by Chris Boyd
“I guess this is the closest we can ever get to each other,” said the naked girl as she lay in front of the naked boy.
“I wish I could be even more inside of you,“ said the boy as he drew a trembling finger slowly along her smooth curves.
“What, like double penetration?” said the girl turning slightly in the dark.
“No,” said the boy with a sigh, “Not like that at all.”
The naked girl listened for a while to the sound of soft earth hitting hard wood above them before she took her last breath.
The naked boy gazed blindly at the heavy roof two inches from his nose.
I floated three inches off the ground for the week after I first said ‘I love you’ romantically. I had said the words before of course, to friends and family, to my dog and drunkenly to strangers at parties, but this was different. This time the words meant something new and special. They had been a hot, prickly weight in my chest for weeks before I had uttered them; speech loosed them and left me unanchored, free from gravitational constraints.
You hear a lot about the pleasures of being told that you are loved. Of listening to your beloved speaking those three, immortal words that promise you are special, treasured and adored. The knight declares his devotion and the lady swoons in delight. And it is delightful to know that, despite your manifest flaws, someone can still say those words and feel the things they signify for you.
Yet I can’t help but think that the pleasures of telling are being undervalued. Hearing is passive but speaking is active. As the teller you take the risk and you reap the reward. You can be told you are loved without reciprocating the emotion – telling is feeling. When you meaningfully say ‘I love you,’ especially for the first time, you are filled with the awareness of your capacity to love. Love is awesome and brave and delicious and when you can share it out loud with your loved one it overflows inside you and that is pretty great.