Give it Time

By , Woonsocket, RI
I am about to share with you the story of how I fell in love. No story, no matter how descriptive, eloquent, or lengthy can describe the feeling of being in love. Some of the best descriptions of how certain individuals fall in love are pithy as can be, such as “it just happens”. And that’s true. It does “just happen”. A question that has always lingered in my mind is this: How can something so great, so powerful come from nothing? Everyone’s heard stories about how childhood friends fall in love. That does happen, but don’t be fooled. It is not necessary to have an immediate connection with someone to be completely dependent upon them. Trust me, I know from experience.
James and I met casually, nothing special. I never really noticed that he had his eye on me, though, until I was with my first boyfriend, Alex. At that time I was totally taken over by my boyfriend, who I knew still had feelings for his ex. I was in denial until he finally confessed and we called it off. I was pretty hurt for a while, that’s when James and I became close.
I saw him often after that. He’d send me cute text messages asking how I was, calling me pretty, and just making me feel great about myself. It was clear he’d had feelings for me, and I felt bad for not having had them back when I was with Alex. What was I even thinking choosing Alex over James, anyway? Over time I began to really like James, until something very unpredictable happened.
Maybe it was because he finally knew that he could have me, that I wasn’t so out of his league anymore, or perhaps it was just because he got sick of me. Whatever the reason, James began to act like I wasn’t good enough for him. He’d ignore me, go days without talking to me, and sometimes I even heard him saying things about me behind my back. It wasn’t an unkind gesture itself; it was just kind of upsetting that he couldn’t talk about how he felt to my face. We had never explained our feelings to each other, but I still think that it wasn’t even necessary.
Eventually I just got sick of waiting for James. No matter how difficult it was for me, I realized that I had to forget about his mesmerizing blue eyes, his gorgeous deep voice, and most importantly the way he said and did everything so genuinely. To my surprise, it wasn’t difficult at all. By the next week I had found another boy who I thought was just as perfect as James.
His name was Luke. At first, I don’t even think James knew we were together. Things even went back to normal with him. That is, until the day he overheard my friend and me talking about how excited I was when Luke and I were celebrating our one week point. After that James began to act unbelievably cold, even more than he had before.
This worried me, probably more than it should have. Even though I was with Luke I found myself wanting to spend more time with James. I went out of my way just to talk to him, but he remained aloof. Though I knew I still had some feelings for James, I thought it would be best for me to be with Luke. And since I couldn’t live with the guilt of liking both guys, I figured I had to try my best to avoid the one I wasn’t dating. Let me tell you, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
My relationship had been going very well with Luke until he started talking about things that had been bothering him. He’d been having nightmares and a few other issues over the past week, and he often acted like I was the cause of it. I felt so terrible that I directed all of my attention on my boyfriend and away from James. I really cared about Luke, so I had to make sure I wasn’t the cause of his tremendous pain.
Luke got better, but less than two weeks later he lost all his progress. I knew what the problem was this time. He didn’t feel the same way about me anymore, and we had to break up as soon as possible. This was probably one of the strangest breakups with which I’ve ever dealt. I wasn’t sure about my feelings for Luke, but I just cared about him so much that I assumed everything was my fault.
Despite the fact that I was already confused enough about my feelings for Luke, I turned to James for support. In tears I described the situation to him. Surprisingly he took me in his arms and told me that everything would be fine. He said that I was too good for my former boyfriend, and any guy would be lucky to have a girlfriend like me. “If any jerk makes you feel like this without an apology,” he said “he never deserved you.”
From that point on, James had his moments when he acted sweet and spontaneous. But unfortunately, he also still had moments when he acted cold and distant. James finally noticed my frustration months later. This was when he, for the first time, confessed his feelings for me. He explained that he liked me, but wanted to be friends because he still had feelings for a girl he’d liked for a while. I simply listened, nodded, and agreed.
No more than a week later James told me that he wanted to be more than friends. I accepted. I honestly have to admit that the relationship I had with him was absolutely wonderful. The first kiss, though having lasted only a mere second, was fantastic. He said and did the cutest spontaneous things. He was THE perfect boyfriend. I could tell he had it bad for me, just like I had it bad for him.
To our misfortune, however, he may have cared about me too much. He promised me, with all his heart, that he had strong feelings for me. But he knew about my past and every bit of pain I had to go through to reach that point. And with all his knowledge of my background, he couldn’t even take the risk of seeing me hurt again.
We’ve remained friends, and since then I’ve even told him how difficult it’s been be for me. But no matter how empty I feel, I have not shed one tear for him. I see the way he still looks at me; the same half smile, and the way he gives a tiny laugh when I say or do something he thinks is cute. And I still smile at him the same way I always have because I know that he’s shared secrets with me that he’ll never share with anyone else. I am in love with him, and I have never been surer of anything in my entire life. I’m giving it time because I know deep in my soul that this was meant to be. Even if we don’t end up together, James will remain a permanent part of who I am.





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