I Always Loved

It’s been too long since we spoke
And said those words we ought to
Say all the time.

I always loved that we could talk
About anything that came to mind,
No matter how relevant it seemed,
How inappropriate others might think it,
How personal it might be.
I do not tell our secrets to anyone.

I always loved that I could feel safe
With you nearby or speaking in my head
In the middle of the night
When you were drunk and I had been sleeping,
Over the phone at whatever hour,
Under cover of duvet and darkness.
That was all there was to my nights
For longer than I dare to think of.

I always loved that somehow
We might talk again
Despite all our arguments.
You never raised a fist to me
When I did wrong,
Or told me we were through
When I felt my head going wild
And the dark seeping in.
When I felt scared,
You were there;
That’s what mattered most.

I always loved the comfort of your hand
When you placed it upon my shoulder.
A gentle squeeze gave me strength
On one horrible night on which
It all might have ended.
Echoes of the moment last,
Even when we do not speak.

I always loved an idea of you
That you oftentimes lived up to,
A common-day hero
Of a desperate child
Who called you family.

I always loved that I could call you
My best friend, over any other,
And feel as if I really meant it
After everything we’ve been through.
It always felt like it could come back
Someday in the uncertain future.

In the days we didn’t talk,
I kept a piece of paper safe,
With large letters scrawled in panic,
Reading “We will talk again.”
I always loved that I could believe it.

I always loved you,
Even when we fought
And you made me feel sick
For everything I’d done in a moment.
Even when you tried to make me hate you,
Instead of hating myself,
So I would let you go,
Let you live your life
As miserably as you wanted to,
And I wouldn’t have to witness it.

I always loved your despite your flaws,
Even during the darkest days and weeks,
As family, as my best friend.
I wish I’d said it more often.

I always loved that we had a chance
To change the world together
For just one crazy night,
When nothing had to matter anymore,
Because we’d faced death
And we’d found sense in this
Abomination of a country, in each other.
I always loved getting to know you.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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