I had fucked it up before it even began. I never thought that she, that we could have... It kills me inside just thinking about all the things I should have said, all the words I wish ... but none of that remains except her smile faltering in my direction and sudden hit into my heart each time I hear her laugh with another. We were best friends. I had never had anyone like that, no one that close to me, no one who understood me. No one, not even she, knew everything, but she knew me better than any sad childhood could tell. She read me, every gesture, every face, every laugh, she knew what I meant, she knew what I felt, except once. She never knew I loved her, more ardently than I can say. She never knew how my heart raced every time her hand haphazardly brushed mine.
A year passed though, happily friends, always like one, me dying inside in the process. Each look, each touch she gave another guy, I laughed louder than I felt, was meaner than I meant, and bit at her with no cause, but still she loved me. That I wish I had known. If only I had spoken up. If only she had said something. If only we had known, but neither of us dared to reach, so neither of us ended up in peace.
A knew school year began, and an entire summer had gone by with me seeing her next to none. I was over her. I didn't need that heart ache anymore. Something gladly reached for me, taking my hand at the worst time. A year younger than me and nothing like her, I clung to the smothering flirtations and sad facade of intelligence. She was nothing like her. She didn't laugh at the same things. She didn't even understand my sarcasm. She didn't tick the way I did and her tock was all out of whack. She wasn't for me, but a lonely heart needs little encouragement to cling on to something so sickeningly sweet.
But she started to avoid me. Every time she was near me and that worthless girl, she looked nauseous. Two months later, she told me. She yelled at me bitterly telling me how glad she was to be rid of me, to get over me.
I froze as my heart stopped beating. Over me. "What?" I whispered, barely audible to even myself.
"You know what I said," she spoke to the air as she turned swiftly from me. "I loved you, but now... now I'm done."
And we were finished, just like that. I hadn't known. I had never known what she spoke to that stiff, unforgiving air, all gentleness lost in her rage. She wasn't jealous, she was done. She had loved me so much to be filled with unforgiving rage at her heartbreak's end. I stared at the air where her form had just been. We were done. Our friendship and any chance of love, completely over. I didn't cry out, I didn't fall to the ground in bitter anguish, I just stared as the bell rang over head and that nauseating thing came to paw on me once more. And I let her, not checking her flirting hands as they clung to my arm, begging me to fold to her every whim.
So I'm sad to say, I did. I fell, call it weakness, but my defenses built back up, from lack of a friend, from lack of such pure love. And I let her claw on me. I let her lean in to close. I let her pull me away from the rest of my friends just to do her homework or to listen to her talk. But it all could have been air to me. It could have been nothing because she was worthless. A sad flirt who picked through all of my other buddies and the list had finally dwindled down to me. I was her target and without her near me, an easy mark.
Of course we still had class together. Every time she came in the room something seemed to hang in the air. Her laugh. That smile. Everything about her hung there before me, just out of reach. I tried to talk to her, but those dark eyes just gave me a look begging me to come no where near. So I stayed away and as the creature dug her claws deeper, the further away she ran. It killed me, silence tore away at me, breaking me down from the inside. There was no one like her. No matter how many friends I had, no matter how much that creature tried to grip my heart, it fell just short of her hand. I still loved her and each note of her voice made me ache for that smile to shine on me.
One month, turned into Christmas, then Christmas turned into three, then it came down to five, almost half a year and we hadn't touched. Almost half a year without her near me, with her breathe just grazing my skin. No look of happiness thrown my way played on the rift of an inside joke. Nothing, but a creature who had destroyed my chance unknowingly. But it had always been my fault, no one knew but me of that love, and that's how it remained still.
Until one fine day our friends were laughing, loudly, throwing out jokes and teasing each other mercilessly with affection. Her laughter rang through her voice, as those dark eyes crinkled with her nose. "Thomas, remember that time-" unconsciously she had reached for me. But in front of the friends who knew nothing, she froze and held onto me a second longer then she meant. Her eyes meeting mine filled with shame and embarrassed regret.
"Yeah, when we bought those kites and-" my words flowed, my voice relaxing into a smile as my eyes never left hers. She dropped her hand slightly abashed, but smiled against her better judgment right at me. I felt my heart grow in a painful hope. I had to say it to her today. A day later and I might die from the pent up tension that encompassed my heart.
"Can we talk?" I asked quietly standing near her as the laughter of others took over the sound. She met my gaze once more, studying my desperation and pitiful state of misery.
"Thomas," a whine pierced the air as the laughter seemed to die away. "You promised to help me with my math homework today. I just don't get it," she clawed. "I need you." A low growl almost escaped my throat as I a surge of anger bolted through her standing so close.
"I give up. Take him. Fuck him. Do whatever the hell you want, just not in front of me," she growled.
"Hana-" I spoke, but she was already broke with something else I had not seen.
"I told you already, I'm through. I hail the white flag. I do surrender. I give in. I loved you, but apparently that means nothing compared to a few little pouts and roaming fingers," she growled , her face glowing red as she stood her ground commanding the whole rooms attention unknowingly.
"I love you," I choked out grabbing for her hand, anything that gave me a morbid hope. She wasn't done.
"No you don't. If you loved me, you wouldn't let her throw herself at you like some-"
"Hey!" she creature whined tugging on my arm pleading for my protection. I couldn't do it. She'd hear the truth sometime anyways.
"Hana-" I stepped towards her, grabbing onto her shoulders with frustrated hands.
"Get the fuck away from me." She stepped out of reach, my heart thrown down again.
"Hana-" I reached again. "Damn't," I swore gripping her back to me. "I love you, so stop running away."
"Why!" she cried vehemently as she tried to shove away from me, my grip too strong. "Why would you when you have that thing constantly whimpering in your ear? Why the hell would you want me now, when you already have that?" Tears were welling her eyes all because of me. If only I had told her before, it wouldn't have been so painful to get through. She batted them away furiously glaring at the ground.
"You're it. I loved you before her and I damn well will love you after her. She's nothing. You're the only thing that fits." I wrapped my arms around her, tucking her against me forcibly as she tried to shield me away. Struggling for just a second, she hit my chest, tears falling into my shirt. The warmth of her was all I needed to know as she finally caved in, forehead against my neck. Months came to this. A simple break down and furiously demeaning confessions in front of everyone we knew. It wasn't perfect, but it gave that extra push.
"This is the only thing that fits," she said quietly as people pretended to go back to what they doing, the creature disappearing from all sight. "Damn," she smiled wryly looking up at me with shot eyes. Salty sweet lips pressed against mine, fresh, but gentle against my skin.
"I guess we're kind of stuck then," I smiled helplessly.
"Can't refuse our responsibility then," her smile was there, fixed on me. God, how I had missed sarcasm. Five months and here it was, pain and a weak start, but enough with just us.