As they lay kissing, she felt a turmoil in her heart. She wanted to say it out loud and be done with it, she had waited long enough. Meanwhile, Neal asked, “does this hurt you?” She was surprised to hear that and asked him what he meant.
“Kissing me, being intimate with me.. When we were here a few years ago, you text me afterwards and you were very upset.”
Rhea thought to herself, what hurts is not being able to stay here with you, but having to leave. What hurts is not knowing if we’ll ever have these moments again. Instead of voicing her thoughts, she said, “things were different earlier, I was still hoping that something would happen between us. I have no expectations this time..”
“So there are no emotions, this is purely physical. You’re using me”, Neal chuckled, with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
“Dude I’ve written poems about you.”
As their bodies lay entwined, Rhea whispered to him. “This is probably stupid, but I need to say this to you. I think I love you, I think I’ve loved you for a long time.. I don’t know what love means anymore, but I don’t know what else to call this.” Rhea was surprised to realize that she didn’t expect him to love her back this time. She knew he was not going to say the same thing, and she was alright with that. Neal’s question broke her reverie and brought her back to the moment. “Why do you think you love me?”
Rhea wondered why she thought she loved him. How else could she explain this craving for him after more than a decade of being separated. Whenever they were going to be in the same city, all she could think of was seeing him. When she did see him once in three or four years, she always felt a strong connection. “Because I do… love you”, Rhea said.