Like Pavlov’s dog, my heart began to race at the electronic buzz of my phone. Your responses are almost instant these days, but mine are even quicker. We’re having a conversation we have too often; I’m reading into it more than I should.
Our friends have grown weary of my thinly veiled interest when your name comes up in conversation. Or how I seem to have a memory of you in every place I visit. They no longer answer my two am texts demanding a second opinion on some mundane thing you said.
You have to know by now. I’ve stopped trying to hide it. It’s in the way I answer your texts at any hour of the night, even though you know I go to bed at eleven. I’ve happily dropped plans and responsibilities to spent an hour with you.
But yet, we’re having this conversation again. And again. You’re unhappy. She makes you unhappy. I’ve tried every possible combination of words and letters in the language we both speak to help you. I’ve tried every approach. I’ve been gentle, telling you that maybe this isn’t a good relationship. I’ve been supportive, urging you two to talk and fix your problems. I’ve been blunt, and told you that I’ve never liked her and I think your relationship is unhealthy. I’ve written a novel’s worth of all the possible solutions to the maladies she inflicts upon your heart. Well, all except one.
There is one solution, but I won’t speak it’s name. I could tell you what I really want. I could tell you that I want you...
But I won’t . You’ve relied on me for friendship and for support. I refuse to take advantage of the vulnerable place you’re in. I refuse to want you to make me happy, just like you struggle to make her happy at your own expense. I won’t complain. I’ll allow you to play with my heart like a cat plays with a dying mouse. And I’ll be here.
For better or for worse.