It's been three years today.
Is it silly that I remember the exact date?
I don't celebrate it annually or anything I've just been thinking about him a lot the last couple of days. I always think about him, but he's been the topic of conversation quite a bit lately and that just pushes him to the front of my mind even further. He's usually there off to the left side, there for me to talk to, and think to, and look at with my inner eye.
So there I was thinking, and it occurred to me that it has been three years from this exact day.
But what? What's been three years?
It was the night of the Mr. & Miss T showcase. He and Kayla came to watch. It was fun, but when it was over I didn't get much of a chance to talk to him. He called me when I got home. We talked for a long time. It was late, it was dark, and I was snuggled up in my blanket, the phone between my head and the pillow. I stared at the wall and wondered what his face looked like at that moment. We'd been talking about the possibility of him serving a mission. He seemed so torn and it made me cry.
I had always known that missions were important, but my dad had always made it clear to me that it was a very personal decision and it wasn't something to be taken lightly. I was taught that "So, you gonna go on a mission?", was not a question for casual conversation.
I knew this. And I can't remember why we started to talk about it or who brought it up, but it was the first time it had been the subject of a discussion between us. I wanted to respect his privacy, his feelings, his right to choose. I wanted to protect that. But there was something inside me that I had never felt before. I knew that this was what Kam needed, I knew it would be key to the rest of his life, maybe even the most important part of it.
And I told him so tearfully. I felt so strongly that it was essential to his happiness, to being happy for the rest of his life, I told him, and I just wanted so badly for him to be happy, for him to feel whole the way I knew he could, I knew he would.
I wanted him to be happy because I loved him.
As soon as I said it I was ready to follow it with "as a friend", just incase that was too much, just incase he didn't feel the same way. I waited nervously, wondering when the right time to tack on the friend phrase would be, or if I should just stick to my guns. I waited. I could hear him sniffle on the other side of the phone.
"You do?..." He asked in a whisper.
"I do." I whispered back.
It was quiet for a moment before he said,
"I love you, too...", in the quietest whisper I'd ever heard him utter.
I'd known for a long time. I like to think I knew from the beginning. Because from the beginning there had been something pointedly different about him, something I'd felt. I knew that I was done worrying about the future because he was it.
It's a horrible burden, constantly wondering if anyone will ever love you that way. If you'll have someone to love and hold close forever.
We, the two of us, together have been free of that burden for three years today. Because three years ago today I said I love you first .
We're lucky that way.