.

But we moved slowly forward until that fateful night where we lied next to each other. I felt the warmth of your body against me and I knew….you had become more than a friend to me. You had become my love. I whispered softly into your ear. “I love you.”

A week later I received the phone call. She had been thinking a lot that week and she had a revelation. She would never feel the same way about me as I did her. Crushed, I threw the phone. You will never know what hurt you gave me.

*****

It was so hard for me to tell you. The look on your face wasn’t anger or hurt. You were disappointed. It’s the look a parent gives a child when they misbehave. I wanted so badly to appeal to you. To say I’m sorry. To make amends. Because of all the women I had, have and will love, none of them come close to you. It was you that had me from the beginning. And to this day, in some way, you always will.

I met you when I was actually dating someone else. I remember it so vividly. You were waiting tables. I had taken a doomed love there to make it a romantic evening. The funny thing is it was my girlfriend at the time who pointed out how beautiful you are. She was bi and she brought you to my attention. A while later after my current relationship ended I met you while I was cooking at a diner. You were so full of life. A smartass who dealt so deftly with my smartass. God made you exactly for me.

The courtship was slow and very time consuming. You told me from the very beginning that it was hard for you to trust. I didn’t realize it then but I was so willing to wait. To build that trust. Every moment with you was pure bliss. It took so much courage for me to ask you out and you said yes. I was the luckiest man in the world. 5″8″ of pure heaven. Legs that went on forever and just the most willing heart. The laughter was second to none. Even when we argued you always had the future in mind. I loved watching your naked form walk across my room.

I never told you, but I loved you. Hell, in some ways I still do. But before you went to see your family in Florida, we had an argument. I had insulted you. I made a crack at the one insecurity you have. I apologized and we hugged. And I knew that when you returned, everything was going to be fine. But while you were away, I cheated on you. The guilt ate me up.

When I confessed to her, she seemed like she was going to cry. Or at least I thought she was going to. She calmly got up and went about gathering her things. It was over before it had actually begun. All the trust I had built up to that time, I destroyed because I thought I was a “playa”. She wasn’t mad. Just disappointed. Like a parent with a small child.

I miss her the most.

*****

I remember the name of every lover. Well, almost every lover. But I will always remember the names of those that held my heart.

Maybe the beers weren’t a good call. And maybe humor would save this post. But right now, I’m not into saving this post.

I’m into confession.

Yeah, sometimes the Cure is the best band for the moment.

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3 Responses to “…on It Only Hurts When I Say “I Love You””

  1. Very heartfelt blog…

  2. Thank you Janie….and thank you for being there for two of them.

  3. […] WILL WRITE! Fully and honestly, I will write. I will be an exposed wound. I will be a nerd. I will be a cynical prick (Oooh, big shocker on that one Tony.) I will be […]

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