I love you.

She said it slow and even though her connotation wasn't what I thought I wanted it to be, she said it with conviction and that was what I needed most.

Normally words like love or beautiful get thrown around me and they slice me like papercuts, stinging even long after I have forgotten to worry about them. My hands eternally dipped in a bowl of salt water.

But she said it nonetheless and her words were not sharp; they were not razors. Instead they were delicate syllables, strangely reassuring like fingertips on a shoulder blade.

I was not continuing a story, I thought, and all the nerves in my body did the right job conveying it to my heart. I was writing something new here, a one page story or a novel with interesting subplots and a title with a colon in it.

I did not need someone to fall madly in love with me. I needed clever hands, an ear to whisper into. I gave myself over. I was strong. I had been waiting for it.

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