By Raoul Suarez

I have always liked her. I just couldn’t say it. The words just wouldn’t come out. The years have dragged on and the feelings I have for her have been left unsaid. I don’t know why.

I should have told her back then. I should have confessed but I never really had the courage to do so.

Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe I was scared. Maybe the friendship meant more to me than taking a shot at a whirlwind romance or the chance to move the relationship up a notch. She might have been waiting too but assumptions are risks and I’m not one to gamble.

I have written so many letters that I couldn’t send; I would read them again and ponder if I should. I have bought so many greeting cards with empty spaces where I could have penned how I felt. I just couldn’t muster the courage to do what should have been done. I don’t know why.

We used to talk for hours. We still do. She used to send me messages in the wee hours of the morning and I would humor her; like I always have. Things have not changed much ever since I’ve met her decades ago. It still hasn’t. I don’t think it ever will. We just don’t get to talk much nowadays.

Sometimes I would daydream and wonder what it would be like to have a life with her in it, but it would have been different than what I have imagined it to be. It wasn’t possible at this point in time anyway. I should have done it way back. I just couldn’t. I don’t know why.

She was a star and I was her biggest fan. I could have been the leading man but I always took the support roles. I vividly remember sitting on the front pew pretending to be happy when she got married. I listened to her talk about how her marriage failed, a couple of years after that event. She would rant about how it went sour and how abusive it had become until she decided she had enough and put a grim end to it.

I would just sit there and just listen to her talk. I always did. She knew she could always talk to me. I was always available anyway. I think I always will be. She would always have my time. She would always have my attention. I shouldn’t be doing this anymore, but I still do. I don’t know why.

We would see each other once in a while. Not as much as we used to but I made it a habit to keep in touch. The exchanges were always hearty. Maybe things were meant to be like this. Maybe we were meant to be just friends. It’s a convenient arrangement. Maybe people don’t really end up together in a happily-ever-after kind of fairy tale.

Today, we discussed a lot of things and made use of the privilege to be able to talk nonstop until the time limit was up. When it was time to leave, she just stood up, bade me a sad farewell, turned, and never looked back. I was escorted to my car by these men in uniform. I thanked the jail warden for the accommodation and the opportunity to be able to do visits. There were so many maybes running in my head during the drive home. So many things that were left unsaid.

We are sun and moon. We are earth and sky. I should have poured my feelings when I had the chance, but it’s too late for that now. There are things that are better left unsaid. She is doing time now, but it seems like I will always be the prisoner. I don’t know why. Maybe I do. I think I have always known.