Phrases We Find Hard to Say

By: Salma Khalil 

“K, love you bye.”

is a phrase I say at the end of almost every phone call with a person thats dear to my heart.

“love you”

is how I’d usually respond to a heartwarming compliment although I might not truly mean it.

“I love…”

is a phrase that is used by my verbose personality quite frequently throughout every

one of my days.

Then comes the phrase “I love you” which becomes almost impossible for me to roll off

the tongue

as if my mouth can simply not articulate this suggestive construction.
It seems to me that when we feel like we mean it most is actually the time when it is

hardest for us to say.
Most people say it’s the fear of rejection,

others say its the petrifying notion of allowing your heart to slip into your loved ones’
hands knowing that if it falls all that will be left is you watching it cascade and shatter
onto the ground into a million pieces that would be difficult to pick up.
But no, telling someone you love them for the first time is like wearing a revealing outfit

and having all those pairs of eyes staring at you all at once

its like all of a sudden your eyes become a window to your soul and everything you are

is exposed.
Its the fear of judgement.

Its crazy huh? The difference that adding an I to an expression can make.

This is why its hard to say this.

“Sorry” is the polite word you mumble to someone after you’ve bumped into them by


“Sorry” is what you tell your mom post a long as fuck lecture followed by an eye roll.
However saying “Im sorry” to someone is that awkward and wild animal rising up behind

the cage that we call ribs waiting to escape.

Only we cannot always pin point where this feeling is coming from.

You can feel it from the back of your throat all the way down to just above your stomach

cause other things are going on in there.

“Im sorry” is being left in the middle of a two way street naked, scared, and alone.

its the rigid dichotomy between “sorry” and “self esteem”
its trying to find y in a solve for x problem.
This is why it’d hard to say this.

Its crazy huh? the difference that that adding an “Im” to an expression can make.
These personal pronouns make any statement extremely personal and intrusive and

some people can simply not deal with this transparency.
cause people associate mystery with supremacy

and sometimes we cannot stand to be the pretty flower in a crystal clear vase who’s

dying roots are exposed in the sunlight.

Don’t quarantine your emotions seeking reassurance that they are not sick.
And just because you ignore and undermine your feelings doesn’t mean they will

They wont.

Just because you don’t say it out loud doesn’t mean they don’t exist

They do.

Its just an ocean of miss opportunity that you let yourself swim through

because if you don’t say what you truly want to,

then don’t be surprised when you sink cause thats what your heart will do.
“Your fat” is a phrase id slap the fuck out of you if you said it to me.

but wouldn’t everyone?

This is a phrase thats hard for us to say because

of how society has programed our minds to think that being fat is a problem.

but you know what the problem is?

The problem is we can so easily say “your skinny” with a smirk in return but call me fat
and watch my fiery infused with flames face decide your fate that is familiar for you.

because we associate skinny with pretty

and fat with ugly

and nobody wants to hurt your feelings.

Its become one of those sensitive subjects like politics or religion
and if it were a religion it would be the only thing we believe in
cause now believing your pretty is being labeled as conceited.

so instead of selling out our feelings we just put them in a bag like we purchased it.

“i need you” is most definitely felt but never said

because it makes him feel like He is the water you drink, the air you breath, so now he

is gonna treat you like a piece of shit.
Knowing that you cant do anything about it.

and id hate to be the person painting a picture of pain but its hard to say something

different when everyday feels the same but

sometimes you don’t know if you love the women or the idea of the women and the


and sometimes you don’t know if you love him or the attention

or whatever you now learned to appreciate

wishing you could have told him you loved him not ly’d him and abbreviate.

you don’t know if your love was platonic or sexual

and so cause sometimes we don’t know what it is we love we just don’t say anything at


Its easy to say your sorry when you know your not wrong but when you know you are
suddenly your not as strong and the words get stuck like a lump in your throat and it

hurts you that much more.

Its hard to say your sorry because you don’t wanna come out as weak
its hard for us to say things not only emotionally but culturally

I cant say “sa7by” bel 3araby in public because that implies “en howa el gaw beta3y”

and that we’re not just friends.

kelmet “boyfriend” is eliminated “men el deen w el mogtama3 w el lo3a” so there is no
word for “friend who is a boy” as opposed to “boyfriend”. You have to use formal
phrases such as sadeeky aw zemeely aw ay 7aga temna3 ay 3elaka 3atefeya mabeny

w mabeno. Even if it was just a friendly relationship.

Bas mesh kol mara zay ba3daha
Mesh kol mara haykoon bandana forca ta1nya

but you know what?
you’ll never know how he feels
and one night your friend will awkwardly tell you
you’ll cry yourself a fountain of youth
as the words drive out of her mouth

only to crash into the sudden realization that all this time you spent swallowing your


you hadn’t bit more than you could chew after all.

you never told him you needed him so he never knew how much he meant to you
you never told him you loved him so he was deprived of the opportunity of saying it back

so you never ended up together
you never said you were sorry
so you never got a second chance

you never called a woman fat and meant is a compliment of her bodacious hips.

you never said it
but then later you regret it.
so we all need to ask ourself one thing.


1 I cant say “boyfriend/friend who is a boy” in arabic in public because that implies “That we
have a thing going on” and that we’re not just friends.
The word “boyfriend” is eliminated “from the religion, the culture and the language” so
there is no word for “friend who is a boy” as opposed to “boyfriend”. You have to use
formal phrases such as “formal friend” or colleague Or anything that eliminates the
chances of there being a romantic relationship associating the two of you. Even if it was

just a friendly relationship.
But not every time is the same
Not everytime do we get a second chance

is your fear of saying these phrases as strong as your fear of them never coming truefear the never.

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