Here's a random question: Do you ever think about the second-placers in the world?

I mean everyone cares about the winners, the ones with the flashiest medals, or the heroes of the day. Haven't you often wondered if Pippen ever gets the same publicity as Frodo, or if Han Solo is treated as well as Luke Skywalker?

You've found yourself asking that question a lot lately, because most of your life has been spent in second place.

You were nice, kind, humble, and an amazing listener. You picked your friends and allies carefully, and treated them well when they were with you. Most of your friends were girls, and they seemed to drift to you because of your kind nature.

Calling yourself a "Prince Charming" among mortal females was the right call, as you bravely rushed to their side at the slightest hint of trouble. It was instinct for you, coupled with a caring personality. You fixed them, listened to their problems, and treated them like royalty. If they needed your help with even the tiniest thing, you jumped on it like a loyal hound.

You were the one thing that they could always count on, and they knew it. You were asked to dances, plays, concerts, or just areas to hang out. As you got closer to the girls you were friends with, you began to develop feelings for one of them.

As the months passed, the interactions between you and the girls in your life only grew. As far as you could tell, you were the only man in their lives other than their family, and they always spoke to you about anything and everything. The attention was flattering and you soon found yourself basking in it, basking in the thoughts that you were the one that the girls trusted… you were the only one.

You attached to a certain girl, one of your oldest friends, like a duck imprinting on a mother. She had her likes and dislikes, and you simply had to play to them. Besides it wasn't like you had any competition for her heart.

So you started your project, first analyzing all of the likes and little things that she loved. Then you figured out plans to surprise her with them.

Your talents were used to the extreme as you wrote, sang, and surprised her. Stories and songs were used to great effect as you wrote her into your adventures and covered her favorite songs. When she invited you to movies or dances you tried to make subtle advances, hugging her a bit longer or holding her hand. When you danced with her you showered her with complements and flirts… nothing too extreme but enough for her to know that you really cared about her.

She didn't react at first, but that was okay. After all you were her best friend and you had all the time in the world. She still trusted you, and she still brought all her problems to your doorstep.

Then the winds shifted, and another man showed up.

He was an old friend of hers, and he reentered her life as if he had never left. You didn't feel any threat, besides a little competition wasn't a bad thing. You simply just had to work harder.

More months passed as she began to spend more and more time with the newcomer, and slowly you could feel that she was developing an attraction to him, and it was returned.

You were suddenly replaced, cast aside as she spent all her time with the newcomer. The news that they were starting to go on dates was expected, but it still hurt. Pretty soon she only chatted with you for a few moments each day, or when she needed you for something.

You moved on after a few days of heartbreak, plastering on a fake smile when she came to you. She squealed without end about the dates, about the gifts he had given her, or about how wonderful he was.

The pain eventually dulled and you were able to accept that she was happy, even though it was without you. Besides you knew plenty of girls, so you'd charm one eventually.

….

The months wore on, and you kept trying.

All your girlfriends seemed to be single until you started to show interest, then they instantly began asking for your advice on dating other guys. Sadly you were well respected by a great many guys, so they always listened when you told them that 'my friend likes you and wants to see when you are available for a date.' To your dismay, none of the guys you spoke to seemed uninterested, and you soon found yourself as an advice giving middleman.

The girls you cared for simply tossed you aside and moved to the other guys. They gushed about how their crushes or dates cared so much about them, and you laughed at how they marveled at the fact that they fell for them at first sight. It was impossible for them to understand someone could care that much.

But those men weren't the only ones who loved them, who had fallen for them at first sight, who saw how amazing they were. You were always there, you had loved them from the moment you had first met them, you had put all the effort into attempting to build a relationship and they simply didn't notice, or maybe they didn't care.

The worst part was that the men they cared about were impossible to hate, these men were exactly like you. They were kind, respectful, treated the girls kindly, and were gentlemen in every sense of the word. You'd feel rotten if you harbored any anger towards them, because they didn't deserve it at all.

However, their always seemed to be one factor that attracted the girls to them, and not you. Whether it was liking a certain show, being involved in a certain activity, or being more outgoing than you were. Those were things you couldn't change about yourself, but they were more than enough to get you lumped into the friend zone.

The girls were happy, and you comforted yourself with that knowledge. That was always the promise that you made when you met a girl. You simply wanted them to be happy, even if it wasn't with you… and you'd never do anything to cause them shame or hurt them.

A stupid promise that you made to yourself, that kept you from taking out your anger on the men who stole your girls from you or on the girls that were so ignorant about your feelings. No matter how many times you struggled to work out your anger, mostly by hitting a punching bag until your hands bled, or loading up a violent videogame and going on a killing spree pretending it was those men in the crosshairs… nothing worked.

No matter how many dreams you had, oh so perfect dreams where those men never existed, or where you could change yourself… to become the person a girl could rely on. The pain never seemed to fade, and all you could do was lock it inside yourself.

It always seemed to happen this way. You did your best to impress a girl, to show her how much you cared about her, to let her know you wanted to be more than her friend… and you were always lumped into the friend zone!

Maybe you put too much effort into being a great friend, heck most of the jerks and buffoons around you were with girls. It seemed that all they did was express interest and girls would flock to them like moths to flame. No friendship, no prior commitment, nothing at all but "Hey wanna hang out sometime?"

The girls you knew seemed to be oblivious to your personal pain. Didn't they see how much it hurt when all they did was blab about their dream guy? Didn't they think about your feelings when they canceled plans or only spoke to you for a few minutes because they needed to rush to the side of their new boyfriend? Didn't they see the folly of asking you for dating advice when you so desperately wanted to be that date?

It hurt so much to watch your best friends be happy… because you wanted to be happy too! You were a gentleman, a kind person, and the person who was 'loved by everyone'…. Except the people you wanted to love you.

Oh the girls around you hugged you and comforted you and said 'I love you' but you could sense the conditions in their words. Every 'I love you' was strictly platonic, every hug was just a friendly gesture, every flirt was accepted with a degree of 'What would my boyfriend think?' or a 'You know how I feel about him'

Even when the inevitable breakups occurred, and you were the first person they called for comfort, it was meaningless. Sure they depended on you, and cried into your shoulder, and told you over and over again how much they valued you listening to them. Still the second it was over they were back out looking for and blabbing about another guy they fancied.

They never thought that when you held them together, you wanted to hold them through so much more. They never saw your comforting words and touches as anything but the friendly thing to do, although it was so much more to you. You hated it when they were broken, but they never connected your devotion to feelings of love… you were never seen as anything more than a shoulder to cry on.

You loved them, and time and time again the girls you comforted treated you like a doormat, callously tossing you aside once you fixed them.

What was the point anyway? You tried your best to be a Prince Charming, the man of every girls' fantasies, and all you got was excuses and a one way trip to the friend zone.

Just a half step behind being the man a girl could love.

Second place sucked, and you brooded behind the false smile you presented to the world. You wanted to win, to finally have a girlfriend and steal her away, you needed to be with your best friend. More than that, you wanted to sneer into the faces of the men who pined after her… because you would've finally won.

You tried everything you could to make the girls in your life see the good in you, but they didn't see. You did everything you could to show them how perfect you could be as a boyfriend. You were the perfect friend and did anything they asked of you, no questions asked, putting in all the extra effort for naught.

To this day you still wait, letting the girls in your life take your heart and dash it against the floor, leaving only a heart shaped wound behind, all the while clinging to the faint hope that 'This girl will be different.'

Until then you'd put on your fake smile, be the perfect friend, and dream of the day that you could claw your way out of second place.

...

Well that kinda turned into a angsty drabble huh?

I hope you enjoyed that story as it took me a while to write. Emotional stories take so much time :/

Also the title is the title upcoming Voltaire album that will be released in September, and I decided to use it for this story.

Please leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day!