Your skin is the softest I have ever felt. I’m trying hard not to deceive myself or let the haze of memory imply more than there was between us. There never was an us. No. Not in any sensible, mature, straight-forward way. No.

There were no words. No love letters. No hand holding, no kissing, no confessions of any kind. There were no dates, no promises, no naive conversations about a future we would never share.

But the gravest mistake would be to conclude that there was nothing.

Because, in the silence between us, there was everything. You were on the edge of figuring out who you are. You were terrified of me, or perhaps of what it would mean to close those few inches between our lips. I remember holding you, entranced by the equal parts of fear and longing in your eyes. I was obsessed, completely in love, and a miserable coward. Though everyone knew me as fearless and lascivious, I couldn’t. Not with you. I only allowed myself the luxury of trailing my fingertips along your cheek or arm. It was exciting to never know.

It was you, my sweet H. You made me what I am today. You made me an emotional masochist. Loving you and suffering and never knowing was exquisite. I wouldn’t trade the not-much-of-anything we had for an entire lifetime of happy, fulfilled, consummated marriage. The truth is, I have had entire relationships that haven’t made me feel nearly what I felt just sitting next to you. Nothing before or since has made my heart race the way it did that day in the dark, under the stage. And I will not forget those audible breaths or the way you trembled at my touch. I have not yet lived to regret you. I never will.

(Disclaimer: This is part of the letter series)

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