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  • It's nearing 3:00 AM, and I'm holding Her as we try to stay warm under the blankets in Her frigid Boston apartment. Outside, the frozen air pounds against the room's window, and I'm thankful I no longer have to live through the bitter Northeast winters. I'm also thankful that I'm holding her. We drift between the unconsciousness that our sleep deprived bodies need and the conversations that will help sustain our relationship until we see each other again. In a matter of hours, I'll be on a plane fleeing back across the country to the new life I've built for myself. Before this new life, I had held Her like this many times. They were some of the best times of my old life. The old life that I'm still trying to dissolve. She's one the few relics from that life that I want to bring with me, though I'm not sure if I have the courage to tell Her the truth.

    I met Her on the first day of college orientation. She had a type of confidence that terrified me. In a couple of days, about 50 other students, Her, and I would fly across the Atlantic to spend our semester aboard. I was terrified. At college. At traveling. At Her. At everything. She was ready to take on the world though, and if She had a worry on her mind, She was not yet ready to share it with me then.

    Abroad, though living in the same house, we barely spoke for the first two months. A weekend group trip with mutual friends, forced us into each other's lives. It did not take me long to realize I liked Her, though I remained completely intimidated and still a little terrified by everything about Her. I was learning to take on what terrified me though. I started making excuses to see Her, to spend time with Her, and to be less terrified by Her every action. I never once told Her how I really felt.

    Back in the States the next year, She would become part of my close circle of friends. Friends is all we were. I started to date another girl, but I just wanted to spend time with Her instead. That relationship was doomed from the start. As would all relationships with any women, but I was still learning that then.

    It was during that year though, that I realized I loved Her. She was the first person I ever loved. It terrified me as well. I've never told Her. Over the next two years, She'd become my closest friend and confidant.

    By the following year I clearly understood who I was. I was no longer terrified by it. I understood what I felt for Her. I understood we would never be a together like I once envisioned. I was still terrified to tell Her anything.

    The next year I packed up my belongings in two suitcases and started my new life, leaving all but occasional phone calls with a couple of good friends behind.

    Almost two years later, I'm visiting the Northeast for the holidays and I'm holding Her as we try to stay warm under the blankets in Her Boston apartment. She is beginning to fall in and out of sleep. I know if I don't tell Her right now about my new life, about what I've been so terrified to tell Her for years, I'll probably never have the courage to. I've realized that If She does not know, She'll never truly be part of new life. This realization terrifies me more than anything in my life ever has.

    I say her name out loud, my voice quivering with fear. She responds letting me know that she's still awake. My voice shaking, I respond, "there's something I've been meaning to tell you, for years now…".

    Later She falls asleep in my arms. I'm not terrified any more. She'll be part of my new life.
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