"Friends?" he asked, his eyes looking at me earnestly.
I swallowed the hysterical laugh that threatened to erupt and nodded my head mutely. Friends…
He smiled then, for the first time that morning and said, "you know, its better this way, after all, you wouldn't want to rush things right?"
He was right; of course, we were in high school, that vital period before entering into collage. Any mistakes now could practically cost us the rest of our lives. That doesn't make it any easier, doesn't make that cold hard claw around my chest ease a little. I still felt like choking and I was desperate to flee from him – to flee from him so that he couldn't see my tears.
Oh how ironic! Moments ago I was yearning to finally be alone with him, to open my heart to him and finally release the burden that has held me captive for the past two months. I had it all planned out, how to approach him… how to keep that tone just right- not too serious but not too light either- how to make him see me in a whole new light. But even before I spoke he already knew. And now, I want nothing more than to be as far away from him as possible, which is impossibility already, what with my heart being filled by him and all.
His sweet scent washed over me, threatening to weaken the iron walls of my will. I could feel the tightness around my eyes, the sourness in my nose, the huge hole where my heart used to be.
He could tell that I was about to cry – he knew me so well – and reached out towards me, trying I suppose, to comfort me. But then he faltered half way through… and his arms returned to hang awkwardly at his side. I smiled, a bitter smile, more of a grimace than a smile, and whispered "thanks Nic." Then I turned and walked away. He didn't follow.
Bye Nick… I'm going to miss you.
The thing was that I knew that he wasn't ready for a relationship. I knew that he didn't feel the same way as I do, but I had to try… no matter how painful it is I had to try, because well, if I didn't I will regret it for the rest of my life. I knew and had braced myself for the disappointment, but the intensity of it when it came shocked me. It came out of nowhere, a blow to my gut, so strong that for a moment I couldn't breathe…
The dull ache continue to throb somewhere deep inside even as most of the actual pain wore off, following me as I went about the day as well as I could, flaring up only when he came too close. Now, even as I type this, it's making it presence known, carving itself into my very flesh.
Friends… Will it ever be enough?