I'm 17. I just had my wisdom teeth extracted, and I'm feeling pretty awful. I watch an entire movie with my eyes closed – sort of awake, sort of drugged.
In the evening, John comes over. Or is it daytime? I can't remember. I'm in bed having my own little pity party and he sits next to me. Wonders what he can do.
Read to me.
He hates reading aloud but picks up the volume of Sherlock Holmes next to my bed and does it anyway. I know he feels stupid. But I snuggle deep into his voice.
It's sometime after he finishes the story and closes the cover that I tell him something that has been on the tip of my tongue for awhile. Something I've heard I'm too young to say. But it creeps out, past the holes in the back of my mouth.
I know it's early to say and—
maybe you'll think it's stupid but—
I think I love you.
His voice is in the background. I'm working at the computer so I don't pay attention to the words. But I hear the intonation. The inflection. The rising and falling of his voice.
I know, once upon a time, he hated reading aloud. But he sits here, nestled between two small girls, reading bedtime stories. With feeling.
And I sit here smiling at my screen filled with the knowing, knowing, knowing that—
I love you.