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In That Moment

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They lay next to each other, on his bed, her head resting on his stomach. He absentmindedly ran his fingers through her soft brown hair. He loved her, more than he had ever loved anybody in his life, though he had never told her this. He was her best friend, she was his, and they never talked about being anything more. She always sat and listened when he told her of the girls who liked him, and how he turned them all away. He didn’t want a girlfriend, they were overrated and he didn’t want to be tied down in high school. At least, that’s what he told her. He had high hopes that one day, she’d realize that he didn’t want a girlfriend because he wanted her. But they were just best friends. Nothing more, but nothing less.

She sat there, butterflies flying through her stomach as he touched her hair. Even the slightest touch of his hand raised excitement in her body, though he didn’t know this. He had been there for her through everything – heartbreaks, fights with her parents, trouble at school. He was there for her the night her summer love left her, and again the night she thought she was pregnant with this same guy’s child. He never judged her, never called her stupid, never turned her away. He was the only guy she loved, the only guy she wanted to be with. But he constantly told her about how he didn’t want a girlfriend – they were overrated, he didn’t want to be tied down in high school. Besides, they were just best friends – nothing more, but nothing less.

It was two a.m. He heard her before he saw her, her shoes splashing in the puddles, the rain pit-pattering on the ground. He was a light sleeper, and the rain had him awake on this night. She didn’t even have to knock. He was there, as soon as he saw her he was running down the stairs, not stopping to put on a shirt. She was crying, and he didn’t know why, but he knew it had something to do with the guy she was currently dating. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. He approached her, in the middle of the street, wrapped his arms around her waist and held her. He loved holding her. They stood like that for a long time, not saying anything. He listened to the sound of her tears mixed with the sound of the rain, and stroked her soft wet hair as he pulled her closer. When he could no longer hear her crying, when she stopped shaking and stood completely still, he pulled away and held her at arms length. Her gray eyes looked sad, and her hair was messy from the rain. She was beautiful even when she cried. He couldn’t take it anymore. “You don’t deserve to be sad. You’re amazing in every way and if he doesn’t know that, he doesn’t deserve you.” He took a deep breath and kissed her. He had wanted so long to do that. He pulled her close and felt her head settle on his shoulder. In that moment, all was well with the world.

She slammed down the phone. She didn’t know why she dealt with it – all the fights, all the trouble she went through for him. She couldn’t understand why she liked him and she knew she should have listened to her friends when they told her where this relationship was headed. She felt the tears starting to sting her eyes. She shook her head and walked out the front door. She didn’t even stop for a coat.
He saw him before she got to his house. He came out of the house wearing just sweatpants, which made her heart skip a beat. Didn’t he know what he was doing to her? He didn’t ask her what was wrong – he didn’t have to. He held her and stroked her wet hair, and she cried. She cried for the way her boyfriend treated her. She cried for the way she put up with it, and she cried for her best friend, who was so close, but yet so out of reach. Finally, when she had no tears left to cry, he looked at her. “You don’t deserve to be sad. You’re amazing in every way and if he doesn’t know that, he doesn’t deserve you.” He kissed her, and everything faded away. Nothing mattered anymore, and she knew that no matter what happened, she’d always have him. She rested her head on his shoulder. All was well with the world.



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