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Love Me Like You Do
“I still miss her, you know?” His low voice sends a shiver down my spine and I look up at him, frowning slightly.
His hair is in disarray from our trek to the library. His eyes, a liquid hazel I’ve come to recognize from miles away, hint at a bit of sadness…of loss. Ever since I met him outside the dorm, his lips have been downturned in a semi-permanent grimace. How I long to see him smile again.
“I understand,” I murmur, looking away from his intense gaze. I glance down at my coffee mug and instinctively tighten my hold around it, urging the hot liquid to seep warmth into my chilled fingers.
I wince inwardly at my subconscious speaking to me for the fifth time this night. I sigh and take a peek back up at him.
He’s still watching me, that grimace still present on his face. I furrow my brow.
“Did you really like her that much?” I slap a hand over my mouth. The words, biting and cold, spew forth from my lips on their own accord. He raises an eyebrow, shocked at my question.
“What do you mean?” he asks quietly before taking a sip from his cup. I blink and shrug my shoulders.
“I mean, you didn’t really date that long…maybe a month or so. And yes you’ve known her for longer, but really? Did you really like her that much to be this devastated over the break up?”
“I’m not devastated,” he scoffs, looking away from my stare. I sigh again.
“Seriously? You deleted her off Facebook and Twitter and Instagram,” I point out. He bites down on his bottom lip.
“I don’t know, okay? I mean, yes, I liked her. But I’m not sure how much. It just hurts you know? She broke up with me days before Valentine’s Day. I was her prom date. We were good. And then all of a sudden, we weren’t. I just hurts, okay?” The explanation bubbles from him quickly and he leans back, away from me, with his arms crossed over his chest.
I reach out and place a comforting hand on his arm. “I know it hurts, but you can’t let it get to you this much, okay? You’re stronger than this. You can make it through. It will all be okay.”
“I don’t know what I would do without you,” he whispers, placing a hand over my own. I suck in a harsh breath as the contact sends sparks up my arm. Blood rushes to my cheeks and I take my hand away.
“Die?” I suggest. “Wither away into nothing?”
“Glad to see you still have your sarcasm with you,” he laments, rolling his eyes.
“Hey, I carry my sarcasm everywhere,” I laugh, smiling at him. The grimace finally leaves his face and he replaces it with a soft smile.
“I know,” he replies.
We sit in silence for a few minutes, nursing our coffees before he speaks again.
“You know, you are now looking at this campus’s most eligible bachelor,” he teases, shooting my a wink. I roll my eyes and try to ignore the stab of pain in my chest.
“You with you were the most eligible bachelor,” I shoot back. He chuckles and shakes his head. “I’ve missed that.”
“Missed what?” he asks, bewildered by my comment. I smile softly.
“Your laugh,” I admit.
“Hmmm,” he mutters. I finish my coffee and stand up from the table.
“Are you ready to go?”
“Yeah, let’s go,” he says and stands with me. We walk side by side out of the library and back towards the dorms. It’s late and not many students are outside. A light breeze hits us and I shiver from the chill in the air.
“I was stupid not to bring a jacket,” I say aloud. Without a word, he shrugs out of his hoodie and slips it around my shoulders. I protest and begin to hand it back. He shakes his head.
“Take the stupid jacket before you freeze,” he huffs. Biting my bottom lip, I nod and slip my arms through the sleeves. I take in a deep breath. It smells just like him: his cologne mixed with a tinge of coffee and mint. I smile to myself.
“Thank you,” I murmur. A corner of his mouth lifts in a lopsided smile.
“You’re welcome,” he replies.
When we reach the fork in the sidewalk where we have to go separate directions, he turns to face me.
“Thank you for tonight,” he whispers. “I really needed that. I needed someone to talk to.”
“It’s not a problem. I’m happy to do it,” I say, forcing a smile on my face. I hate saying goodbye to him. He cocks his head to the side.
“Oh, nothing,” I laugh, shaking my head. He frowns.
“You know you can tell me anything,” he says, watching me carefully. I look at him warily and sigh.
I love you. I love you. I love you. My subconscious makes another appearance and I close my eyes, shaking my head. I can’t tell him that tonight. I just can’t.
“It’s nothing,” I reply. He raises his brow in surprise but says nothing. I purse my lips and shrug. “Well, I guess I’ll talk to you later.”
I turn and begin making my way towards my dorm, fighting the tears that have suddenly filled my eyes.
“Wait,” he calls out. I spin around and am surprised to see him right behind me. He grabs me by the waist and runs a hand down my face. Leaning in, he brings his lips to mine. Then he’s really kissing me. I clutch myself against him, breathing him in.
He leans away and brushes a few hairs out of my eyes. “I love you, too.”