One of these days I'm going to figure it out. Right after that I'm going to figure out a way to get around it. Til then I suppose I'm stuck. Wouldn't be so bad, you know. If I could sit here with 'em all and join in; you know, tell them all about you. Let them see the way my eyes light up when I talk about it. Admit out loud that I love you and just get smiles back they way we all do when Sharon says she loves Jack or Marty says he loves Denise. Their eyes light up. It's nice to see, actually.

Yeah, I know-- you're laughing at me now. What can I say-- I believe you know. All those times I heard you whispering it to me. "Bodie, love the way..." Reckoned you were just seeing things. Blinded by love or some such nonsense. But I guess... feels like they do, you know? Feel something, feel it so strong I figure something has to be happening.

Besides that. Christ, Ray, you have a one track mind sometimes.

What do you mean, I'm the one writing this? Writing it to you, aren't I?

Where was I? Oh yeah-- chatting with the rest of them. Never thought I'd want to, you know? Always fun gloating or moaning about my latest conquest but that was just in fun. Never felt that need inside me, never felt words packed so tight in my chest that I couldn't believe I'd got through another day not saying them. Wish they'd understand. Wish they knew I understood. They stick together, tight. Married people-- like they speak another language and if they dont know you speak it too they'll just pass right by.

How many languages can I say 'I love you' in? Half a dozen? How many languages would it matter in?

You're the only one who knows what I mean when I can't say anything. (And you're the only one who'd even understand that sentence!) Kind of ironic, too, since often I don't even know what I'd say. Just wish I could, you know?

Yeah, you know. Been listening to me complain about it for years, haven't you? All you ever do is smile and nod, and start teasing me about something unrelated so I can forget. Or pretend to. You're real good to me, Ray. I want you to know that. Besides everything else I say and can't say, I want you to know. I think you're... that is, I appreciate what you do for me. Sounds kind of formal, doesn't it? Real greeting card stuff this is.

I hate joking about it, though. Do you understand that? It hurts so much, it feels so real, and I don't want to make light.

Sometimes I feel like standing up in front of everyone, when Cowley asks at the end of briefing if anyone has any questions, anything to add. And I'd tell them all-- or I'd just say it to you in front of them. Let them know how I feel-- let them know I don't care what they think. But I can't; we'd lose too much wouldn't we?

I won't go on how it isn't fair. I don't care if life is or isn't fair. I don't want fair. I want you. I want to say I love you, out loud, and not have to look over my shoulder to see if anyone's around. Want to stop hiding, stop pretending. Stop being afraid of something that's the best thing I've ever felt.

I just want someone to understand. I want someone to know-- know how I feel, know that I can't say anything out where anybody might hear. Want someone to look at me when the other married folks start in on it and realise that I know it all, too. Some of it, anyway. Enough. All the trappings of marriage that make it one, even if I don't know anything about buying houses and inviting the in-laws for holidays.

I want someone to know I'm in love. Because I am. I'd even be willing to tell you. Someday I will. Maybe. Wonder if you'd understand.

Won't sign this, will I? Just going to be ash like all of them.

I love you, Ray.

-- THE END --

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