Just talking about surface topics always made me nervous. Right now, my synapses crackled with anticipation as we made small talk and avoided looking at each directly. The buzz of the busy restaurant helped keep the conversation light, but I knew it would change because I planned it that way. Even though Chris invited me too lunch, I was I who decided I had to tell her about my love.
As our conversation began to wander I decided it was time to tell her my thoughts. I gently placed her hand into mine and covered it with my other. I could tell by the look in her eyes that she had no idea of what I would say next.
“I love you. I’ve always loved you and always will. I’ve come to accept that my love for you is reality. It’s not some dream or fairytale, it’s as genuine as your skin touching my hand,” I said with heartfelt sincerity.
“I know you’ve loved me and how much I don’t care. I’ve wanting to tell you this, but I couldn’t stand the thought of you not responding in kind,” I said, “but after thinking about it I just wanted say it and let you know that in this whole wide world someone loves you.”
I looked into her eyes and saw the tears well and stream down her face. She placed her other hand on top of mine and told me, “Mark, it’s always been you. Every second, every moment, I’ve loved you and I always will.”
Suddenly, it seemed as if the entire restaurant was silent. No one spoke and the clatter from the kitchen ceased. Only Chris and I existed at that moment. Or, maybe it was just my imagination, but the stillness locked that moment to our inner selves as we sat looking into each other’s eyes oblivious to all around us. Finally, I spoke.
“I didn’t mean to upset you like this, but I had to say it, I said. She nodded her head saying, “I’ve always believed, but you have no idea what this means to me.”
As we walked toward the doors, we passed a group of women sitting caddy corner from us. All of them were wiping tears from their eyes.
I wish there was a happy ending, but all hopes of that ended three hours later in a horrible car crash. Just like that, the love of my life was gone. My only consolation was knowing her love would stay with me forever.