The night you said you loved me I was drunk. It was passover, I had probably about a bottle of wine, and me and my sister were giggling on the balcony in the bronx. We had been texting, but my texts were getting increasingly less coherent as the night went on. You asked if you could call me, and I snuck away from the four hour dinner to the outdoor hallway in complete darkness, only me, my phone, and the faint sounds of the city. I remember holding my phone up to my ear, and wondering what you were going to say, we had been dating a while and I already knew I loved you, but my lack of emotional tendencies meant both you and I weren't going to say it. On the phone, you called and said you missed me, you missed my voice, and how was the dinner. You sounded soft and fuzzy and far away, and I remember you telling me about your cats antics earlier that day. I was so happy to talk to you I was spinning around, dancing and laughing in the way that being wine drunk makes you laugh. We were concluding the call, when you slipped it in. You sounded shy, and I wasn't sure if I had heard you right, but i said it back. I felt like my heart was doing backflips into the hudson when you laughed and said it again, with more conviction. The relief between us was tangible, and I replayed that conversation in my head for the entire rest of the night, between washing dishes, putting my brother to bed, and shooing the older guests out the door. I made you send me a voice memo of you saying it to me so I could replay it over and over and over and over.
I still have it on my phone, I discovered the other day. It's been about 6 months since that night, and since then we've both left home for college. We're still friends of course, but staying together 300 miles away would be too hard, we decided. Every day I miss you so bad, and when I found that voice memo on my phone I lost it, I just laid on my bed and couldn't control my sobs.
But it's good to save things like that. I still love you, but of course I would never tell you. But maybe you have a voice memo of me saying it. I've sent it to you a bunch of times, and maybe. Maybe we still take comfort in hearing the other say I love you. Maybe.