Love And Denial

"What's the matter?" Luke asked Shelley. "You've been like this for days, and I can't work out why. All this talk about having feelings for someone, and acting all depressed... what's going on?" With a sigh, Shelley sat down on the sofa, right at the other end, as far away from Luke as she could be, yet still remaining reasonably close to him.

"It's nothing." She said. Her long, brown hair hung prettily about her face, and she tried to use it as a sheild to hide her expression. Luke moved closer towards her though, and brushed it back out of her eyes.

"Please tell me?" He begged, half whispering, suddenly afraid now that he was closer to Shelley. She could feel his breath on her neck he was so close, and she liked it, though it made her nervous.

"You're one of my closest friends," Shelley said. "I couldn't tell you. I really, really want to, but it just wouldn't seem right." Pouting a little bit, Luke drew away, and much to his surprise, Shelley grabbed his hand, not wanting him to go anywhere. "There's someone I like, Luke. And it hurts, because I know that they will never like me in the same way."

"What about Richard?"

"Richard is just Richard." Shelley said, with a shrug. "A part of me will always love him, but he's just not what I want anymore. He doesn't understand me. Not in the way..." she broke off, knowing she shouldn't say what she wanted to, "not in the way this other person does," she finished. Luke watched her as she sat uncomfortably, trying not to let her pale, sad, blue eyes meet his dark ones.

"Shelley, I already know." Luke said. "I guessed a long time ago, and I'm just waiting for you to come out with it and tell me." Shelley thought deeply, then. She thought about all the jokes she and Luke had shared, all the times she's been down, ready to cry, and he had made her laugh instead. She could tell him anything, and she knew he would never judge her for it. Did she dare to tell him, and face the risk of throwing away such a precious friendship? Shelley still had Luke's hand in hers, and now she squeezed it tighter, as if she was preparing herself for an outburst from Luke.

"I love you, Luke." She told him. "I've loved you for a long time, and I've only just begun to realise it."

"And I love you, too." Luke said. "Why couldn't you tell me?"

"Because nothing will ever come of it. I have someone, you have someone, and we need to forget about it." She kissed Luke's forehead. "I'll see you at school tomorrow."

"But Shelley-"

"No." She cut him off. "Nothing can happen." She stood, and left Luke's house as quietly and sadly as she had come in, this time, leaving Luke standing at the window with tears trickling down his cheeks. Outside, Shelley was crying too.