I nodded, because she had paused and it seemed like she was waiting for it. She accepted my nod, looked out of the window, and then said, "I would have followed him anywhere. I think he knew it. I think he always knew it. And I know now that he loved me back because... Because he never asked me to."
"Oh," I said, but without meaning to -- and my eyes welled up, equally involuntarily.
"Yeah," she said. Her voice was quiet. "Sometimes, the best way to show someone that you love them -- sometimes the only way -- is to let them go. Like when you can't love them the way they need you to. Like when your wish for them is that they find someone who needs them the way they need you. That's love, but maybe not the kind that anyone appreciates right away."
"And he taught you that."
"Yes. I mean, I didn't get it at first," she said. "No one does. But eventually you do."
"And now?" I asked. The question hung there for a moment.
"Now?" She smiled. "Now we're the kind of friends that we always should have been."
"And it's enough?"
"It's more than I thought we would have," she said. "And it's amazing."
Then she added, "You'll understand when it happens to you. One way or another."
And I did.