I Love You+Sticky Skin


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Today Ice King dumped me, well a year ago today. I was sitting on the floor reading his long Facebook message explaining how he needed to end things with me to make time for his Saturday  game nights with his friends. Which I would like to point out that I made a lasagna for only two weeks before, a lasagna they enjoyed. Of course I’m thinking about the breakup but I’m  also thinking about the first time I said I love you to him. I’ve only said I love you to two guys. An old boyfriend who I never talk to and Ice King. When I said it with the first guy I felt like I was trying to fill up empty space whenever I said it. Ice King was different though, I said it because I really felt in love. The first time I let it slip I think it was my first time in his bed. He was on top of me and we were trying to to do every non sexual thing before 9pm and I had to make my bus to get back home across town. He was on top of me kissing my neck and now looking back I wonder if it was the act of him kissing my neck that made me spit out those words.

I love you Ice King. Those words came out of my mouth so easily. In a moment of him kissing my face he whispered in my ear “I really, really like you Shalida. I need time to fall in love with you,” he said. I wasn’t hurt, just embarrassed. We went another minute or so before he rolled off of me and I looked at the time and declared that I should get myself together and get ready to leave for my bus.

Before I left we sat on his couch and he showed me some trick he could do with a video game. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, I was still embarrassed about what happened upstairs. “Baby, are you listening to me?” he asked. “Yes, I’m just embarrassed about what I said upstairs,” I squeaked. He laughed and kiss my head reassuring me that it was okay and I had absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.

He kissed me goodbye and sent me on my way. He watched me as I left, and texted me as soon as I made it home. We talked about exploring each others bodies for the first time and how connected we were. He made me feel less anxious about my choice of words that night. We came to the conclusion that I loved what we were doing( which wasn’t even close to sex) and not him.

The next time I said I love you, I was stranded in the Pittsburgh greyhound station wiping tears away and trying to charge my phone by the atm as annoyed passengers look at me. This time he said it back and it felt right. We went to say these words without guilt. When I had anxiety attacks he said it as he talked me through the attacks. When we lounged in his bed we said it. When we got off the phone he made sure to say it first.

I wonder if I will ever say it again? I wonder if he has said it to someone else over the past year? And I wonder if knows that he broke my heart exactly one year ago..

Today is a sticky hot day, but I’m still drinking hot tea, and if I could compare my feelings to anything it would be this heat. My skin is sticky and I’m looking forward to a cooler day.

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