What if I told you that I loved you?

What if I sat you down and asked you to be with me forever?

If I spilled out my heart to you, would you listen?

Would you recipricate?

Would you even care?

Months ago, I told myself that I'd wait a little and then tell you how I felt.

I put it off because I was scared.

Scared of you saying no.

Scared of knowing.

Scared of being alone forever because that's not the life I want.

And maybe it's stupid to be scared of something like that, but it doesn't matter now, anyway.

Because you're pregnant.

He's a jerk you know.

He won't marry you.

I would.

He's messing you around.

I wouldn't.

I remember the day I found you, outside your apartment, sobbing.

In that moment, my heart broke.

What had happened?

Had someone died?

Had you lost your job?

Were you dying?

The only thing I knew then was that, if you were dying, then I was dying too.

Because when your heart stopped beating mine would too - because my heart has always been yours.

But you told me instead you were pregnant, that your boyfriend had knocked you up.

I took you inside and made you tea (no coffee now you were pregnant) and sat you down and talked to you.

I stopped you when you tried to get wine from the kitchen.

I stopped you when you started tearing your apartment apart.

I stopped you from hurting yourself.

But I let you carry on talking about the baby you didn't want, carry on breaking my heart.

You told me how you were scared he'd run when you told him you were pregnant.

I wouldn't run.

I'd stay by your side the whole way, and I'd do everything for you and our baby.

I came with you, that day you went to tell him.

I drove you and waited outside until you returned half an hour later.

You were crying, but smiling.

"We're going to do it," you said, laughing through your tears "We're going to raise the baby together!"

I had never felt so admiring of anyone in my life.

Because you didn't see it then, or now, but I do.

He only said he'd raise this baby with you because he's a coward who's too scared to tell you he won't really be sticking around.

He'll hang about a bit, until your bump starts to show, and then he'll scarper, leaving you to handle this on your own.

But you won't be alone.

I'll be there.

I've decided now.

When he leaves, as he inevitably will, I will step up.

I'll offer to raise the baby as my own - not because I feel sorry for you, but because I want to.

I will of course tell you it will be just two friends raising a baby, that there need be no romantic feelings involved.

What I won't tell you is that, whatever I say, I can't stop the romantic feelings on my part - you can't choose who you love and you can't make someone love you.

So I'll stand by your side, loving you and helping you, raising "our" baby with you.

You may notice how I say "alongside you" or "stand by your side" a lot.

That is because, no matter what I feel or how big a part of your life I am, I know we will always be parallel.

Our feelings are so different that there is no crossroads between them - you feel friendship for me, but my feelings are so far past friendship that when I see you, all I see is the love of my life.

No one will ever understand how much it hurts.

So because I am a coward.

And because I love you.

I will keep my secret forever.

When you go into labour, I will rush you into the hospital; I will say I'm excited, that I'm also a bit scared.

But I won't tell you I love you.

When we take "our" baby home, I will smile and help you feed them and bath them and change them.

But I won't tell you I love you.

When "our" child goes to their first day of school, I might sniff back the tears and wonder at how fast they have grown.

But I won't tell you I love you.

When they leave to go to college, I'll hold you while you cry and comfort you, saying they'll back soon.

But I won't tell you that I love you.

Because I'd rather live with you, torturing myself with thoughts of what could be, than tell you and live without you when you turn me down.

Like I said, my heart has always been yours.

So if I leave, my heart stays with you.

And without a heart, how can I live?

And without you, how can I love?