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Waiting Again

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I love this boy and he loves me and we love each other

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Chapter 1

We were not highschool sweethearts, but at the same time it was the only way to describe us. My best friend. My supporter, my soulmate, my sun. It’s possible to even say he knew everything I knew. Any memories I had were shared with him, sometimes I’d even get confused if he were in an experience with me or not. Was it him sitting on my bed, crying with me about the struggles I’d had making friends at my week-long girl scout camp during the seventh grade? About the rejection and avoidance? Or was that my mother? Was he the one to teach me how to swim years too late because of my fear of open water? Or was that my father?

I remember the first day of my first year in highschool. He’d taken me aside, his smile pulling at my own, except mine was a much more shy and expectant one. I’d already known what he was going to say, however, I still assumed ignorance. And for no reason too! He knew. How could he not? He knew that I knew and I knew that he knew I knew. And behind the building of my new highschool on that first day within the first hour of school having begun, he confessed his feelings for me. Of course I liked him back, we already knew we liked each other, and we never really hid it, we just never addressed it. That is, until this day.

“I don’t want to date you, though.” He hurriedly said. “Not yet.”

I nodded my head in agreement. Confessing was a huge step, a step that took 12 years to make, for both of us. We were in no rush.

“I think that highschool is going to be a lot.” I paused, thinking over what I’d say next.

“-and both of us will need each other, but as friends. Best friends that can support each other.”

He nodded for a second and then suddenly looked me intensely in the eye.

“Then when we graduate from highschool. . . can we start dating?”

“Yes! That’s what my idea was going to be. It’s great for us.”

Suddenly he stopped looking as happy, and more perplexed.

“What’s wrong?”

“What if you don’t like me anymore after four years pass? I mean, highschool really is a lot. You’ll meet different people and think different things.”

“I promise that I’d let you know as soon as I even begin to suspect I don’t like you as much. Which won’t happen, by the way.” But truthfully, at the time, I did have a sliver of doubt in my mind. Just a tiny amount of doubt that either I, or him, or both of us would lose feelings. The doubt only came after his question, but it’s a doubt that I regret having now that I’m older. For us there should have been nothing to worry about.

“You promise that you’ll wait for me?”

“Do you promise?” I asked back.

“Yes I promise.”

“I promise too then.”

It was an oath between us. I’d no intention of leaving him behind, and I prayed he’d have no intention of leaving me behind either. Such a vivid moment. It was a beautiful, cheerful, and innocent moment. If someone asked me where my life began I’d think of this, even if I’m conscious of prior memories, this would be the true start to my life.

We returned to our usual actions, our banter, our friendship. But with one exception. Every day, whether in person, during the school day while in the middle of a conversation that is completely irrelevant from it, or over a text or call in the middle of the night, I’d tell him “I like you.” And it’d reaffirm my continuously strong feelings for him. He might smile. . . or he might laugh, but he’d never say anything back. Because we both knew he didn’t need to.

Four years. Four years of this. Everyday for four years.

“Some kid bumped my shoulder really hard just now. Did you see that? Not even an apology.” He shook his head and condemned a wry “tsk, tsk, tsk.”

“I like you.” I responded, still focusing on the phone in my hand as I walked through the crowded hallway with him.

“. . .He was probably a freshman or sophomore. He looked young and I’ve never seen him here before.” He responded quietly, but unfazed.

On the last day of our highschool career, and only a couple minutes after school ended he pulled me aside. Just like he did years ago.

“I love you.” Abruptly I blurted it out, and then I was completely embarrassed. I’d thought about this moment every day since the first. About what I’d say, what I’d wear, what I’d do. It wasn’t what I wanted to say, but I’m glad it’s what happened. I’m glad it wasn’t rehearsed.

He broke out grinning and hugged me. I’d never felt more warm before. More comfortably. His hug was like finding a lighter after waiting ten days in the darkness. I clenched the back of his shirt, rubbing the cotton folds with my thumb. My face was pushed up against his chest and my eyes were closed ardently as I inhaled his scent. Something similar to black coffee, but not the same. Strange thing, he’d preferred sweet coffee filled with milk and sugar.

“I love you too. I’ve loved you every day since we met.”

His response was cheesy enough to make me cringe, and the back of my neck became cold. We walked to his house together, much like every other day when I wanted to hang out with him. The situation was the same, but it was not. I held his hand, feelings of giddiness, warmth, and love bursting from our intertwined fingers. My head seemed rushed with blood and every few minutes I’d walk too close to him and push him sideways and we’d both be stumbling. It was the purest and rawest form of comfort I’d been able to feel in my life. In fact, it was more than that. The walk, holding his hand and smelling the faint scent of black coffee. Magical is the most appropriate word I could use. But it wasn’t magic. It was real. And that only made the moment better.

Things like this, I believe now, don’t last. They just cannot exist. Life is meant to drag you down and watch you get up over, and over, and over again. I think it’s for fun. Whoever is watching thinks it’s leisurely. We like to believe in an anthropomorphic god. One that may relate to us, feel like us, and be like us. But gods are not humans, and they have a range of emotion– if you can call it that– that is far different than we are able to imagine. They have no empathy, no humility, no compassion. We are not their children, but their creation. Like a doll made out of clay. Something done for fun, not for love. And God decided, maybe on impulse, that it was going to push me down all the way into a pit that lasted until the core of Earth. My happiness was not a factor in the decision. I just couldn’t stay happy. I couldn’t stay happy with the person I’d dedicated my happiness to.

“I’ll see you at school tomorrow!” I let go of his hand, surprised by how much I’d been relying on his warmth and then the contrast of the chilly fall weather. But when I look up at his face, it seems dull. Only for a second. A fraction of a second. He is lifeless. Emotionless. Then he grins widely.

“School? What do you mean?” He laughs, the beautiful and cheerful glow in his eyes returning. The glow of positivity that brightened my day. My every day.

“Ah! Oh my god–I mean. . . I’ll come by tomorrow. OK? As your girlfriend.” I say the last couple words quietly. It was an odd feeling. Referring to myself as his official partner.

He leans down, touching the back of my hair faintly, but motioning inwards at the same time, and kisses me. He releases just as quick as he touches me. It was more of an intimate peck, but it caused a crazed, blushing reaction.

“What? Just… go inside.” I turn away, barely containing the thrill he’d caused me.

I didn’t hear him move for a while. And when I do, the steps don’t match the vibes that I’d matched with the moment. They didn’t feel. . . happy?

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