Only one girl with whom I had some romantic interactions with has ever uttered the words “I love you.”
The only interesting aspect of this statement is that I have never been in a monogamous relationship and she and I had not slept before she shared that sentiment.
It was two days before Valentines Day and I was on my way home after attending some party. The text read very simply, she made it known that she wanted to see me. It wasn’t “come over” or “what are you up to.” It was a “I want to see you.”
To my young mind reading the words “I want to see you” meant to me that it wasn’t a booty text, but rather an expression of her “missing” me. As is with a young male who is slowly making his way, those texts are the most ego boosting.
I knock on her door and hear scurrying on the other side. She opens it and I am greeted with her smiling face. Her eyes light up when she sees me, but they have that tell-tell droopiness denoting earlier alcohol consumption.
In the doorway she looked demure and I remember feeling as if I was in high school and her parents were out of town.
I walk in, grab her and give her a kiss. The kiss is innocent and mischievous. I taste mint. She had brushed her teeth before I came.
I can’t help but smirk at the knowledge that she had taken the time to prepare herself for my arrival.
As I break the kiss I take a look around. The apartment was recently cleaned. There are no shoes haphazardly thrown near the door. It looks as if she had not gone out. She decided to stay in tonight.
I guided her over to her couch and inspire her imagination.
The entire night would have an innocence to it that I can not help but smile about as I type.
From her shyness as I worked her shirt off to the Juicy Juice she handed me when I asked her for a drink.
This had a feeling of 1950′s Americana and not the energy of two college kids in the post-Feminist world.
I don’t know why, but I was content with the simple acts of petting and kissing. I wasn’t attempting to move things along. It seemed inappropriate at the time. There was something to the innocence of our interaction that was intoxicating.
At some point in the night, I was leaning on the couch and she had her head against my chest.
I was mindlessly running my hands through her hair.
She whispered “I love you.”
I wasn’t sure I heard right, but I didn’t press the matter.
Louder she said ‘I love you.”
There was no mistaking it. For the first time in my life I did not know how to respond. There was no quick quip to defuse the situation. I was put in a position where a girl’s emotions were in front of a firing squad.
I did not want to hurt them, but I also could not reciprocate them.
The words “I love you” are quite powerful. I have never said it to a girl. It is a disclosure that can not be taken back.
I said nothing. I tightened my hold around her and kissed her forehead.
This was the best I could do.
We stayed that way for a bit and she started to doze off. She got up, grabbed my hand, and led me to her bed.
I did not take off my pants. A girl had just told me she loved me and I was not about to engage in the most physically expressive acts known to man.
I felt her disappointment at my lack of disrobing. I was not going to take a chance and allow my primal instincts to take over. For some reason I felt that I needed to protect this girl’s feelings. It wasn’t my duty, but I felt obligated by some emphatic bone in my being.
She tried to get things started, but I believe the late night and earlier alcohol finally let her succumb to sleep.
However, before she began her slumber, she took her leg and intertwined it with mine. Locking me to the bed and into her grasp.
As she nuzzled into my chest and I felt her breasts rise with each breath my mind was analyzing the situation with outlandish speed.
The main question was “what am I going to do.”
I ran through many scenarios and the best for the two of us that I decided upon was for me to not let her fall for me any further.
Was it selfish, I imagine it was.
However, the innocence of the night had made me feel as if I needed to be a protector of her feelings.
This was something that in truth was not up to me, but I made it so.
I snuck out of her bed as the sun began to push its tendrils through the blinds. I took one look at her and smiled.
I knew it would be the last time we would share such a moment.
I had made up my mind.
She opened up to me.
She shared words that many fear the repercussions.
I did not want her to get hurt by me.
I later learned that she ended up going on a date with a guy two days later (he kept texting her when I was over to confirm their date to her annoyance at the time) and they started dating.
She texted me a year later, but I went thermonuclear and pretty much made her hate me. Maybe I was wrong to do it, but I thought it was for the best. I sometimes decide what is best between myself and another. Knight with rusty armor.
I won’t forget that night. It has a special place in my heart. The innocence, juicy-juice, and of course those three words I have yet to hear again.
I wish her the best. She’s a great gal.