“I love you.”
I can’t say I didn’t expect him to say those words, but they still hit with a raw force. I had let him chase me, after all. I had let him find me, after all. You’d think that time would make things calmer, but it time amplifies as much as it adds perspective. I could see in his eyes that he knew how foolish it was to say these things to me. I had a life outside of here after all. I had just been proposed to in Korea. He’s a good guy, working out in Pyongyang at Lenovo’s branch. He was waiting for me at the hotel. He knew he was being a fool, yet he decided to be as foolish as he could be.
He put his arm around and took a deep breath. I could feel him trembling still from the weight of those words. Such an odd word to use on a man: trembling. So full of vulnerability and weakness from this guy who’s standing a whole head taller than me. Yet, trembling is the only word that comes to mind for how his body shakes. Can’t be the train either.
I said nothing. What could I say?
God, such an awkward spot to make a confession. A train. Going for broke is something best done with intent and not in a spontaneous burst of emotion. Well, it was our only chance alone and how often could he have a chance to say it? He already knew I could say nothing yet he said something for the both of us.
“I love you.” He said again. “You don’t have to say it, just hear it.” Thank god.
Okay, I’ll admit, it was kind of sweet on his part to go all this way just for a girl like me. But they say it’s bad to break a heart. They say it’s worse yet to instill hope where there is none. There was none here. I’d be going to my hotel in Asakusa and then be on a plane bound for Pyongyang the next day. That was where I was needed more. I’d would be there and he would be here. That’d be fine for now.
As his eyes were closed in a silent agony and the train doors slid open, I nuzzled my head against his chest and squeezed his hand one last time.