The funny thing is, no one else wants him.
I lied, by the way, because that's not funny. For either of us. He's just this lonely boy with a heart too large for a world this cruel and I'm just a silly girl who can't get him off her mind. What I wish most is to grant him happiness and I'm rather certain I have the powers to do so. He just hasn't realized it yet is how I rationalize his apparent lack of interest in me. Our friendship is our limit and at times, I'm uncertain even of that. Feeble would describe it, I suppose, this friendship of one boy and one girl from two separate worlds. A certain popularity surrounds him, that of one well liked and well loved boy who is close to few.
I know whom he's closest to, though, and I am aware that I am not one of them.
They're all beautiful and, if I'm to be honest, superficial. Beautiful people bond with beautiful people and it is, unfortunately, his heart and personality that align him to them, not his below average appearance and thus he is on the fringe of their inner circle.
To his face, they love him.
Countless times, I have watched this, with a certain yearning. Certainly not for them, though, but him, and his attention and laugh and infectious smile and personality. They don't appreciate him. Such truth is difficult to watch. He deserves the whole world, and instead, he's giving them his everything in exchange for their superficial-in-the-moment friendships.
Sort of the kind he and I hold.
Despite this, I am certain I love him.
Perhaps not in a "let's hop into bed and make some babies" sort of way, because I'm sure I have no idea what that deeply romantic love is. But I am sure I love him completely and more than they do. In my defense, our relationship is fragile in that I'm kind of his go-to-girl, when no one else is available. Call me a little selfish, but sometimes I just want to steal him and keep him and show him everything about me he's been missing out on. These words have never been uttered to anyone, because I've well aware of how creepy that sound to an outside source. This is all fine by me.
Our friendship, I've decided, is unique. I share one like it with no one else, and I'm grateful for that, because the relationship tends to be rather confusing and he's been the cause of many a headache. Funny that he doesn't even realize how very often he's on my mind.
I sit in the cafeteria at a able with my own closest friends. Mallory is the closest of them, and she's the only one who knows. Bridgette kind of does, but I haven't yet come out and told her. The boys are pretty oblivious, thankfully, because we like to each other pretty badly.
I'm just one of the boys.
This, I peg as one of the reasons he doesn't see me the way I see him. Oh, how I wish he could see me that way, or at least see himself the way I see him.
At my table, I tune out the silly conversation taking place and instead, take notice of him, across the way with his gathering of friend-people. A smile is on his face, corners turning up with laughter – gentle and calm. My face procures a smile and suddenly my heart is light. His happiness is my happiness. If I could, I would give him the world's joy. So simple is my pursuit of happiness. The shame is that he is unaware.
Perhaps, the shame is that I'm such a fool. But what a fool for him I am.
However fool I may be, though, I cannot help it, because I feel the strongest sense of magnetism towards him. Attraction is not the word I'd use, because magnetism is a pull towards him and that more adequately describes our "relationship" – from my end at the very least. This magnetism continually pulls me to him, even when I would rather be pulling as far away from him as I can. My heart needs to be protected.
He gets up, tray in hand, coat donned, bag upon his back, to leave. As he walks, my eyes not-so-discreetly follow him, my body trying to fight against jumping up and running after him. To my surprise, he stops at my table and I'm already beaming at him and he's saying hello to everyone but his eyes are on me, which I love oh so much. I love his attention and, sometimes, all I ever desire is his attention and focus.
We exchange hellos.
"Fancy seeing you here," I tease, partially meaning it. Once, his visits at meals were more frequent than they now are.
He responds with a chuckle and reaches down to ruffle my hair. This is another trait about him I adore oh so much.
"Don't act so shocked to see me here."
"Oh, but I can't help it. For big, amazing you to stop and bother with unimportant, little ol' me? The world just may end!"
A friendly punch reaches my shoulder as I gasps melodramatically and my stomach tightens; I'm just one of the guys. Yet, his eyes remain on me in the most nerve-wracking of manners, with a sweet, sweet smile worn just for me. Confusion is my most worn accessory in his presence.
"Ohh, hush it. You're not unworthy, don't be silly."
But I know I am.
In his world, I am not worthy of him. How strange, that I'm not even desired by the undesired. I suppose that even beggars may be choosers, after all… or at least, maybe, they believe they can be.
A sad smile forms on my face, but I know very well that he sees right through it. I wish I could see through it, because the truth is, he causes me heartache daily. Hourly, in some cases, and I'm the fool who's heart still rests at his feet. He doesn't even know! How does he not notice my heart, sitting on the line and waiting for him? Does he not pay attention to all the little details? Whenever I see him, I make a point to speak to him, to chatter idly and say whatever I can to find his smile. If he is down and visibly upset, be it anger, sadness, or having a bad day, I make my way to him to say and do whatever I need to cheer him up. As the case is, he is probably oblivious to the fact that, on days that I know I will for sure see him, I do all my best to look extra cute, in vain efforts to be noticed by him.
Yes. I am unworthy of his excess time and interests.
"Say what you will," I tell him with a feigned jovial tone. If I let him find the sadness I'm hiding, he'll want to know why and comfort me. Unacceptable. He can't keep leading me on like this. It isn't fair for him to break me and then turn around and pull me back to him and heal me, only to turn around and do it again. "No one tells the unworthy when she is – it's an unspoken rule, y'know?"
A serious look crosses his face and he looks me dead in the eye. Shocked, I eye him back, a nervous smile on my face as I uneasily study the set of his face.
"If you were 'unworthy' to me," he says, hooking two fingers with each hand and forming air quotations, "I wouldn't even pause at your table to say hello. I would spend none of my time with you and I'd brush you off whenever you approached me. We wouldn't talk late at night until we should both me sleeping. This suggestion of yours that you're 'unworthy' is foolish. Would I love you if you were so unworthy?"
His voice is so convincing, so sincere, his eyes so serious and luring. Easily, beneath him, my will is crumbling. Shattering. Falling to pieces. I know my will is crumbling and there is nothing I can do to prevent it. Such power and captivation he holds over me. Much as I wish to pull away, I can't, because his hold is so tight over me, and I'm weak to struggle against him. He probably doesn't even know I'm struggling.
Reassuring words fill my heart, swelling and burning, but I also ache and my throat is tightening, burning and stinging. So badly, I want to9 believe his words, that reassuring "l-word" which expands my heart and tightens my throat.
Would I love you if you were so unworthy? he asked me and I want to hear it again. Make him say it again! I request of whatever diving being is paying attention.
"What's wrong?" he asks anxiously, a hint of panic in his voice.
I realize, in that moment, tears are gathering at my lash line. Blurriness clouds my vision as I search for his eyes to assure him that I'm perfectly fine, despite my obvious distress. My urgency to have him and be a part of him is so strong that it is exceeding my pressure limit. Damn him! How dare he affect me so much, hold so tightly.
"I'm fine," I choke, pushing up from the table. Later, after I've composed myself, I'll return to put up my tray, but for now, tears are spilling over my cheeks. "Must've… gotten something in my eyes…" My mumbled excuse is pathetic, but I just need to get away.
Haphazardly, I urge forward, through the numerous tables trying my best to avoid bumping into people. There's no point apologizing – they wouldn't hear through my mumbles. Once I reach the door, I push it open, only to feel a hand clasp my arm. In my mind, the scene feels incredibly melodramatic, but I am aware of how silly that seems. My mind over dramatizes everything. As I turn around, I imagine his face before I see it, and on cue, I force a bright smile onto my face, to hide the shock that he actually followed.
"The truth is, I can't tell you the truth," is my excuse, before he can speak. "Just… I can't tell you and you need to understand that I can't. Maybe later, but right now, I can't bring myself to do it. It's nothing bad, though, just sensitivities and insecurities. Pardon my childishness and just act as though this didn't happen, okay?"
"I'm not going to pretend this never happened."
"Then don't expect me to tell you what's wrong. It won't happen. Maybe… maybe later, one day, but not in this immediate timeframe."
He nods, looking quite uncertain as he does so, confusion etched onto his face. For him to not have the answers must be hard for him, because he's the guy with all the answers. This time, I won't give them to him. For once, I have something he desires and I am not going to give in. This is not done in the silly, childish manner; "na na na na na na, I know and yooooou dooooon't!" sort of thing, but a case in which I need this. There is most certainly a refreshment in to having something of desires, but mostly, the only reason I refuse to tell him is a matter of dignity. Telling him would throw rejection directly in my face and while I am aware that he doesn't care for me the way I do him, I do not want him to tell me this. Ignorance is bliss.
I need no one to tell me how stupid I am, because I know. The boy to whom I have unwillingly dedicated my heart and every moment and thought does not even care so much for me, and yet, I remain transfixed. Charm and wit, a silly demeanor, these moments where his focus is all mine and he treats me as if he cares everything about me and only me. He has me incredibly transfixed and wrapped around his finger, and knowing that we're merely friends kills me.
I think I die a little inside every time I'm with him.
"Sooo… you don't trust me…?" he finally asks, pursing his lips.
My heart shatters.
I trust him entirely and I have no idea how to tell him this. What he apparently does not realize is that I could confide anything else within him and, without realizing so, I reach forward and clasp his hands within mine. Our eyes are meeting again and he's watching me and my heart is flipping while my stomach churns nervously. My eyes are dry, I realize, or at least no longer crying. He most likely doesn't even realize the panic he has caused me. The idea that he could believe that I don't trust him terrifies e, for it suggests that he doesn't trust me to trust him and pulls him that much further away from me. Further than he already is.
"I don't ever want to hear you suggest that again." My voice is firm and, at first, I don't recognize it. We're both shocked. "More than anything, I trust you. This is the one time I can't say something to you, because I need to personally with this. Trust me when I say I want to tell you, but right now, I just can't." If I did, surely, he'd run away.
Again, he nods at me and then he pulls his hands from mine. Arms fold around me, tight, crushing me against him and inside, my chest swells. My arms enwrap him with (almost) equal force and the tears find my eyes again, but are careful not to fall. The embrace is comfortable and feels safe and I don't even notice the people coming out of the cafeteria around us. All that exists right now is he and I and the togetherness we share. With this though, my fingers clutch a handful of his shirt.
"I don't want to see you upset, so cheer up, okay? Tell me what I can do to make it better."
He tips his head forward and his lips meet the top of my head so delicately, I'm almost not certain that he is kissing my head, but my lingering tears roll down my cheeks with a certain yearning and a flicker of hope.