Zahara sat in the library with text books and papers spread out on the table in front of her but she couldn’t concentrate. She was thinking about Kyle and what happened last night. After making love, and as they lay there, spent, she said, “I love you.” The silence which followed that declaration made her wonder if it had been premature and she wished she could take the words back.
They lay there for a while, neither saying anything until he suggested, “Let’s take a nice hot shower together and then watch a movie.” Before he rolled on to his side to climb out of the bed, he lowered his head and kissed her on the forehead. Bummer, she thought, turning her head away so that he wouldn’t see the disappointment on her face. She lay there for a few minutes longer before dragging herself out of the bed and joining him in the shower. As they stood underneath the water, he bent his head and kissed her by the eye which felt very strange.
After they finished showering, he gave her one of his robes to wear and they relaxed on the sofa, sipping hot chocolate as they watched a movie. It was some time later when they got dressed and he took her home. She went straight to bed but lay there for a long time, staring up at the ceiling and wondering why he hadn’t told her that he loved her too. Was it because he didn’t? Did her profession of love put him in a spot? She could still recall the silence which followed and how she wished the ground would open up and swallow her. They had been dating for almost a year so she thought that it was time for them to drop the L-word. Clearly, she was wrong.
Tears pricked her eyes and rolled on to her stomach so that she could bury her face in the pillow. What was she going to do if it turned out that Kyle didn’t love her? It was not until after one in the morning that she finally fell asleep and it was fitful. When she got up later to get ready for college, she was very tired. On the train ride she leaned her head against the window and closed her eyes all the way to her stop. Before she walked to the campus, she grabbed herself a coffee.
As she sat there now in the library, she asked herself the same question. What if he never said, “I love you” to her? What then? Should she end the relationship? She couldn’t bear the thought of not being with him so she dismissed the idea of breaking up with him. So what if he didn’t say the words she wanted so much to hear? What about his actions? Didn’t they speak louder than words? She had read some where that you could tell when a guy was really into you. She could still remember the five signs and Kyle had shown all of them.
She was a priority in his life. He was always taking time to catch up with her and spend time together, sometimes, he even blew off friends and family just to be with her. He was always talking about the future, using the words, “we” and “us”. He had no problem showing public display of affection like holding her hand and placing his hand at the lower part of her back. He actually listened to her talk about her day and whenever she had a crappy one, he always found some way to help her to feel better. And so far she had met most of his relatives. Just recently, they went to his cousin’s wedding.
If he loved her why couldn’t he just say so? Frustrated, she gathered her books and papers and stuffed them in her bag. She walked out of the library and out of the building. She sat on the concrete slab attached to the statue of Ezra Cornell and reaching into her bag, she took out her cell phone. She dialed Farrah’s number. Farrah was the friend who had introduced her to Kyle.
When her friend answered, Zahara told her everything. “I’m so confused,” she concluded. “I want to believe that he loves me but after what happened last night, I’m not sure.”
“Anyone can see that Kyle is crazy about you, Zee. Don’t jump to conclusions because he hasn’t told you that he loves you. Maybe he’s better at expressing his feelings through actions rather than words. Instead of telling you that he loves you, he’s showing you. Sometimes love expressed is better than love professed. Don’t get so hung up on this that you end up ruining a good thing. Be thankful that you have a man who loves in action. I know women who would love to trade places with you. Kyle is a terrific guy. Don’t throw away what you have with him over something as trivial as this. Remember men and women are different. We can’t expect them to do things the same way we do.”
Zahara sighed. “Thanks, Farrah. I’m glad I called you. You’ve given me a lot to think about. I love Kyle and I don’t want to lose him. I will stop stressing out over this and just concentrate on loving him.”
“The love is there but he’s not ready to say it as yet. And there was nothing wrong with you saying ‘I love you’ to him. You couldn’t contain your feelings and wanted to express them in words. So, don’t beat yourself up for doing that because he didn’t respond the same way. Your timing is not his. Be patient. Be willing to wait until he he is ready to say that he loves you.”
“I will,” she promised. And she did. She didn’t obsess any more over Kyle not saying “I love you.” She just focused on being with him and doing fun things with him. And on the day of her graduation she walked proudly up on the stadium to get her diploma, grinning from ear to ear as she saw him taking pictures. Afterwards, they went to his place to celebrate. It was while they were curled up on the sofa, that he told her that he was taking her to Paris for two weeks. “It’s my graduation present to you,” he murmured huskily.
She was thrilled because she had never been to Europe. Her eyes sparkled. “Thank you, Kyle,” she said before she kissed him.
Paris was everything she had imagined and much more. She felt like Alice in Wonderland. Her eyes drank in everything as they went sightseeing and the food was so good. She loved the little cafes and the cobbled streets. One evening after dinner, they went for a walk along the Seine river where they lingered for a while. It was a beautiful evening. The sun was beginning to set. He took photos of her backing the Seine river before they headed for the Eiffel Tower which loomed ahead.
Taking her hands he drew her closer to him, his eyes intent on upturned face as he said, “The first time I saw you my heart stopped, the world stopped and there were just you and me in the room. I couldn’t take my eyes off you and when Farrah introduced us, I was tongue tied and nervous. I wanted to so much to spend the night talking to you and getting to know you but I couldn’t ignore our age difference. You didn’t look a day over twenty and I was thirty-six. You were a university student and I was the Director of a company. And I was in a relationship. Yet, in spite of these complications, I just couldn’t get you out of my mind. I ended my relationship and I asked Farrah for your number and here we are.”
“The first time I saw you I didn’t think that a man like you would even notice me. I stood there, watching you, hoping and praying for the impossible.”
“How could I not notice you? When I saw you standing there alone, watching me, I fell hard and it scared me. I had heard about love at first sight but never thought it would happen to me.”
Zahara’s eyes widened and her heart began to race. “Are you saying that you love me?”
“Yes, Zahara. I love you. I have wanted to tell you that for such a long time but the moment never seemed right. I didn’t want to say it before we became sexually involved because I didn’t want you to think that I was saying it to get you to sleep with me. I didn’t want to say it during our love making because I didn’t want you to think that it was in the heat of the moment. That evening when you said you loved me, you have no idea how much I wanted to say it to you but the time didn’t feel right.”
“I was so embarrassed and confused.”
“I’m so sorry, Honey. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just wanted to wait for the right moment to tell you what I’ve wanted to tell you since we met.”
She smiled up at him. “What could be a more perfect moment than this one? We’re standing in front of the Eiffel Tower when you finally say the three words I have been longing to hear.”
They kissed and then he gently extricated himself from her. He reached into the pocket of his jacket and got down on one knee. “This is also the perfect moment for me to ask you a very important question,” he said, presenting a small red box. Her eyes brimmed with tears as she saw him take out an exquisite diamond ring which glittered in the setting sun. “Zahara, will you marry me?”
“Yes,” she managed to say as she was choked up, the tears now streaming down her face.
Kyle stood up and cupping her face, he kissed her for several minutes before he buried his face in her neck and whispered, “I love you.”
Don’t wait for the right moment. Create it – Boldomatic