subject line: but it wasn't love. December 23, 2018 by Hannah Brencher Greensboro, North Carolina The way I see it, I never really knew you. I knew what you wanted me to know. That you drink your coffee black. That you wear socks in your sleep. That your dog likes to be fed at 5 in the morning. But you told me once, some blurry night, that you only drank your coffee black because you liked the way the barista looked at you when you ordered. With respect. A little awe. Just barely. Enough to feed your stupid pride. You also said that you didn’t date. Not usually. Not often. Not now. And later that same night, when you clutched onto my wrist and dragged me beneath your sheets for the third time, your stupid million dollar silk sheets, you said, maybe now. With you. Right here. Maybe now I’ll date. And you did. We did. Of course, we did. You’d never met me before. Wicked smart. Calling your bullshit at 4 a.m. A waistline that let me match you in drinks. It was fun, out every night and wild in bed fun. But then, without either of us begging or asking or even wanting, it was more. It was staring at each other, wondering how the hell we’d gotten here. Tracing the planes of your face. Wishing I could hold on to this forever. This feeling. This person. Just this. But we weren’t forever material - we never had been- and when I caught you dragging down the skirt of some other girl, I wish I could say I was surprised. For a while, you groveled. On your knees. Which was something I never thought I’d see, not in my life. And you said you were sorry and stupid. So, so stupid. And then you said that you loved me. Loved me. That you were in love with me. And God, you almost had me there. I still wonder what might have happened if I’d let my knees buckle the way they so desperately wanted. If I’d let you hold me. Have me. Love me. You know, if you say a word too much for too long it starts to sound like nothing at all. Love. There, see what I mean? Love love love. Love love. Love. Nothing at all. What we had was something. Something wonderful, maybe. But it wasn’t love. At least, I hope it wasn’t. If that’s what all the fuss is about, count me out. No. No, that wasn’t love. But damn was it close.