I can feel the force of your almost-touch through the Internet.
The few minutes we spent chatting has summoned you to my side. I’ve spent so long calling you to me that it’s automatic even now.
It’s been five years since the time I first fancied you. We’ve been through the whole cycle of crushes and friendship – well, except the part where you liked me… I’ve blushed when the little girls on the soccer team I coached asked me in a whisper whether you were my boyfriend. You smirked at me from the grass and let me know that you were very much aware of what was going on. I spent a morning staring out the window and imagining the landscape underwater, with giant paddle-limbed dinosaurs swimming up to a sun dappled surface. And I imagined you marrying her and having little children. It gave me a peculiar sort of ache. The sort of ache that echoes through me every time you mention her.
Because I think, in the end, she is to you what you are to me.
I understand this from our chats in the car when a certain song on the radio reminded you of her. I understand this from the way you cling to her friendship the way I’ve clung to ours. I understand this because the smudge of her cheating has left a blot on her sparkling personality that defies your sense of logic, just as your laughing egotism perplexes me.
I do not blame you for it. How can you help it? How can I?
Things have changed now. I no longer consider us to have the least bit of potential for a romantic entanglement. I’m largely content to have our times at Starbucks. Me quizzing you on your recent flights of fancy and the effects of your charms, and you trying to get me to visit you and step outside of my comfort zone.
I’ve been in both of your bedrooms, played with your Star Wars action figures, and drank lemonade on your porch. I’ve judged your cologne choices, fled as you chased me around the farm, and done any other number of wonderful friendly things.
See I’ve painted you with these broad and colorful strokes, using soccer field green to cover the way that I sometimes still allow myself to look at you. The bright red of a plastic sled hides that time you kept trying to hold my hand when you were drunk. And I need a white as bright as milk, as snow, as lightning, to obscure the dark of the night that you held me. The way that your fingers traced my hairline, my eyebrows, my lips, and the hot, gentle circles that you blew onto my cheeks must be treated as blots on our record and whited out.
Because it will never happen again. And your lips will never touch mine.
Every little touch that thrummed through me months and years ago must now be allowed to fade behind the newly formed layers of fondness and friendship as even I admit that there is something better out there for both of us.
And I ought not imagine that I can feel your almost-touch through the Internet.
My uncles have been together since they were fifteen. My mom's brother and the love of his life.
They're each other's best friend, support system, cheerleader, spot-checker, equal in all things.
I had the priveledge of watching them get married last year. Finally. After thirty two years together, thirty two years, they got married.
And I'm telling you, there was not a dry eye in the church.
I went to check out that sandwich shop you said you liked. I didn't expect you to be there. But there you were, shining in all your glory. You saw me, invited me over to your table... and introduced me as your boyfriend. I nearly fainted, but then I realized it was pretend since your ex was there. But for those two hours, I got to be your pretend boyfriend. And it was almost as good as really being yours
There are those people that are your friends, nothing more and nothing less, but suddenly, there's this one person, this special someone who can make you smile unexpectedly and can make you cry for the stupidest things and you are head over heels in love with them. You're not exactly sure why though. Why did you choose them out of all the rest?
Being hurt is a funny thing. Once it’s happened so many times, you start building up these walls and you start feeling like nobody’s ever going to be able to get through them. You throw away the keys to the deepest darkest part of the ocean where nobody will ever find it and you barricade yourself inside. You start thinking that every single person that’s betrayed you, walked out on you, made you feel less worthy is right and that if you let somebody in through those walls again it’s all going to happen over again.
You spend every single night thinking and wondering what’s wrong with yourself , why nobody to wants to give you a chance, why nobody wants you in their life and what you’ve done wrong until you start believing everything is all your fault. You look at the world around you, and you see your friends and your family all happy and regardless of how many times you explain things to them they don’t understand it. They can’t possibly understand why you are so afraid of opening up to someone or why you’re hurting to begin with and then they just shrug. “It’s no big deal.” they say, “bad things happen to everyone, it’s not just you.” But they can’t see your pain and they don’t know you wake up in the morning, you go about your day with a smile on your face and you come back home and you cry.
Last night, we were sitting in my room, and we started to talk at the same time.
"You go first," I said while tugging on my braid. My heart was doing flips as I tried to figure out how I was going to tell my best friend that I was madly in love with him.
"Okay," he took a deep breath. "So, there's something that I think you should know. I've been wanting to tell you for a long time, so....here it is."
My stomach fluttered with butterflies. He took another deep breath.
My stupid heart suddenly decided it likes your heart, so... guess we're going to have to take them on play dates and stuff.
You randomly texted me, asking if I was okay.
Not because I was sick, or sad.
But because it was storming outside, and you know how much I hate storms.
I have found many people who hide vast oceans of emotion behind calm eyes and a poker face.
I have found those who are dying inside and hide it with giggles and a new pair of skinny jeans.
I have found people who pick the locks in between teeth, forcing everyone to smile as they rob hearts.
I found that everyone is like me, a high rise with only vacancies, a tower which once had a twin, a symbol of life given to a grave, a soldier on his own without a commanding say, an emperor seated on a throne made of twigs, a player on a stage with lines in a language everyone can speak but nobody can hear, the threat of truth and danger of fear, an empty promise, a saline tear.
Deep down everyone is the same, but we choose to express our ideas of ourselves in different ways.
You are not your parents, you are not your mistakes, you are not the difficult choices you have made.
You are not becoming "you", as you have been all along. You don't need validation from a poem or a song, you do not need to be wanted to exist. You do not need a stranger tangled in sheets, or to kiss others and be sweet.
You're enough just as you are. You don't need to bow down to the ideas of who you must be, as there is no guarantee that life is fair... because it isn't, and it sure as hell hasn't been easy for you or I but the time has come for us to forgive ourselves, forgive our bodies, forgive our pasts.
And begin anew.
I just found my prom dress, and I don't think anyone has come this close to making me feel this beautiful before. And that's the cool thing. You don't always need a boy to make you feel good about yourself, feeling good in your own skin cannot be topped, because this feeling is like none other.