Please Pretend

Sitting next to you I'm hoping the weirdness between us will fade but that's impossible, truly impossible. You don't move away, neither do I. I'm glad you don't because it'll hurt me if you do. Maybe this is why I'm staying put, to make sure you don't have to feel that too.

Sadness does not go well with your features. I've seen you happy, tired, and defeated but never truly upset. You're sad and that's enough to make me sad.

You told me to go away, the words hurt and hit me hard but it's not enough for me to go. You repeat it with begging force. We both know it is useless, a waste of breath but you're talking, it's a start.

I know you're not okay so I don't want to ask that, I don't want to ask a silly question but this silence isn't going anywhere.

'You okay?' It's calm, caring, and slightly casual.

'No,' you groan.

Then silence again, deafening silence.

I don't need to look around to know that everyone's attention is on us. They are so curious on what has happened between us. They think it's all fun and games but it's not, it's not even close. There will be the whispers and questions after this. They will be annoying but it'll be worth it if I can talk to you like a person, not as my ex-boyfriend.

I want to say more to you but I can't. I want to hug you close giving you the strength to get pass whatever it is that's bothering you, what's making you sick inside. *I want*. The two words have their own meaning. What I want, I can't have.

'Can I ask you a question, a favor?' Your voice breaks through my thoughts, it always does.

'Yes, of course,' I smile at you reassuringly, the complete opposite on the inside. My heart melts at your plead and yet it also skips at the thought of what your question might be.

'Can you pretend?'

Pretend? I give you a puzzled look.

'I miss you, a lot…'

I close my eyes at this. The last time you said it, it was the second day of our break up. You kissed me that night at the disco and then pushed me away again. It took me almost a week to get over that glint of hope. I swallow the lump that has formed in my throat

You try again. 'I want to hug you, be near you without hurting you, without hurting myself. Can we? This time, no strings attached?'

I open my eyes looking right at yours and smile to myself. A smile not of happiness but of disbelief. But my heart did a leap.

You had dumped me because you didn't like me. For weeks I had wanted to say so many things, do so many things to be with you again. The funny thing about this scenario is that *I* had wanted to be the one begging you for one last moment not you begging me. That was months ago, I have moved on, slowly but still going forward. I had given you what you wanted, friendship. It was hard but I'm here sitting with you, isn't that part of friendship? Wasn't it a start? So why are we going backwards? I'll tell you why, because no matter what, we will always miss each other.

'Yes,' I say it without a second thought.

No strings attached, that's a lie. *This* is a lie. However as lies always go, they don't hurt but when you know the truth, when the reality comes flooding back that's when it hurts. No strings attached is just a dream. But this was a dream, my dream and yet it's been turned into reality.

I move closer to you. You wrap your arm around me. I lay my head on your chest. This action we have been through, so familiar and so welcoming.

'This will hurt us both,' I whisper afraid that once I say it this will be over.

You hold me tighter. 'I know, but it'll be worth it.'

I close my eyes. I know they still watch us. They are now more curious than ever. I want to turn around tell them that we are not together, that I want this moment of peace without the questions after it.

'I want one more favor,' you say.

Again the skip is in my heart. I'm scared. I beg you, please don't wreck this moment, please don't.

'Forget. Forget those months, remember the months before them.'

I know what you're asking. You want me to pretend not just the hug, but also the whole thing. Everything I have done in the months I have been without you. I don't know if I can…

'I…I don't know if I can go backwards,' I say into your chest.

'Try, please try.'

'I can't promise anything -'

'Don't promise…' You look down at me.

'I'll try.'

Like déjà vu. It was the same conversation we had only months ago where I said I could not promise to be friends, but only try. I did that with success, I hope history will repeat itself.

I don't want this to end, but I know it will. I came to give you comfort and I am doing I just that. I've answered your pleas, the same ones as mine.

Please forget. Please pretend. Please…

End Note: One of my favorite pieces. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.