You've waited for your moment again; the flurry of kisses, the slow steps away from where we embrace tightly and tighter still ... the moment when we at last say goodbye. Your moment is heaviness that spills out all the stale air in your lungs, splashing down in liquid lead. Lead around my feet, around until it anchors me not three feet from you, breath gone from my lungs; I am unable to move.
This is not the first time these words have swirled around my feet, stolen my breath. And yet ... "yes". It has always been "yes". A very secret "yes" bubbling over in my mind, the answer to everything you ask me.
You are saying something more but I dwell on a list that sits in a drawer, put away the day I decided to keep you. A manifest that sits put away but not destroyed for unexplored reasons. A catalog of dreams that may not have a future, places I may never get to, plans that may never be used because I decided to need you. And you once told me a decision is simply a desire.
You move closer to me and talk of our future, putting your face on what was previously faceless in the deep longings of my soul, never put to paper. Lover, Husband, Father ... Friend. Forever.
I realize then that by saying "yes", I say "yes" to Forever and "no" to a piece of bond paper that I could not throw away when it was useless. And that's why you're wrong about what a decision is. I need you, but I desire that which I cannot let go of.
"I love you," I say, with one more kiss, one more soft hand around the face of Forever, easing my need to touch you just a little. I leave you to go to a list that sits in a drawer … to put the written down desires I cannot kill closer still to the plywood bottom. It is harder than I thought it would be.
I hope you're not pretending. Because it's too late for me to fake it.