How to Tell Her You Love Her

She probably wasn’t ready to feel raw again after the last one left her with nothing but three wasted years, some phenomenal trust issues and a puppy. The puppy was worth it but that’s not the point.

She wasn’t ready to feel anything she just wanted to be wanted and for a time, that was enough. She wasn’t ready for labels or rules or someone who pushed because he saw something she didn’t.

She wasn’t ready for the feelings to fill up her heart and crawl up her throat, the words threatening to choke her until whiskey lubed them up and sent them tumbling out of her mouth in the middle of the night.

The problem, of course, with all of this is that the Universe does not care.

It doesn’t care if you’re not ready. Life will never wait for you to be ready. It will toss you towards the people you’re meant to be with and the places you’re meant to be in with such stunning velocity that you will wonder how you made it in one piece. And you have to accept that someone or something infinitely wiser than you made this happen. She’s long since abandoned her fears to fate.

You won’t be ready but you’ll know it’s true when you say it to yourself in the bathroom mirror. You’ll know because you like the way her face looks before she paints it, when you can see the crinkles in her skin when she smiles. Because you’d know her eyes out of everyone else’s. Because she insists on yelling “Baby” at every dog she sees, no matter how old or how ugly. Because she keeps a hot pink switchblade in her bag. Because she’s her and you’re you and something made it happen on a hot night in August and she believes it was dead ancestors who can see beyond time and you believe it was being on the right app at the right time. And maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe it’s something she doesn’t see. But it’s there.

So tell her sloppily on the phone as you’re hanging up. Tell her in a text with nonsense emojis you added out of nerves. Write it in a letter and hide it in her purse while she’s taking a too-long shower. Say it offhand in front of friends. Tell her, tell them, tell everyone who will listen. Tell strangers on the internet and your neighbor’s dog.

Say it because you feel it and it scares you.

Say it because life is short but it is the longest thing you will do alone.

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