These are the words I never speak

I wondered if I should even put this in writing.  Somehow things written always come back to find you later when you don't need them.  Yet I cannot help but be drawn to the expression of what I am feeling and thinking.

These are the words I never speak because I feel as though they'd embarrass you, yet they haunt me day and night.  I hear them playing through my waking hours.  I hear them playing through my dreams.  They are the words I cannot say because you might see them as foolish.  We've been down this road before.  Why would we travel it again?

These are the tears you never see.  Sometimes I think they're drowning me.  It's a flood of uncontrollable longing.

These are the arms that ache to hold you yet refrain out of fear of pushing you away.  They are also the arms terrified of letting you slip through.

And this is the joy I want to know, the joy I once knew — to never be alone because of you.

I remember meeting you ten years ago and being beguiled and bemused.  I had known of you for many years before that, yet there we stood acting like two schoolboys discovering ourselves for the first time.  I was overwhelmed.  It was like a fantasy come true.

We flirted with forever only briefly, yet it whetted my appetite for more.

But neither of us was in a place to make it work.  A brief encounter, a one night stand that lasted for months.  It doesn't matter how you describe it because it was wonderful on its own.

Yet we both realized we weren't ready for such a thing, so we moved on.

We've been close friends since then.  We have no secrets from each other.  We share everything.  We enjoy spending time together.  We have mutual friends.  We have similar interests while still nurturing many differences.

Yet I wonder if we could ever enjoy what we had before without throwing away what we have now.  Our friendship is crucial to my existence and I would never want to lose it simply because there could have been more.

But I wonder what I can do to make this truth more real to you.  It's very real to me.

And I wonder from time to time if you don't already know.  Perhaps your heart can hear my heart.  Perhaps you can see it in my eyes when I look at you.  Perhaps you know me well enough after all these years to see right through whatever façade I wear.

I can't walk away from this feeling.  I can't leave it behind when I am so sure.

I don't want to be without you.  Whether we're always near simply as friends or — and I hope it's this — because we find something more between us that cannot be ignored, I know that I can't live my life without you in it.

How do I say this to you?  Dare I say it to you at all?

So I end up back where I began, longing for something that I may never have, hoping for something which may be hopeless, wanting to tell you something which I may never say to you.

These are the words I never speak.  I love you, Rick.

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