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Would you rather date someone who told you they love you but never showed it or someone who never told you those three words but made sure to show you every day?
You were almost asleep, but those three little words were haunting me that night. So I kissed your cheek and brushed my hands through your hair, as I whispered: "I love you."
We had been together for quite a while, but none of us had ever said it before. My heart was racing, and I started to feel insecure, as you went silent. After a while, you finally answered me: "You're silly."
I did not laugh. I was too busy feeling my heart shatter into a million pieces, so I turned away from you and started to cry silently. You held me as I cried and brushed my hair like I had brushed yours a few minutes before. At some point, you asked me what was wrong, and honestly, I felt like hitting you for not understanding my pain. I wanted to yell at you, for making me feel unloved and stupid, but only silently confessed the later. I do not think you understand exactly how much damage you made in just a few seconds because your perception of love is so different from mine. I felt your hands stroking my back when you finally answered me: "Just because I am not saying it, does not mean that I don't."
And somehow those words comforted me in a way that no other could. I reminded myself that I was not the only one of us who was broken and that someone may have hurt you a long time ago. You confessed that the words felt silly on your lips because words really do not mean anything. I wanted to ask who broke you. Who had ruined the experience of verbal confession of love for you, but I did not have the courage or the energy. I was exhausted after being temporarily heartbroken.
Still feeling sad, but also oddly comforted, I turned my face to yours and kissed you quickly before pressing my head against your shoulder. I rested my wet cheeks on your skin for so long we both fell asleep at the end. The next morning you acted like nothing happened, and I felt my love for you grow because you had not let anything change between us.
I had always appreciated the way you walked me home at night even when it was freezing outside. I love the way you hold my hand in front of your parents, and the way you enchanted my family. I love the way you text me when you are drunk, and the way you always ask if I will be at your place when you get home. I love the way you go to the bakery and buy bread and cake for us to eat at breakfast on the weekends. I love the way you tug me in a blanket when I am cold, and cook for me, just to surprise me.
I started to realize that saying "I love you" do not mean as much as I thought while growing up. I have had both girlfriends and boyfriends who claimed to love me but never sacrificed anything to prove it.
You are 12 years older than me, and while most people do not understand the age difference. I am forever grateful for the things that I have learned about love and relationships the last year. You may not be the love of my life, but I sure as hell hope that you are.