My Paper Heart

Fate fell short this time

Your smile fades in the summer

Place your hand in mine

I'll leave when I wanna

In that instant, she realized how lonely she really was. She had always just wanted a fairytale – or at least a normal, cheerful life. She swept aside her long bangs and sighed.

She had never really been in love, only dreamed of it. She was admittedly, a hopeless romantic. She didn't cry during every romantic comedy, nor did she sit in front of the TV for hours on end eating ice cream straight from the tub and watching the daytime soaps.

She was happy, but every time she laid her eyes on couples she often stared in awe and adoration. She wanted something like what they had. Not just a fling, not just a date, but a serious relationship, a companion, a best friend.

She had only ever been in "like" though, and even when she got what she wanted, she wasn't happy in the end, she wasn't satisfied.

She eventually drifted away or even ran from her possibilities. Nothing ever seemed right, nothing seemed to click – and never did all of the pieces fit together. Either he was just a friend, a bachelor, too perfect, clingy, too materialistic, too shy, or had a reputation or none of her friends approved of him. Often she would receive false signals, and cling to them hopefully – like a woman lost at sea, and then she would discover their fallacy.

She was bright – a spark, that was slowly fading and burning out. She tried so hard, she was a good student, she had a bright future. She was a writer. She had a caring family, good friends, good grades and opportunities, but there was still an empty hole in her heart. She longed for something, for someone. A knight in shining armor was too much to ask for, these days.

She wrote to try and fulfill that void, she spun beautiful tales of adventure, of swords and heroes and breathtaking tragedy and romance.

Her pen was her weapon; she wielded it proudly but often lost interest in her work once she had started.

She longed for what her characters - so dear to her heart and soul – had. She wanted romance, in its simplest form, in any way, shape or size, as long as she could be truly happy.

But the hole remained and she lost the drive to write. She struggled to find the time to sit down with her pen and let the words flow through, but when she did, nothing came out. It was as if her pen had dried up, had been emptied of its fuel - and her imagination, her clever, witty, precious imagination had outgrown itself.

She tried to lie to herself with hollow excuses, but she knew what it really was.

Despite her friends, her family, her books and her lovely stories, she was lonely.

She did not want to admit this to herself. She just wanted to continue on as if she were fine, content, and would expect that love would come along naturally in the end. She did not want to appear desperate or pathetic, but she really, truly wanted someone to be by her side, always.

And when she met Him, she didn't know what he would put her through. He was just another pretty face in the crowd. He was older than her, but not taller. Not by much. She really did like her male companions to be taller than her. It sounded right to her, for a man to be taller and bigger than a woman, so that she could fit into his arms just right and he could protect her and keep her warm.

She was tall. Most women would die to be tall, elegant, and beautiful – like a model. But she did not feel elegant and beautiful, she felt monstrous and huge and ugly.

He stuck around for a while, He dated here and there, and she took no notice of Him as Him, merely him as just another guy, just another friend. He then began dating her closest friend, and that was when it really struck a chord in her.

Their threesome began to fall apart. She couldn't stand the thought of them together; they were always so cute and cuddly that it made even her romantic self sick. She didn't notice the way she was unconsciously displaying her dislike of their relationship, but He did.

He began to suspect something, He noticed things she didn't know herself and he caught the signals she wasn't aware she was emanating. When He suddenly became distant and cold and appeared unhappy, she was led to believe that she was not wanted anymore, that she was getting in the way of their twosome – that it was time for the wagon to lose a wheel.

She confronted him about his depression, and the conversation spun around to her. She was forced to tell herself the truth. She hadn't thought of him in that way before. He had just been her friend's guy, the third musketeer – and she had been discarded to third wheel. And she was sick of it.

But when He proposed the subject, He obliged her to realize something that would haunt her dreams and paralyze her thoughts. She realized that she had fallen for Him. Of course, she lied to Him, she couldn't risk jeopardizing everything She had built to have this friendship, not only with Him, but with her best friend.

She tried to lie to herself again. But He just wouldn't leave her mind. His face haunted her dreams, His voice penetrated her mind, and His smile lit up her eyes, and filled them with tears.

He wasn't entirely aware of how she really felt, because she had dug herself deeper by lying, and had initially pulled the trigger for him. So he played with her head.

He broke it off with her friend, explaining that He was in the relationship for reasons He didn't know.

Although she strove to deny it, she knew that she had feelings for him. But He threw his feelings around, he was blunt and sarcastic and rude and charming and adorable and such a jerk – all in one neat, pretty package.

She couldn't tell anymore if He was sincere or not, whether he was really a good guy or if he was just playing her.

How she hated him. How she hated what he was doing to her. He was tugging on her heart; a child with a toy. But her heart was not a toy. If it were played with too roughly, it would bleed.

He would laugh and joke and then abruptly turn serious, claiming that he was in love with her. She longed to believe him, but the way he grinned after begging her to reciprocate his "feelings" screamed that he was insincere.

He pleaded with her to tell him that she was madly in love with him. Oh, but he didn't even know the half of it. He didn't know how deep of a wound he tore. She politely brushed him off with a smile and a blush. She couldn't risk complying and pouring out her heart and soul to him, so unsure of his intentions.

He often complimented her on her eyes, or her hair, or the shirt she was wearing. Then he would turn around and tease her and mock her and drive her absolutely, positively crazy to the point where she wanted to wring his neck.

And then he would attempt to pull some sort of guilt trip and whine that it made him sad when she was angry with him. She was far too vulnerable to his ploys.

He was beautiful, dynamic and alluring – a male siren if she had ever seen one. He was the one thing she loved to hate, and hated to love.

He seemed to have everything in common interest with her to the point where it seemed as though he were just spinning a lie. She knew she may very well have been digging her own grave, but he seemed willing. Signs were everywhere that could go one of two ways – they could be completely irrelevant and unrelated, or they could actually be about her. She was terribly confused.

She began to see him less and less as their group drifted apart, and every time she did see him it was more awkward and fleeting than the last, and she wanted more from him but he still seemed to act as though there was nothing going on between them.

One day, the phone rang. She didn't recognize the number, and when her mom answered, they hung up. She felt it. She felt him. She desperately hoped that by some chance her fairytale would come true. But when do they ever? Only in the movies.

She ran out of the house and into the rain. She loved the rain. It was like a cold shower; it cleansed and soothed, and hey – to get a rainbow, you have to get through the rain first. Rain was associated with all things good: nourishment, growth, her own star sign (Pisces), and especially romance.

But right now, it only disguised the tears that poured down her cheeks, from eyes that had lost their sparkle. She needed to get away. She walked and walked, hugging herself for warmth. She stopped, and gazed up at the sky with eyes just as blue and brimming with tears. Raindrops beaded on her eyelashes, on the tip of her nose; sparkled on her lips. Her hair was sopping wet and sticking to her face.

Finally, she asked something of someone, she prayed that the sun would come out from behind the grey clouds and warm her, and dry up her tears. When she eventually lowered her eyes, there he stood in front of her. Dark and mysterious; familiar and friendly – glowing with an almost holy light.

His dark hair was strewn across his equally dark eyes, water droplets falling from his bangs. His hands were in his jean pockets, his eyes fixed on the ground. She stared, unable to comprehend whether he was there or if she was so hopeful her mind was playing tricks on her.

He raised his eyes to hers, and smiled. "Fate fell short this time…" he whispered, taking a step closer to her.

Her heart pounding in her ears, her mind finally focused in on what he had said and she replied shakily, "Your smile fades in the summer." And she also took an unsteady step towards him.

He was so close now that she felt his warm breath on her ear when he went on, "Place your hand in mine."

She felt a shiver run down her spine, and instinctively thrust her hand – delicate and cold and shaking – out towards his. He clasped his strong hand over hers and held it protectively. They both looked down at their hands; fingers intertwined tightly, and then looked back into each other's eyes. She felt more confidence this time as she moved her body up against his and said, "I'll leave… when I wanna," finally and steadily.

Their foreheads touched, their eyes directed downwards. The rain thundered down around them now but they took no notice. Their noses nudged together and she leaned her head towards his shoulder. His free hand came up to her salty cheeks, and brushed away a tear, then sidled down to rest beneath her jaw.

He kissed her. She kissed him. Throughout all that tore them apart, everything and everyone that got in the way, all their differences aside, they had finally found each other. And in the middle of a thunderstorm, the sun finally came out. He warmed her heart and dried up her tears. Her eyes sparkled with a new light and she smiled into the kiss.

The void had been filled. Someone had answered her prayers. The sun had come out. Now that she had put up with the rain, she had finally found her rainbow.

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THE END.