You see them in the hallway, at lunch, in class. Your heart races. Come on all you want to do is say hi. Something so simple. Why does it have to be so difficult right? Biting your lip, you sit down waiting for them to notice you when they get out of class. You twiddle your thumbs, bite your lip quietly, twirl your hair if it’s long enough. They come over and smile. “Ready to go?” they ask you. Lifting your gaze to meet theirs you smile, nodding. Standing, you walk to the cafeteria, find a table and sit. Your nerves are high and you feel jittery, nervous. “I’ll go get lunch, what do you want?” you manage to ask after a few moments of silence. “Whatever you’re having” they say smiling, You walk off and sigh softly, trying to calm your nerves. Grabbing a tuna sandwich without lettuce or celery, you smile a little. Walking over to pay, you grab fruit juice and ice cream bars as it’s still really hot out. Walking back, you place their tray down and sit yourself, eating quietly. They sense something is on your mind as you raise your gaze slightly. “What is it?” they ask smiling gently. You swallow nervously, and look down unsure what to say. “You have an eyelash” they say chuckling quietly as you try to get it off. “Here” a finger lightly brushes your cheek, plucking the lash and stays a second longer causing your breath to catch and eyes to water. “Make a wish” you look down at the lash, close your eyes and let out a breath, sending the lash away. “So, what’s really on your mind?” they ask again. “I like you…” you manage to whisper. Looking away you can already sense something was wrong with your delivery. Your heart races and you hear a sigh. “I like you too but I can’t do this right now.” they say causing your heart to shatter like tempered glass into a spiderweb. You nod weakly and barely meet their gaze. You feel confused, betrayed, broken a little. They get up to leave and you just sit confused. “Wait!” you call, wiping your eyes. “Why…why not?” you ask softly looking at your feet. “School and not wanting to be distracted” they answer hoping you understand. Deep down you do but it still hurts. “You know we don’t see each other at all right?” you ask to their retreating footsteps.
Months have gone by, and you haven’t spoken much of that day, not to anyone who asks anyway. It hurts too much. Removed them from your friends list on Facebook, blocking them even. Anything so you’ll stop thinking of what could have been. But at night when you can’t sleep…they’re all you think about. You can’t help it. You have so many unanswered questions. The answer they gave you…”school and not needing distractions” doesn’t sit well with you. You understood at the time, yes classes were still in session. Now it’s summer and you’re left trying to fill your days. Sitting down at your desk you find yourself staring at your phone. “Should I call them?” you ask yourself. Picking up your phone, your lip quivering you call them. “Bad idea” your mind whispers. “Hello?” you hear on the other end and almost drop your phone in surprise. “I don’t know if you remember me” you whisper at first, trying to work through the lump in your throat. “Of course I remember you!” they exclaim surprised. “Do you want to have lunch sometime? Maybe….start over?” You ask,clearing your throat and ignoring the warning bells going off in your head. “Sure…I’d like that” they answer softly “I’m sorry for…everything” they add as an afterthought. “It…it’s ok. I have to go” you whisper, so close to crying it’s not even funny.
School starts again and here you are…just waiting. They show up and nod to you as you stand and walk into the cafeteria once again to eat lunch. You decide to get honey mustard on your wrap this time as you need some spice and grab a hot cocoa as well. “Do you want to go somewhere….other than here?” You ask, shivering slightly at the memories of the last time you were here with them. “OK” they answer looking at you quizzically. You go to the library where it’s quiet and sit eating quietly. After a few minutes you look over at them. “I’m sorry” you both say at them same time. Laughing quietly you take off your glasses and look them in the eye. “I found myself thinking of you” they confess dropping their eyes ashamed and rubbing their neck. “It’s OK” you answer softly. You look around quickly as a blush creeps up your face. “Has time stopped? Sure feels like it” you muse looking down. ‘We didn’t talk for so long…I tried to get over you and at times I thought I had succeeded, I guess not.” you mutter. “How do you feel?” you ask shyly cursing yourself as you shiver reaching for you cocoa, your hand closing around the cup but it still shakes slightly as you both hold it, trying to steady your hand. They blush a little and bite their lip. “I missed you. I miss everything…how we used to laugh and joke around. I want that back.” You add, blushing a little apologetically, causing your breath to catch as you clear your throat again. “I knew you had a boyfriend, and over time I grew to accept that you didn’t want to be with me.” They answer after you. You look away, sighing. Yes you do and you’re very happy but it’s long distance…at least for now and that hurts too. You look up meeting their gaze again. “Do…do you want to try again?” you ask softly, a shiver running through you. “Yes…” they answer leaning in. You pull away blushing deeper and take their hand, kissing it gently. “in time…give me time to get used to things” you answer quietly and resume eating your lunch.
Months go by and you see each other every week. Eventually you pull them aside regret laced in your words. You need to stop this and you know why. “We need to talk.” you choke out tearing up already. “Why?” they ask stroking your cheek, causing you to flinch and pull away. “We can’t keep doing this. We tap dance around each other and now I know why we shouldn’t have done this in the first place. It was all my fault. I have who I have for a reason…” you trail off struggling for words. “My relationship is long distance because it feels safe to me.” You bite your lip and shake your head irritated with yourself as that’s not what you were trying to say. “We see each other every day but we don’t really…it’s not that…” You look away tearing up and wipe your eyes angry with yourself. “It’s that you can cherish the time better spent with him because you don’t see each other as often as you see me, right?” he asks. You nod in affirmation. “Exactly” you mumble. “It’s ok…I know how hard this was for you…we can still be friends though.” he says. “Not even really. How can we be friends if we still have these feelings?” you ask frustrated, not with him, but the situation in which you find yourself. “Maybe we should avoid each other” you whisper turning away again. A light kiss on your neck stops you cold. “We’ll talk sometime when things can feel comfortable again between us” he whispers in your ear. You nod weakly and walk away back to acquaintances…friends once then lovers and now you don’t know what to call it since you rarely talk, afraid of bringing up the past. Maybe someday…maybe never again. Who knows what the future holds?