somebody told me
(fragments of stories that weren't)

I'm not in love with him! Why does everyone say that? It's like it's completely impossible to love people without being in love with them, like there's no such thing as platonic love. It's just... I just thought he needed a friend. Someone who won't judge him or hate him or... or be cruel to him, I don't know. I just thought he needed someone to support him.

And I was right, wasn't I? Look at how far he's come! He's so much better now, isn't he? He doesn't think about suicide anymore, he doesn't think about hurting anyone else or doing drugs or all those other things he was supposed to give up when they let him out. I was right - all he really needed was support. And that doesn't mean I'm in love with him. It doesn't! I mean... Love is God's greatest gift to mankind. I don't think it should be... pigeonholed into romance.

I love people. I... I really want to believe that they're good at the core. I can't believe that the world is inherently bad. I just can't. And... I don't see how people can cry about how there's gotta be something more out there and how the world isn't enough - because it is! Don't you see that? We can feel. We can breathe, we can laugh, we can cry, we can sing. We can love. Why isn't that enough for us? Why can't we understand the gift we've been given? Why can't we see that simply being alive is a reward in and of itself?

I'm not... I'm not trying to claim that I know something everyone else doesn't - I'm asking. What's wrong with us? Why don't we reach out to anyone anymore? It's like, you can go your whole life and never really confide in or love anybody, and just make do with these flash friends on the street; the... the waitress at the cafe or the guy standing next to you at the newspaper stand or the little girl waiting for the walk sign. Why can't we reach them anymore? I... I'm just reaching out to a world that's forgotten how to touch. Human contact means something, and it doesn't have to be sexual or romantic or even comforting or anything at all! It can just be... contact.

Seeing and hearing isn't enough, you know? And I don't think I have to be in love with someone to... to, I don't know, hold their hand. Kiss their cheek. Smile at them. Really care about how their day went. I don't think that's all there is to love. I really want to believe that there's more to it than that. I really want to believe that there's more to us than that. Us, as in the human race. I really want to think that love can run deeper than one-night-stands, or even marriage and kids and grandkids and all that. I want to believe that there's something in all of us that...

I think there's something in all of us that craves each other. We thrive on contact, don't we? So... So why does it have to be... I don't know, "Oh my God, you're in denial, you so have a crush on him" every time you just want to reach someone else? Why do we have to be in love with people to care at all? Why do we try to tear everyone else down?

What's wrong with us? What did we do to ourselves? What happened to us as a people that we can't... that we can't feel anything anymore? When did we get so numb? I mean, people walk down the street while the news blares about murders and rapes and kidnappings, and... Why? Why do we do that to each other? And why can't we find it in ourselves to care? People die every day, and, and I know it's inevitable, but why can't we bring ourselves to touch the ones who aren't dying?

Why can't we love each other anymore? When did we get so obsessed with romance that we forgot how to love?

I'm not in love with him. And I don't think I have to be.
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(A/N: This is the residue of a novel that won't ever happen. I just couldn't complete the thought. It originally went something like this: Boy gets out of prison, gets into a car wreck with Girl. They end up working together, or something to that effect. Toward the end, this monologue happens. Boy falls in love with Girl. Girl is either murdered or gets into an accident with a drunk driver or is in some other way killed by another person. Thus, we have a repeat of "Pay It Forward" only without Haley Joel Osmont. So it's not going to be written. But I really liked the way this came out, so I decided to post it.

I may add to this, later. If any more little blurbs of other fics pop into my head. These are all fragments, remember. So don't expect any continuity or logic. And review!)