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He may get mad at me for writing this down. For confessing my feelings to you, whomever you are. But as I begin to write this I find I cannot stop. See, these emotions have been building in me for days. Festering more and more as I try to shove them down. Imagine a beach, the warm, blinding sun beating across your back while you try to bury a box as big as a house. And the more you dig, the more you shove, the worse it gets. It starts with you getting fatigued, sweaty, and parched. Next, the box starts getting ripped, dampened by the incoming waves, and misshapen. Eventually you’ll find that trying to bury this box is impractical, impossible even. Though I’ve tried to bury this box, I can’t. So yes, he might be angry at me for writing this down. But, then again, he may not.
The weather was perfect, giant cumulous clouds were scattered across the sky as far as the eye could see, the sun was bright in the sky, but not unbearably hot. The wind was present, but not overly so, birds were singing, kids were playing, all was well. At approximately five-fifteen I pulled up to the middle school, our agreed meeting spot. I decided I would watch the lacrosse game while waiting for him to arrive. I leaned up against the metal fence, noticing that I was only about a foot taller than it, and smiling to myself. The kids looked about twelve, the teams were green and orange, as far as I remember. The green team was winning, four to zero, but the orange team had really cool socks, so I was having trouble figuring out who to rout for. The green team, I decided. I’m a sucker for the winners. The sound of footsteps behind me made me turn around. My heart dropped as a little girl, probably seven, ran past me, her brown hair flailing behind her. I turned around to see the lacrosse players walking back to their benches as the referee’s blew their whistles. Half time, I thought.
‘Boo!’ He said, grabbing my waist.
‘You scared me!’ I said breathily.
‘But, you didn’t jump.’ He replied, obviously skeptical.
‘So? You still scared me!’ I retorted. Chris leaned against the fence now, too. I quickly stole a glance in his direction, instantly taking in his delicious smell. He was wearing a black shirt with red writing, grey basketball shorts, and black shoes that I’d never seen before. His hair was damp from the shower he’d recently taken. We stood there for a few minutes not saying much as we watched the remaining period of the lacrosse game. I swayed back and forth, fidgeting with everything in sight, and hoping he didn’t notice.
‘Are you ever going to stand still?’ He asked, clearly amused. And I did, for about ten seconds before giving in and swaying around again. When the final whistle sounded I turned, walking towards the baseball fields, knowing he would follow. He caught up to me a few seconds later. We made simple conversation, laughing and joking with each other as we’d always done, avoiding the elephant in the room. Chris stepped onto the bleachers, sitting on the second row as I took a seat on the third, looking down at him.
‘Hey, I’m taller than you!’ I said through a grin.
‘You wish.’ He chuckled. We made easy conversation, talking about school, sports, and people. We were soon back to our old games as he stole my phone and proceeded to change my passcode. I responded by untying his shoe laces while he typed away on his phone. One thing led to another and five minutes later my flip flops were lying on the roof of the dug out. Chris looked pretty pleased with himself, leaning smugly against the fence and watching my jump in an attempt to reach them. With one swoop he walked past me, picked them up, and proceeded to toss them far, far away.
‘Woah.’ I couldn’t help but mutter. He must have thrown them the length of a soccer field in just one simple toss. Impressive. Nevertheless I walked onto the baseball field, not too worried about my lack of shoes.
‘Lets have a base running contest!’ He said, challenging me.
‘No!’ I was not about to embarrass myself. I mean, I’ve got to look at least a little attractive, right? Sprinting around and getting sweaty was not an option. So I chose to compromise. I walked in a way I hoped was cute to third base, as he looked on at me from home. I eyed him, raising an eyebrow and sat, waiting for him to take his cue and walk to first. When he got there he also sat, and laughed when I waved at him. We both stood, understanding the challenge. We started by walking briskly towards second base, neither willing to start running first but still attempting to judge the distance the other had left. He reached the base first, but I had another plan in mind, I shot straight towards home, not looking back but hearing his footsteps behind me. We were even at the pitchers mound, but he passed me just as we got home.
‘You cheated and I still won!’ He laughed triumphantly.
‘Yeah well...’ I trailed off, not able to think of a good excuse.
Twenty minutes later we had wrestled, listened to music, and pointed out clouds shaped like different things. A wrap song that I had never heard blasted out of Chris’ pocket as I circled him. His arms were outstretched, like he was trying to scare off a bear, and he watched me as I walked around, and around.
‘I’m waiting for that hug.’ He said, keeping his eyes on me.
‘I won’t stand here forever’ He prodded.
‘I won’t make you. Now shut up, I’m building suspense.’ I giggled, still making my way around him, secretly trying to memorize every part of him. His beautiful smile, his probing eyes, his tall stature, his goofy t-shirt. Finally, I walked closer to him and we spun together in an indescribable movement that felt more like a memory than an action. With his arms wrapped around me I leaned my head against his chest, closing my eyes and searching for his heart beat. My own heart was beating a thousand miles a minute as I stood frozen, breathing in everything from the last two hours and trying not to think about our inevitable goodbye. I pulled myself closer, though there wasn’t any more room between us as it was. I felt his arms tighten around me, too, and we stood there in serendipitous quiet until I whispered the words I’d been fearing for as long as I could remember.
‘So what’s your decision?’ I asked, almost silently. A few seconds passed and I started to think he didn’t hear me, when he finally answered.
‘I just want you to be happy.’
‘No,’ I said, shaking my head. ‘no tell me what you want, please.’ I pleaded, my voice on the edge of cracking.
‘I did, I want you to be happy, I want you to do whats best for you.’ He responded, quietly, pulling away to peer down at me. I stepped away, walking a few feet before turning around to face him. I tried to speak, but instead shook my head and turned away, lost in thought.
‘So what’s your decision?’ He asked.
‘I...I don’t know.’ I replied slowly. Chris closed the gap between us, pulling me into his arms again. The air around us seemed to stand still as we stood there silently in the dipping sun.
‘You don’t know how much I’m going to think about this moment.’ I said, finally.
‘Why is that?’ He whispered, brushing my hair with his hand.
‘Because...I love you.’ I said almost silently.
‘I love you too.’ He breathed, making my heart tighten as I pulled him as close as I could. My mind raced, why couldn’t he just tell me if he wanted me to move on or not? I needed to know his opinion, I craved it.
‘Your mom is here.’ He said, sadly.
‘I know’ I sighed. We untangled ourselves and began walking towards the dugout, and towards the cars. As soon as we were in the the shadow of the dugout he pulled me close again, our bodies gravitating towards each other. The pull between us was electrifying and passionate, like nothing I’d ever felt in my life.
‘I love you.’ I whispered again.
‘Why?’ He asked quietly.
‘Well... you’re incredible. You smile at my stupid jokes, and you never make me feel anything less than beautiful. You tell me my art is good even when its not. You’re always warm and you smell really, really good. Your smile is breathtaking, along with your eyes. You understand me more than anyone ever has, and you don’t ever use my insecurities against me. You’re just...you’re everything. The love I feel for you consumes me, you challenge me and make me question things, and I like that. No, I love that. You bring out the best of me...And that’s why I love you.
‘mhhh.’ He breathed.
‘What are you thinking?’
‘That I love you.’
‘Because you are so beautiful. You’re sweet and kind and fun to be around. You’re laugh is so cute, and your smile is amazing. I love that you can’t look me in the eye or talk to me without fidgeting or being awkward. And because you’re funny, even if I wont ever admit it.’
‘Love me forever?’ I asked.
‘Forever and ever.’
‘Good, me too.’
‘Its time to go.’ I sighed, wishing that I never had to leave the gentile grasp of his arms. As we walked I looked up at him, trying to memorize every line on his face. He bumped into me gently, nocking me sideways. Smiling back, I knew we were both recounting memories of when we first became friends. I leaned down and grabbed my flip flops, smiling at Chris. When it was time for me to get into my car we turned for one more embrace. I held him with every fiber of my being, willing myself to let go. Finally, I stepped away, looking over my shoulder and knowing this would be the last time I saw him for months to come. But also knowing that every second was one second sooner to the next time I would see him. So I left, sad but content.
Yes, I know he might be mad that I wrote this down, that I thought about it enough to be able to remember every detail. But I can’t think about that now. All I can think about is my love for him, and what it could bring me. So I’m sorry Chris, but I love you, and everyone should know it. I know that you don’t agree, but maybe someday you will. Someday I’ll be enough for you.
Until then, all my love.