The Unexpected 'I Love You' (Part 1)
How do you tell someone that you have feelings for them? Better yet, how do you tell someone you love them? Especially when that someone is a person you technically barely know, but in your heart and your mind, you feel like you know them inside and out, and you know that feeling will never fade until you have faced up to the truth, not only to yourself but to them as well.
How can you tell that someone without feeling completely crazy that you could even feel those things for them when you’ve never technically met them despite the few Skype calls you’ve had along with the several direct messages on social media? It’s impossible, right? But, ultimately it could be the way to finally getting over them, if you could just find that small bit of courage to tell them exactly how you feel, without caring how they then perceive you because the only goal in your mind is to get away from the feelings that are dragging you down; the feelings that are hurting you every day because deep down you know you can never tell that person the truth when it’s completely impossible to feel that way about them; the feelings you know are unlikely to be reciprocated; the feelings that stop you from focusing on all the other things in your life you should actually be worrying about; or maybe, just maybe, they’ll surprise you and the one thing you thought would never happen does, and it turns out you weren’t the only one with those feelings after all.
The only problem with that, is even if you do decide to tell said person, how on Earth do you find the words to confess all that is running through your head; the fact you think about them twenty-four-seven; that they are the only thing on your mind even when you aren’t fully aware they are, until something or someone brings you back to reality and you realise they were on your mind again? How can you possibly put so many thoughts and feelings into a comprehensible sentence or even speech, so they understand exactly how you feel and so you feel like you have accurately explained to them all those feelings running through your mind, every minute of every hour of every day? How can you ever do that, without feeling like you’ve made the biggest mistake ever; without feeling like you should have kept your mouth shut all along; without feeling like you haven’t just made things forever awkward between you and that person?
You’re probably thinking right now, that sounds completely impossible and not worth doing, right? Well, it’s a million times harder than you think, but when you get to the point where you can’t hold on anymore and you finally let those words; all that emotion, slip out, maybe you’ll find it wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
I briefly look up from staring at literally nothing, to see a bright smiling, dark-haired girl stood in the doorway of my bedroom, a.k.a, my best friend Melody, before leaning my head on the wall behind me and closing my eyes, letting my ears find the music playing into them again.
My mouth twitches up slightly as I hear the words being sung, his face once again exploding into my mind, like he has been for the past two hours, but then, I guess that’s my fault for purposely listening to songs that always make me think of him. I place a hand on my face and rub my forehead like it will erase the image of him as the song continues and evokes feelings I wish I could no longer have.
“Are you gonna ignore me all night?”
I slowly open my eyes, my vision blurred slightly. I wipe my eyes, finally noticing the wetness there and curse silently to myself that he once again has made me cry without even actually doing anything wrong. Well, I guess he has – he’s unknowingly done me wrong by not being mine and ruining my life by being in it, but at the same time, him being in my life is a blessing and I wouldn’t really wish he wasn’t in it because despite the times where I hate him for making me feel this way about him, I couldn’t imagine my life without him, without our occasional texting moments or interactions online and of course, the few times we’ve chatted via Skype. I still don’t know how this all happened but I would never trade it for anything in the world, I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world, because even when I’m mad at him, he’s the only one who can actually cheer me up again – he doesn’t even need to do anything for that either – just an image of him in my head or a memory of something we’ve shared, like a particular message he’s sent me or something he’s posted online can make me smile and laugh again. He’s just the funniest, sweetest, cutest, most amazing gentleman I know and he’s basically my dream guy. It’s just a shame he isn’t mine.
“OW! You fucking bitch, what did you do that for?!” I move my gaze to the left to see Melody is now standing by my side, while rubbing my arm where she pinched me.
“You were lost in thoughts of him again, weren’t you?” She sits on the edge of my bed, completely ignoring my outburst.
I sigh loudly, ripping my earphones out, knowing there’s no point in even attempting to lie to her because she is the only one I can actually confide in with these feelings; she’s the only one who will not deem me crazy for feeling what I do for him. “I...” I shake my head and look the other way, feeling more tears starting again. I hate you! I hate you for making me feel this way!
It’s common for me to talk to him in my head like this when I really am in a bad place about him and how I feel. I know he can’t hear me, but it makes me feel slightly better.
“I don’t wanna talk about it.”
“You never wanna talk about it, yet, apparently I am the only one you can talk to about it, so when will you talk about it? When you’ve finally realised you are in love with him?”
I choke on absolutely nothing and look at her, eyes wide. “I’m not in love with him – I can’t be; I barely know the guy.”
“Yet, he is all you think about, talk about, think about, want to talk about, think about,” Melody stops when I roll my eyes. “Look, you need to own up to your feelings to yourself and then you can think about telling him.”
“Tell him!” I shake my head and laugh nervously. “I can’t tell him anything!”
“Sooner or later you’re gonna have to, and I suggest sooner rather than later because each day you leave it, the harder it’s gonna get to admit it to him.” She places a soothing hand on my arm. “You know deep down how you feel about him, so admit it to yourself and then you can find the strength to tell him, whether he feels the same or not – you won’t get over him if you never tell him.”
I roll over to the other side of my bed and get up. I wrench the wardrobe door open as I do so, for something to do. “Tell him, what?” I push hanger after hanger back, like I plan on actually changing into something else. “Tell him I can barely think of anyone but him, tell him all I want is him; all I want is to see him every day; chat to him every single day; hang out with him every day, tell him I feel some connection between us that seems to get stronger every time we talk, tell him that I... I...” I stop there, knowing the next words to come out of my mouth can’t be true and it’s impossible that I feel that way about him.
“That you, love him?” Melody pulls me around to face her. “Whatever you are feeling is eating away at you and the sooner you are honest with yourself, you can make an informed decision whether to be honest with him or not.” She releases her grasp on me and walks to the door. “Wouldn’t you rather know if he feels the same, than spend the rest of your life wondering?” She shuts the door quietly behind her, leaving me to my own devices.
I slowly shut my wardrobe door and leaning against. I slide down the front of it, until I reach the floor and plan to sit there for the rest of the evening. I lean my head back against the door as his face drifts into my head again; his smile as well and I can’t help but smile too.
My phone buzzing brings me out of my thoughts. I leap up and grab it from my bedside table but my heart sinks as soon the screen lights up. Fucking Facebook memories – they are such a nuisance sometimes. I really should turn those notifications off!
“I’m off now. I assume you aren’t coming with tonight.”
I look up when Melody invites herself into my room again, all glammed up in her mid-thigh blue bodycon dress and black heels; black clutch in hand, before looking down at my grey jogging bottoms and plain white t-shirt teamed with my fluffy slippers. “I, uh, don’t think so, do you?”
Melody smiles. “I can wait ten, if you wanna change.”
I shake my head. “I’m good. You go – have fun.” I find the strength to stand. “Just don’t bring any strange men back here. I probably won’t be able to sleep anyway, but I don’t need anything else keeping me up.”
Melody laughs. “Noted!” She drops the smile and moves forward. “Are you sure you don’t wanna come? You might meet someone who makes you forget all about Jake.”
I smile. “No, I’m fine. I’ll just hang out here.” I grab my book from my desk. “And, anyway, I’m pretty sure seeing other guys will just make me think about Jake more because I’ll be comparing them all to him and realising that none of them are him, so I won’t wanna know.”
“You’re gonna have to notice other guys at some point. If you’re not gonna tell Jake how you feel, then you need to start being more open-minded. There’s plenty of guys out there just as amazing as him. You can’t wait for Jake forever.”
“I know.” I keep the smile on my face to hide how much her last statement hurt even though I know it’s all true. I watch her leave without another word, glad she is gone, so I can finally be left to my own thoughts again, which admittedly usually does more harm than good but sometimes you just need that alone time - this is one of those times.
I hear the faint sound of my name but with my body and mind not fully awake, I can’t bring myself to shuffle around enough to actually open my eyes and see who it is.
The voice becomes more agitated and my body shakes lightly, I assume because of whoever is trying to communicate with me. I will my mind to wake up but nothing. Come on! Wake up, wake up. I try to picture myself waking up hoping it’ll convince my body to do the same but still nothing.
My eyes fly open as I hear my name at top volume and rub them to clear my vision. Fully awake, I shield my eyes as they adjust to the light in the room. “Melody. What time is it?” I yawn and stretch as much as possible, regretting it when I suddenly feel dizzy from doing so. I sit still for a few seconds before looking up at her again.
“Oh God, is that all?!” I smooth down my hair and clothes like it will make a difference and attempt to stand.
“Did you fall asleep while chatting to him or while thinking about him?” Melody gives me a smirk which I don’t reciprocate.
“Funny!” I grab a glass of water and lean against the sink. “Take it you had a good night - all two hours of it.”
“Obviously not, otherwise I’d still be out. I left everyone at the club.”
I stop and turn to face her. “What? Melody Andrews left a club?! Shocking!” I smile and she rolls her eyes.
“I left because I was worried about you.” She places her bag on the kitchen table. “I realised that going out was not going to help you.”
“Help me with what? I don’t need any help!” I wave my hand dismissively and sit at the table.
“Yes, you do.” She sits next to me and places a hand on mine. “You need to admit to me how you really feel about Jake so we can sort this out. You are in denial and you know it!”
I sigh heavily. “Okay, so I have some feelings for him, but that doesn’t mean I need to act on them.”
“Oh. My. God!” Melody removes her hand from mine and leans back in her chair. “I am going to ask you a question and I want you to answer me honestly.”
I nod knowing I will do my best to lie if I can.
“If Jake walked into this room right now and asked you how you feel about him, what would you say?”
My heart jumps at the thought of it even happening and I can’t respond to her in anyway. I open my mouth to speak but no words come to mind. “I don’t know. I don’t think I could say anything.”
“Okay, let me rephrase that – what would you want to tell him?”
I sit in silence knowing what she wants me to say but I just can’t bring myself to say it. I open my mouth again, but then close it. “I can’t – it’s too ridiculous.”
“No, it isn’t!” Melody stands, seemingly angry now. “You are both people who have feelings. You know each other; you have things in common; you chat; you aren’t strangers to each other – it is feasible to have feelings for him and him for you!”
“There’s no way he likes me like that.” I respond quietly, admitting defeat and sigh heavily.
“How can you possibly know that if you don’t at least hint to him at how you feel?” She sits back down and looks at me. “I know you feel like you shouldn’t feel this way about him but that’s not something you can control; that’s why it’s called falling in love - you don’t force yourself; it just happens. And, you know it’s at least started to happen for you.”
I shake my head, wishing this conversation wasn’t happening. “How can I love him if I’ve never met him?”
“You may not have met him in the flesh, but you have Skyped him several times which is as good as meeting him. You have to tell him how you feel.”
I shake my head. “I can’t. I may be expecting him to turn me down if I ever did but I still can’t go through with it. Even the thought of him saying thanks but no thanks breaks my heart.” I feel the tears begin and rapidly wipe them away.
“Then tell me how you feel about him.”
“How will that help?” I sniff a few times as my nose starts to run. Great, ugly crying here we come.
“Just tell me! Close your eyes, imagine he is right here in front of you asking the very same thing, what would you want to tell him?”
I take a deep breath in and calm myself. “I’d tell him that,” I pause and look at my lap. “I don’t know what I’d tell him. I wouldn’t even know where to start.” I lean forward and rest my chin on my arms. “I cannot even accurately explain to myself how he makes me feel, so how would I ever find the words to tell him?”
“Maybe if you actually saw him, you’d know.”
“Maybe. But how is that ever gonna happen when we live in two different places? He’s hardly gonna come down here just to see me!” I roll my head to the side to look at her.
“Then go to him!” She looks at me, like it’s the obvious choice.
“What?” I sit up straight and part my hair, so it sits either side of my face instead of behind my shoulders. “I can’t just turn up in his hometown and crash into his life like that.”
Melody shakes her head. “You have already crashed into his life and something tells me you wouldn’t have it any other way.” She rests a hand on my shoulder. “If you want me to tag along for the journey then count me in. If you arrange to meet him for a coffee or something, then I can sit a few tables away, so you know I am there if you need me. But if you wanna go solo, then that’s fine too.”
I take my time, letting her words sink in. I guess what she is suggesting isn’t too bad. At least I won’t be on my own the whole time but that won’t be obvious. Maybe this is the only way. “I’ll think about it. But right now, I need to steer clear of all thoughts of him.” I grab my half-drunken glass of water and head for my room, needing more alone time to ponder over this idea of hers.