I Was Never Allowed To Love You


I was never allowed to love you.

Too many unsaid refrains, I never came close to telling you the truth. Well, I came close, but I never told you. The words tumbled to the edge and halted, suspended in the danger of losing whatever undefined, elusive thing we had going. It was so hard to be right next to you and pretend that I was detached when I wasn’t. Pretend that I didn’t notice when you said you missed this about my body and that about my body but that you never missed me.

Pretend that I didn’t want to reach out and let my fingertips graze your temple anyway – feel your pulse, forge a connection that no one was permitted to see.

I was never allowed to love you.

One text and my resolve would evaporate; you said you needed me, so I came. I crossed the threshold into our furtive little world. Not twelve hours later I would leave with the sunlight greeting me at the door and it would all come back, the silence, the indignation, the hurt – but it was all invisible, my own private pain.

You weren’t mine. I wasn’t yours.

I was never allowed to love you.

I permitted my hand to reach for my phone before I hastily retracted it. I couldn’t reach for you. I acted as if you disappearing for weeks and reappearing with no explanation didn’t trouble me, didn’t make me feel inadequate. I asked once.

“This is not the time. This is not discreet.”

I didn’t ask again.

I was never allowed to love you.

Everything was shrouded in secrecy; the novelty wore off quicker than I cared for it to. But my own will to be openly loved never superseded my desire to be loved by you behind closed doors. Did you love me? I don’t know, but I loved you. Is it possible to grieve the dissolution of a relationship that never actually was? But it was, it was.

Even though I was never allowed to love you.

Things could have been different, but they probably still wouldn’t have worked.

Because I was never allowed to love you.