You can’t help but stare at her. She’s at a register talking to one of her friends, and you’re supposed to be doing work, but you can’t help but stand there and burn holes through the side of her head hoping she’ll turn and meet your eyes and come over. You didn’t used to be this way. You were the nonchalant one. The one who had her eyes burning holes through your head. But ever since ‘the incident’, as she’s taken to calling it, you just haven’t been able to act how you used to. She managed to do what no man had ever done before. She managed to make you fall for her, and you’re not certain on how to handle that. That was extraordinarily odd, considering up until a year ago, you were sure you were straight. But then she came along with those bright eyes that changed color, and that damn stupid crooked smile, and you didn’t know anything was happening until it was too late.
And sure, most people mistook her for a male sometimes. What, with her short hair that is occasionally spiked up, and her affinity for wearing men’s’ clothes that are loose enough to hide her feminine wiles. Yet, she’s still a female, even though she acts more like a complete guy most of the time. You’re also a female, who is apparently not as straight as you thought, given your undeniable attraction to her that you cannot for the life of you get away from. It drives you insane. It shouldn’t really come as that big of a shock to you, given her personality. She’s the type of person who’s easy to like. She’s sweet and funny and charming. Intelligent. Witty. Wise for her age. And she’s also got that ‘asshole’ quality that’s just enough to add a sharpness around her edges. She’ll make fun of a person in a heartbeat, and her nicknames for her friends include ‘fuckers’ and ‘losers’ and ‘buttface’. (You’ve heard the things she calls people who aren’t her friends, and they’re so much worse.) She’s always got a sarcastic comment or smart-ass retort on the tip of her tongue, just waiting for some poor soul to give her an opening. But then again, so do you.
She’s also cute and awkward, and so much fun to tease. She’s quiet and observant. Dear Gods, you know you’ve already mentioned charming, but you can’t help but say it again. Because her charm is like the movies. It comes out randomly, and most of the time she’s not even trying. It’s enough to make anyone swoon. And Jesus, do you. It’s mildly embarrassing. To sum it all up, she’s the person everyone who meets her falls a little bit in love with. Whether in a purely platonic fashion, or as something more. It took you a little while to realize you had fallen just like the others. (In a not at all friend kind of way.) And it took you even longer to realize she was already down in that pit waiting for you. It was kind of a slap in the face. It’s just, you knew she liked you. She would come talk to you whenever she could. She would maneuver her way around so that she could sit beside you when you went out with friends. She’d try to be sneaky and pay for your food when you went out to eat. Only giving you that damn smirk when you would shoot her a glare for it. She would even go about buying you random things. Still, you figured it was a strong like. The ‘L’ word never crossed your mind.
You found out a bit later, she’d been in that pit since not long after first meeting you. With her though, she had tripped and tumbled into the hole and blacked out somewhere along the way. She didn’t know where she was until a little before you showed up. At that point, she was content to sit and wait. Then you came along, and she still sat and waited because she knew you needed to be ready and you weren’t yet. But then ‘the incident’ happened. And she got drunk and admitted all the things you knew that you just never spoke about out loud, and even a few things you didn’t. The ‘L’ bomb was never dropped; however, it didn’t have to be. It was there, hanging in the air around the two of you. The next day came, and her and all her hungover gloriousness went to our mutual friends’ house, where she was told a basic recap. Of course, she tried to apologize. Your response was that the two of you would soberly discuss it later, and she freaked all over again.
For three days, she freaked out. You could tell from the heat that took over her face and wide eyes that never seemed to relax. She finally came to you one morning, and told you that the discussion wasn’t needed. Maybe it was annoyance because she thought you going to reject her, or maybe it was because you were just scared, or maybe a bit of both. Either way, you heard the huff of air leave your lips and felt your feet move toward her. Then you heard the words come out. ‘It’s NEVER going to happen.’ That’s what you said, and you could practically see her world crumbling around her. But she was strong. She feigned nonchalance and gave a shrug, quickly agreeing. She walked away and you felt the need to yell out that you didn’t want to hurt her. You think she laughed, but you’re not sure. Even if she did, you somehow knew it was more of a dark, humorless one. She didn’t talk to you for a week after that.
It was absolute hell. You knew it broke her. You didn’t completely realize it until you found out she started smoking again and she turned down coffee; something she’d never done before. Still though, you were surprised when you felt broken too. It was the longest week of your life. What made you feel worse, was that you were fully aware that she had every right to assume rejection. After all, despite how you had been acting toward her lately, you still had a boyfriend. Though, you haven’t felt much fondness toward him for quite a while. Especially since meeting her. To be honest, if you didn’t come home to him every night, you could almost forget he was there. So no, she wasn’t wrong for the assumption and you had no reason to get annoyed.
She did come back a week later. She proceeded to act like nothing had happened between you two. She talked and joked and pretended like nothing changed. But it had. You could tell in the way her blue eyes that seemed to brighten when she was around you, greyed over with clouds. In the way her smile never quite reached its’ full potential. In the way her laugh never seemed…her. Eventually even those things came back, except her eyes. They never reached the same brightness that was only for you. There was still pain in there. Things went back to normal. Except not really. Because she didn’t come see you as often as before, or as long. She didn’t maneuver her way around to make sure to sit next to you when both of you went out with friends.
When she came back to you, she did it at her own risk. Her returning may have made you feel lighter, but it also made you feel like the rocks that sat on your chest ever since that fateful night, multiplied. You just couldn’t get those drunken words out of your head. “I just want you to be happy. Even if it’s not with me. I just want you happy more than anything.”. Dear Gods, you know that ache in your heart is probably nothing compared to what she feels, and it makes you hate yourself. She would occasionally open up to you without any thought. So, you know all the crap that most of the women in her life have put her through. The thought that you’re putting her through that type of pain again, maybe even worse because she’s never loved them like she loves you, makes you sick to your stomach. You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. The love you have for her, and the fear that prevents you from acting on it.
The only thing that gives you the slightest bit of comfort, is the fact that you’re both willing to do anything to stay in the others’ lives. Because neither of you can see a future without the other. So, you’ve switched places. Now you stare after her. Now you try to sit next to her. Now, you’re the one trying to figure out how to make a move. And it sucks.
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