He was waiting for her with a book in hand outside the small coffee shop where they had agreed to meet at 6pm sharp. She was ten minutes (fashionably) late. On purpose, of course. His eyes lit up when he saw her approaching. She tried to hide the glow of her own eyes through the dark sunglasses she still wore even though the sun had already began to set.
He greeted her and told her he would like to go sit on the green hill opposite the café where people went to gaze at the world as it went by a few feet away from them. She agreed without hesitation. It was an alternative offer to a mere coffee appointment and she was curious to see where it would lead.
He ordered the coffee and took her hand. She couldn’t help but blush, even after all this time.
The last time she had seen him a week ago she had left in a rush to hide her tears. He was as cold as an iceberg. But both their pride made them stubborn enough to remain apart even though they wanted to be together.
For minutes, they discussed the people that walked past, the streetlights, the current events, everything other than what was truly on their minds.
Then she dared ask, “what is this book you have?” She was a bookworm and he knew it. She could get lost in books as though she was drowning in an ocean.
He didn’t look at her, but a faint smile formed on his face. “There are some things I can’t say. It’s what you complain to me about. That I don’t speak enough. Or, rather, I don’t tell you how I feel enough. So I found another way to do so. I want to read you something. It’s exactly what I want you to know. What I wish I could say to you. What I want you to understand about me.”
She gazed at him as he took the book – a blue one with yellow pages – and opened it to the marked page. He cleared his throat and began to read, gently as though in a lullaby, with emotion emanating from every word he pronounced.
“I love you even when I hate you. Even when I want to be angry at you, I can’t. Because I’ve fallen so deep, I can’t get out. And I don’t want to. I become silent because I fear of you knowing this. Because it scares me that I am so vulnerable at your hands. That I lose all control when I’m with you, when I simply lay eyes on you. You awaken in me everything I want to be. That better person I would like to be, the one I strive to become. I say nothing because I want to say a lot. Because I fear you’ll realise you deserve so much better than me. That I am not worthy of someone like you. Whatever adjectives I find to describe you will never be enough. And I fall silent because I fear that you will realise you deserve better and walk away. I know I become overly jealous and possessive. It is the fear in me coming out. And that turns into anger because I am afraid I won’t be able to keep you. I love you even when I say I don’t. Because you have awakened in me an emotion that I never knew existed. And I love you for being you. For being here with me. For loving me.”
He closed the book and she swallowed with difficulty. She turned her head quickly away because she didn’t want him to see the tears forming in her eyes. She managed to keep them from trickling down.
“That’s beautiful,” she told him. “Who wrote it?”
He opened the book again to the marked page.
“I did,” he said and revealed the yellow post-it he had written it all on.