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As the weeks passed, she could see it coming. Vein by vein, he pulled out her heart, making the pain unbearable. Every message told her what was coming. She’d seen it happening over the past two months, but ignored it. Every little detail told her it would end soon. She refused. Refused to let it change how she felt. In her mind, they were still as happily in love as they had been when they began. Reality escaped her. The truth escaped her. The truth can’t always set you free. Sometimes it’s your undoing, as it was hers.
She saw it coming, yet she didn’t. She didn’t want to believe the truth. The truth that it was over. Her first love…was over. She thought it would never end because he had told her it wouldn’t.
No matter what?
Forever and always?
Did he forget saying those words? Did he forget what they meant? She didn’t, and she never would. In fact, her love stubbornly continued to grow. Everyday she loved him with a passion he couldn’t begin to imagine. He’ll never see. He’ll never know her sorrow to love yet be unloved.
He’d said he was confused. Now, so is she. She’s confused as to why. Everything was always so clear to her. She thought it was clear to him too. She thought… Her thoughts were what got her into the mindset: the mindset that her first love would be her only love. Her thoughts were her undoing…just as the truth was.
Six months after he said goodbye, she still held him close to her heart, hoping…praying that he’d come to see how much he loved her.
He stood in front of her now, standing closer than he had in months.
“Is there something you want to tell me?” Even though they were apart now, he still knew when she was hiding.
She looked into his eyes, but quickly averted them.
I can’t say it. He doesn’t love you anymore, remember?” she told herself. Her mind raced. She remembered how they began.
A simple cookout. A boy she’d seen, but never met. The instant, unspoken love. Then later, their lives changing. She remembers the words he said to calm her down when she thought she could bear the world no longer.
What if he won’t ever love me again?
How could she forget everything if that was so? How could she forget the feeling of their entwined fingers, the way he kissed her, the way he sang to her when she cried? How, oh, how could she forget their night when they held each other in the lightless, hidden dark?
She yearned to run from him and the world, but she couldn’t. He stood in front of her, leaving her no place to turn.
“Tell me,” he said, meeting her eyes once more.
When she looked into his dreamy brown eyes as she had a million times before, she saw something that she couldn’t identify. Concern? Love? She didn’t know. His eyes revealed nothing.
With a shallow, cracked voice, the words came slow and hushed, “I still love you.”
She anticipated his answer. Seconds passed like hours, yet his face remained unchanged. A look of stone. Is that all he was anymore? Stone? No matter how many times she screamed in her mind for him to say something, anything, he remained silent. His silence lasted far too long. She knew his thoughts, and it wasn’t what she wanted. What she saw in those eyes left her heart shattered when it wasn’t whole. It left her broken with no way to heal.