...If I start telling him something, unless I am oath-sworn to never reveal it, I will tell it to him, whether it's difficult for me to say or not. I've told him some things that I could never imagine myself telling anyone. I can't keep something from him that I have no reason not to tell him but my own emotional ones.
Whether he needs to hear it or not is another issue.
Until I can sort out what he needs to hear from me right now and what would make him feel a thousand times worse, I need to keep my mouth shut. As heartfelt as "I love you," would be, that would make him feel like hell, and would be interpreted wrong anyway.
He's my friend. My life. My heart. My breath. I have other friends, and my heart beats fine without him near, and I breathe, and I live, but if he were to vanish from my life now, if he were to be gone from my mind completely, I would spend months feeling low. I wouldn't die unless I willed it, and I could recover, but no one could replace him.
I do not have to touch him. I do not have to have him return the feeling in any way. I know we're friends. I know when I look at him and he looks at me, that our friendship is all I'll ever need from him. I know that both of us would fight tooth and claw to keep our friendship.
Thank the gods for my best friend.