The smiley faces sent over online chat

match the infectious ones she always wears in person.

Memories of her flood my mind,

despite my best efforts to keep them at bay—

because, after all, it's better this way.

Flirtation cleverly disguised as witty banter.

Encouragement given in times of greatest need.

A warm and precious embrace,

her arm strategically maneuvered onto my shoulder,

Looking forward to seeing her face on that one night each week—

No. It's better this way.

I was almost certain that she liked me then,

and even more certain that I liked her.

But I had years of school to finish,

and she, having graduated, was to move back home

and soon become an overseas missionary.

Our paths had converged for a little while,

but weren't destined to anymore,

so I said my goodbyes along with the rest of our friends,

allowing myself nothing more.

I knew it was better this way.

Today we exchange smiles and conversations from afar

as I sit here alone, longing to take up shining armor

and slay the dragons in her life,

but presently assigned to be only a fellow soldier,

and I wonder whether it would have better

to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all,

but I keep telling myself that it's better this way,

and one day I might even believe it.