For her. For setting me free. For letting me jet.
"I love you," I tell her.
I put my arm around her. We walk and watch the sunset on the Hudson River on an August Sunday evening.
We meet five years ago when she moves to New York City to pursue her public relations career. I'm in advertising at the time.
Like PR and advertising, she and I are complements. She's female. I'm male. She's brown. I'm blond. She's dark. I'm light. She's curvy. I'm skinny. She cooks. I clean. She spends. I save. She's early. I'm late. She's loud. I'm quiet. She talks. I listen.
Now, five years after we meet, she's a teacher. I'm an entrepreneur. She spends the school year in New York and the summer elsewhere. I spend the winter elsewhere and the summer in New York.
Sometimes we're in the same place at the same time.
Knowing she's moving from New York for good soon, I confess my long-time interest in her a few weeks ago.
We sit next to each other at church.
"What are you doing after?" she asks me and then tells me I'm coming over to her apartment for dinner.
"So you can move and I can move on . . . " I tell her I've been interested in her for years. After midnight on her IKEA couch, it just comes out.
The next day, we hold hands. The day after that, we kiss.
After five years of moving slowly, everything moves quickly.
Ever since, I think about how to make more money to support our family and what to name our kids.
I go to the Mormon temple and pray about whether to tell her I want to be with her forever. I'd give up my addresses in New York City, Salt Lake City and San Diego to live with her in Dallas. She's the only one who's not in my family whom I want to be with for eternity.
I tell her everything I'm feeling.
It's better to say too much than never to say what you need to say.
"What do you want me to say?" she asks me.
"I care about you," she admits and then tells me she has no interest in anything other than friendship with me.
Now I'm free.