Don’t make me tell you, please. Just let a lifetime of candy lipstick, randomly keying cars, Tevas stuck in water grates, homemade blueberry pie until our stomachs bulged out between our high rise jeans and crop tops…survive. Hold my hands extra tight during our annual Thanksgiving hiking trip and help me find the last Easter egg in my parents’ living room before it rots and the whole house smells. Show up for once to midnight mass and don’t mention a single word as you watch salty water fall down my cheekbone in the candlelight. And when I think I have to bring the words to the light, and open my trembling lips to speak in your familiar torn black leather passenger seat, put your calloused fingers up to my lips and kiss me. And that, my love, is the most incredible thing you will ever do for me. Because you already knew when I called you after three martinis from the backseat of an Uber in the freezing rain. And I knew you knew when you changed the subject when you heard tears breaking on the edge of my voice as I traced our initials into the condensation on the window of my mom’s Jeep.
And sometimes, when the pain and realization is so deep that it will absolutely rip your soul from every beautifully real thing it clings to, silence is the only answer, the only real, true love. To let someone be as strong as they need to be, as positive as they can be and as much in the present moment until all they can smell are the cigarette burns in the leather of your car.