The door closes gently behind him, and she strains to be sure that's what she heard. Certain that he has gone, she whispers, "I love you," rolls over, pulls the lavender colored down comforter over her head and curls into a ball.
She's known for a while now that she loves him. At first, she was most certainly falling for him, and that was at least two months ago. Two. Whole. Months. Now, she loves him, but she can't tell him. She's certain that telling him before he tells her would spell certain doom for their relationship. Though she's less certain of that than she was when she first realized her feelings for him went stronger than she thought.
At first, she was impatient. She loved him, therefore, he MUST love her. When would he tell her? Any day now, she could feel it. Well, days have turned into weeks and will soon turn into months, and with the passing of time her anxiety has miraculously turned into patience.
She loves him more and more each passing day and has begun to realize that what her mother told her all along was true, it is possible to increase in love when you thought you couldn't possibly love one drop more. Even in just this short time (well, short relative to the lifetime she hopes they'll spend together), her love has shifted and changed shape, moving from a crush turned into deeper feelings to a true and real love, a love that means she can not like something he does and still want him around, a love that means she doesn't want him to tell her something he doesn't mean.
After her anxiety passed, she started taking risks. A whispered, "I love you," as he drifted off to sleep. Spelling out "I" heart "U" on his skin with her finger, careful always to make everything slightly misshapen, lest he realize what she's doing.
Now, she says, "I love you" each night in her mind, and every morning when he leaves. She wants it out there, in the air, as he drives those winding roads to work, as he interviews for jobs, as he goes to new classes.
She believes that those three little words can fly out the door after him and weave themselves into a sphere of protection around him, guarding and guiding him through each day.
At this moment, as she falls back asleep, snug in her bed, with the covers wrapped tightly around her, resting in the warm spot he so recently left, it's enough that her love is in the air around him, even if he doesn't know.