I suddenly found myself vividly remembering the last time I saw S. I had come home for lunch, and he was there, moping about in boxers and a tank top. He had stayed home from work that day, because he wasn't feeling well. I was angry and hurt at the time, because of something he'd done earlier. The fact that he wasn't feeling well then, wasn't working or doing anything, just made me more annoyed. He offered to make me a sandwich for lunch, but I said no, I'd do it myself. Just kind of angry and wanting him to feel guilty. I made and ate the sandwich, sat on the opposite side of the couch from him, and we chatted. I don't remember what we talked about. Then after awhile it was time for me to go back to work. I walked out the door, and standing on the sidewalk I looked back at S in the doorway. He said, "I love you." I just gave a half-wave, said "bye," and walked away.
That was the last time I ever saw him alive.
Why did I do that? Why didn't I tell him I loved him? Well, I was angry. You don't go spewing out I-love-yous when you're angry. But that didn't change the fact that I did still love him. Why didn't I tell him? I don't know. Maybe it was another guilt trip. Maybe I wanted to hurt him. Maybe I was just still hurting too much to talk about good things yet. Maybe I was hoping that when I didn't say it, he'd come running out, smother me with lovingness, and make me feel better about everything I was upset about. Make everything okay again. I don't know.
I do know that I will always regret that moment.
As the door was closing on C today, I relived all that in my mind. Needless to say, I was horrified. "Love you," I blurted out, just as the door closed. He caught the door, reopened it, and asked, "What?" "I just said that I love you," I told him. Tears were coming to my eyes, and I turned my head to the side, trying not to let him see them.
But he did see, and he asked, "What's wrong?" "Just a flashback," I said, still turned away. "Come here." "No." I knelt on the couch, my back still to him, and he took off his coat and came back in, put his arms around me. And somehow, even though I wouldn't tell him, he guessed what it was, and held me and rocked and let me cry until it didn't hurt quite as much.
You never know. You never know when is the last time you'll see somebody. If you love someone, you have to tell them so. You should never withhold those words out of anger or spite or anything else, not if they are true, because you just never know if you'll ever get to say them later.