Once again, a true story, applying to me and a guy in my Scottish dance group. If you haven't read my one-shot called Missing Piece, you probably won't know much of what's going on. XD
It was such a fickle, and often treacherous, thing.
It hurt, really, almost more than betrayal on some occasions. And unfortunately, it never went away. The subject hoped for might change, but it was still always there, and sometimes it cut more deeply than anything else.
For the first time since she fell in love, she felt the pain of it, driving deeper and deeper into her soul. He had still given no indication of his feelings, leaving her to assume that they were, as they had always been and probably always would be, nothing more than friends. There was no change in his mannerisms, no change in the quality of his treatment of her - truly, she had no reason to believe that he reciprocated that which stirred deep within her when she thought of him, and that which almost exploded from her in passionate declarations every time she locked eyes with him. For all the signs he'd shown, they were as they had always been.
And yet...she could not quite forget how tightly he held her in his arms the last time she'd seen him, nor how his eyes grew softer and the corners of his mouth turned up slightly every time he looked at her. She could not shake the feeling of his strong arms wrapped firmly around her, holding her to him as she silently communicated her gratitude for his help, and he silently acknowledged it. She could not seem to stop reliving the moment when his friend - now courting her sister - told her that her man did, in fact, like her. She could not forget how their fingers twined, ever so briefly though it was, last time they danced together, nor could she forget the slight pressure he applied to her hand when he first asked her to dance. She could not get rid of the feeling that, perhaps, against all odds, she did have a chance of winning him.
She could not stop hoping.
It was strange, she reflected, that hope would hurt more than anything else. It built one up, fortifying all one's desires and the desperate need for said desires to come to pass - and then, when all hope was broken, dashed to pieces by some event or other, the shards cut painfully, slashing deeply into one's heart and leaving one almost as broken.
Hope. It hurt. It really did hurt. But still she nursed it, letting it take root within her, growing into a glow of eagerness as she waited. And waited.
Once, she had thought of him as the missing piece of her life, fitting next to her flawlessly, and yet not belonging in the puzzle. So familiar, but at the same time, alien, forever beyond her reach. Now, she had hope. Now, she could not help thinking that they might, after all, join, as she thought they should. It was natural - they fit together.
Perhaps even now, they were beginning to interlock, as two pieces of a puzzle do.