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A Dangerous Man
I stood outside her house as the cool autumn breeze blew by. It was a nice sized manor; two stories high with a bright red door welcoming me in to witness the rest of its lavish beauty. There I was holding on to the envelope. Inside it held a letter expressing my views. However, I wished not to tell her like this through a piece of paper. She deserved for me to tell her face to face.
I wished to enter through that door. To see her beautiful face once more. To touch her warm soft skin. To smell her powerful fragrance again.
But I couldn’t.
Any one of those thngs would make me lose control. That was the last thing I wanted to do.
To lose control of my actions would be to lose control of myself. To lose control of myself would be to lose her.
I did not want that. But I knew that the only way to keep her safe was to stay away from her. It would pain me to do this, but not as much pain it would be if the others were to find out. What kind of person would I be if I had done that? The others didn‘t deserve to be in danger because of me. They are my family. How could I do that to them? But still, she has a power over me that I could not explain.
It was the power of love.
All I had to do was open that door and confess my feelings to her. Either that or drop off the letter. I already knew that she loved me. She had said it some time before. It was as if it were yesterday.
* * *
The sun was shining. I hated it. I wasn’t a sunshine type of guy.
Yet there she and I were, sitting on the park bench looking into each others eyes. We had not paid attention to the children as they ran and played out in the playground. Nor did we bother to hear the latest gossip from two mothers walking their infants who sat in strollers. The small football game between father and son did not matter to us. All that mattered now was that we were looking into each others’ faces.
“Did you hear what I just said?” she asked not taking her gaze off me.
“ I’m sorry, no.” I replied. To tell you the truth, I had heard, but I was astonished by her words. I couldn’t believe my ears.
“I said that I love you.” she spoke. I still couldn‘t believe my ears. After a moment of saying nothing, she spoke .
“ I know you have your problems, so do I, but I’m willing to help you through them. As long as we’re together working this out, we’ll be happy.”
“ Your problems do not compare to mine at all.” I said.
“ What do you mean?” she asked.
I sighed. I always knew this day would come. The day where I had to explain everything to her. But explaining everything to her would get her killed by the others.
I wasn’t about to take that risk.
“ I can’t tell you what I mean.” I finally answered.
“ Why not?” she asked once more.
“ It’s………. hard to explain.” That was all I could tell her. All that she would have to know.
“ If we’re going to make this work we have to be honest with each other.” she pressed knowing that sooner or later I’d crack. But I wasn’t letting my guard down that easy.
“ There is no ‘we’.” I said.
Her eyes widened. There was great silence between us now. I had hurt her feelings. This was not what I wanted to do, but it was the only way to keep her out.
“ No ‘we’?” she asked.
I sighed once more. “This cannot work out. I have a strict code of honor to fulfill and me being with you jeopardizes that.”
The tears that would soon come from her eyes were about a minute away.
I hated seeing her cry.
I put my hands to her cheeks, hoping that the simple fact of touching her was enough to stall the tears.
“ It puts you in danger.”
She nodded. “ I don’t care. I want you. I’ve always wanted you since the first day we met. Nothing else matters. I’m not afraid of this.”
“ You should be.” I said. “ And you matter to me. Do you know how torn up I would be if they hurt you because of this?”
Her eyes now lowered out of shock and into curiosity. “ Who are they?”
I quickly looked down. How could I have been so stupid to say that?! What was wrong with me? I was trying to push her away, but now I’ve only made things worse.
“ Forget who they are.” I advised knowing that she wouldn’t . “ You don’t want to run in to someone like them.”
“ I know.” she said. “ You’re part of a gang and you don’t want me to get hurt.”
“ A gang?” I was repulsed by that word. The others and I were something more than just your inner city street violence group. That includes the mob as well. She clearly did not understand who we were. But that was a good thing. I needed her to stay in the dark for as long as possible.
“ I really wish you would stop trying to guess what and who I am involved with.”
“ How are we supposed to solve our problem if you won’t tell me who-”
There was that we again.
“ You don’t understand what I’m trying to tell you. There is no we or our. There is only me and how I am going to solve my problem. I’m not getting you involved in this. I won’t have puttting your life in danger on my conscience.”
There was a long silence after this. The playing still resumed in the palyground and elsewhere throughout the park. The playing actually never stopped, but this was the first time I actually heard it. She held her head down and closed her eyes. I wasn’t surprised to see that tears were falling from them and down to her hands.
“ So, your saying that you don’t love me.”
I could’ve denied that statement. I should’ve denied it. But instead, I gave no reply. I just looked at her, my heart tearing up inside at the sight of her pain. Even putting my hand on her shoulder would’ve done some good. But I just sat there. Her tears soon stopped and she lifted her head back up. Her face was not angry nor sad as the tears had claimed it would be. I couldn’t read any signals from her.
She had no expression.
“ Please,” I began, but she had left already. I watched as she walked down the park’s pathway into the woods. I had not noticed that the sky had turned from blue to gray. A storm was coming in. As many children ran to their parents for shelter, I just sat there and let the rain fall hard on me hoping it would wash away all my sorrow.
But it didn’t.
* * *
And now I stand here outside her home. The bright red door looked back at me with such persuasion on its surface. “ Come in.” it said. “ Come in and tell her how much you love her.” I was surprised to know that this inanimate object seemed to know how I felt about her. Though despite its pleas, I still stayed in my orginal spot.
With the envelope in hand, I quickly put it in her mail box and lifted the red flag so that she would know something was there.
I backed away from the box. As soon as I did, on the top floor, a light had flashed on as a figure came to the window. I stiffened.
It was her.
There I saw her. Her beautiful face. Her well-proportioned body. Her dark waist-length hair. Her brown eyes. She did not see me. Her attention seemed to be elsewhere as she looked down and fumbled through some of her belongings. I stared at her for a long time. I wanted to shout out how much I felt about her. I wanted to be the one to say “ I love you.” All I had to do was open that door. It was so easy. So simple.
Then, suddenly, I felt a cool brush of wind blow by. The hairs on the back of my neck were raised. It was as if someone had touched me.
Someone did touch me.
They were here.
I did not know how many of them were here, but I knew that if I walked into her home, she would be in danger.
I could not allow that.
I backed away further from her home and turned without a look back.
I knew that she would read the letter. It would tell her how I really felt about her. She would understand why we couldn’t be together. She would know to stay away from me.
That’s all I wanted.