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i love you
"HOW come you do not want to meet my friends?"
I had just arrived from the market and was busy counting
the small amount that I had earned. I was surprised to have
that question thrown at me by Enrique who stood quietly in
the kitchen, a glass of water in his hand.
"I have already met them, have I not?" I said, fully
understanding what he meant.
He placed the glass down and sighed. "Why did you not join
us last night when we all went to the creek? Everyone was
there. Even your friend Myrna was there. Don't you like
hanging out with us? My friends may be city people but we
are still very much people."
I nodded. "Of course," I said. "I guess...I'm just not a
very people person type of person."
"But you are!" Enrique was slowly becoming angry. "You are!
Myrna said so. You may be quiet but you are not antisocial.
You may not be the world's friendliest person but everybody
likes you. Dammit! What is it? Why do you not join us? Are
we not good enough for you?"
I did not know what to say. "I..." I was shocked by his
outburst. I did not realize taht my presence was important
whenever he, his friends, and the children of those who
took them in gathered together to talk. I knwe why I did
not want to join them. But I did not know how to tell him.
"Say something!" he said. "What's wrong? Did we do
something to you? Why won't you join us?"
"No, you did not do anything," I said. "I just...sometimes
I just want to be alone."
"But I don't want you to be alone," he protested. "You are
not happy when you are alone. Can't you see? I don't want
you to be unhappy. I want you to be happy!"
My throat dried. I did not know what to expect next.
Instead I uttered the words that either drove people away
or made them smile in satisfaction, "I do not understand."
Enrique stood there, facing me. The look on his face was
not satisfaction, but something more. Something deeper. He
sighed again and looked to the floor. The room was silent.
When he looked up again, his eyes glinted with hope,
sadness, and hesitation. He held my gaze, opened his mouth,
and said softly, "I love you."
My heart leaped. I could not believe my ears. Did he really
say that he loved me? Was it true? Were my dreams slowly
becoming a reality?
"I love you," he said again, his eyes searching mine. He
took two steps to where I stood and placed a hand on my
face. "I love you."
I was flying, jumping from one star to another. He loves
me. He loves me. Oh God, he loves me!
I could not take my eyes off him. The hand on my face was
warm, tender, loving. I leaned forward and wrapped my arms
around his waist. My chest pressed against his, my head
rested on his shoulder.
I wanted him to feel my heart. How fast it was beating. How
it was ready to explode with all the love that I had for
him. I wanted him to know. I wanted him to feel. I wanted
him to be me.
I lifted my head and pressed my lips to his ear. "I love you," I
It was then that he wrapped his arms around me and held me
tight. He started to cry. "Love," he whispered. "I love you."
We stood there holding each other. Professing our love to
each other in silence. I was not afraid to join them in
their gatherings anymore. I did not have to be jealous of
the girls who constantly tried to catch his attention. I
did not have to worry about him ending up with them and not
me. I did not have to worry about anything anymore. Because
he loved me. He loves me. Enrique loves me.