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unreciprocated

I could feel the effects of the running race still burning in my legs, even though they were almost numb from the cold. I pulled the sleeves of my sweatshirt over the tips of my fingers.


“It’s definitely below freezing,” I noted, shivering.


“Yeah,” he said.


It was perfect though, despite the cold. The wind snaked through his hair, and he tried to push it back, running his fingers through his locks. I realized I was boggling, and I looked down.


I looked down at my arms, swinging at my sides. He brought his hands up to his mouth and breathed on them, trying to reserve heat. Then he put them back by his sides.  I glanced at him, resisting the urge to grab and intertwine my fingers with his. He was looking ahead the whole time. He sighed and put his hands in his pockets. I looked away, out towards the horizon. The city was bustling in the distance, the clouds barely blocking the sun. Blue sky was peeking through the silver linings.


I looked down the hill. Everything was smaller than me. It felt like I was on top of the world.


“It’s like we’re taller than those skyscrapers,” he uttered.


His icy blue eyes were filled with wonder. A smile was tugging at the corners of his lips, reaching into his rosy cheeks.


“Yeah,” I laughed lightly.


In that moment, it was like the world stopped. Like it was the first time I’d ever laid eyes on him. Even though he didn’t see me, I saw him like I never did before. My heart was racing wildly. I never knew someone could make you feel something like this.


Then he looked at me, his eyes gleaming yet somehow still absent. My knees became weak. I felt something more than I ever had before. Three words were on the tip of my tongue, I had to fight myself not to say them.
It was in that moment that I realized I was in love with him.


He opened his mouth as if to say something, then closed it. I was about to burst.
He stopped walking.


“I’ll see you later, it was great running with you.”


I snapped out of whatever daze I was in. I hadn’t realized we had reached the road for his house.


“O-Okay,” I stuttered.


He waved, and I waved back. I looked ahead, hesitating, then forced my legs to move. Stuffing my hands in my pockets, I turned around and watched him go. He didn’t look back.


And it was in that moment that I realized I could never have him.




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