Almost

I almost called to say ‘hello’,
And maybe ‘I love you’,
I’m not sure.
I think by now I would have meant it,
Even if it wasn’t reciprocated.
It’s been too long for both of us
To deny the truth,
That we had something special.
Can you say that?
Can you admit to that?
Can you admit to that,
Sober and seriously,
Without mocking me for caring?
‘Cause see, that fear is why I didn’t call,
Like you might reject me straight out
For wanting this to work.
I’d even settle for figuring out
Exactly what this is between us.
‘Hello’ might not be enough.
Last I checked, you were drunk.
I don’t just mean when I called, either.
I mean all the time.
How can ‘hello’ be enough to you
If you’re not able to walk straight?
You were always an angry drunk
By the end of the night
Unless you found someone to shift
Or fool around with for a while,
And even then you could let someone
Ruin your night for a while.
I lost track of how many times
You called to shout at me,
Or to tell me stories about fights
And the assholes you had to live with
Day in, day out, drink and sober.
It seemed like all you ever did
Was complain about life and people,
And call me selfish for wanting
To talk to you more than every few months.
I know it’s not normal to care
After all this time
On the receiving end of verbal abuse
Without this being a relationship
(As other people might understand it)
But that doesn’t mean I can’t love you.
It’s not just a grateful kind of love, either;
It means something.
It’s love for you because of you,
And not because you saved me.
We could deny it for a year,
As I’m sure you already have,
But that doesn’t undo everything we’ve done
Or said to each other.
I wanted to call and say ‘hello’
Because I want us to start again.
Every day, I almost do.

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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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