and then, out of nowhere she said, "i love you".

i was so taken aback for a second, i didn't really know how to respond. i hesitated. i mumbled something even i didn't hear. before i knew what to say, that moment had passed. we just stood there awkwardly, hand in hand, the waves coming up to our toes, and the sun going down. i could tell she was totally appalled at my lack of response. we walked back slowly and bought ourselves more beer. we spent the rest of the evening making the most perfunctory conversation.

to this day, i wonder how that would have turned out if i had said it. "i love you too."

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