Have I ever told you about the very first English words I ever heard?
I dearly remember a particular neighbour that was always visiting mommy for a cup of coffee and a chat. I liked her more than my mom’s other girlfriends, as she always made time to talk or joke with me, and when she was in a really good mood, she’d even play with me. Obviously, I was very joyous every time the bell rang and I’d run to open the door, hoping to be her. After that, I was putting on my best behavior to be allowed to stay in adults company for a little longer. She was a bit younger than mom and not wedded yet, but I was beginning to get the clues of a romance with that man’s name spoken twice in the same visit. Although while I was around only half sentences were uttered, I could see mysterious smiles and looks being exchanged. It was the late 80′s after all, in a still communist country. You couldn’t discuss such matters in the open, let alone in front of a child. A certain delicacy was self imposed.
But as my curiosity won over my appetite for a cake that I was trying to enjoy with much smaller bites than usual, I gained more precious time in their presence, that in the end brought me an unexpected treasure: three magic words that are the source as well as the key to all that’s marvelous in the world.
Apparently, she received a note. A secret note with a secret message that I wasn’t supposed to hear. So she conveyed the message in a language I never heard before. A magic language with a beautiful melodicity that enchanted me.
Of course I later on learned the meaning of those words, but I also learned what a sweet privilege it is for the heart to hear them or for the lips to whisper them. From all the foreign words I learned afterwards, they still remain the most beautiful I’ll ever know in English. And even if I wouldn’t knew any others, they would still suffice to enthrall all I am to you every time I repeat them: I love you.
I love you, I love you, I love you. Countless times I love you.
And I still love you a thousand times more than I can tell.