To avoid sounding like a total alien, it's not so custom to say things that strongly here in Japan. More favored expressions tend to be closer to "I like you" than "love". She was a bit unusual -- wildly emotional and spontaneous, but it was "I love you" one day and "farewell" the next in the most stunning sort of whirlwind of a relationship.
She was one with a wild set of emotions and imagination, and I think things get intensely passionate with those types because it's like they construct a world around you where everything else disappears while the world falls into chaos. But there's no stable foundation there, and the floor begins to collapse, and so it ends as sporadically as it begins. But that was the first time a girl said "I love you" to me -- or aishiteru.
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Sorry that should have been not long after not long after.