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A Dream of Something Sublime
It was easy not to love, because I hadn't found anything worth loving.
But you- you held me in your gaze from the first moment. Of course, I never could have known what those soft eyes would come to mean to me, but I was caught in them regardless. There was something about you, something different.
It would take months and countless innocent conversations, but I would fall. It started with your words; the care and love which you bestowed upon them as you wrote, crafting beautiful stories to match the works I took so much pride in. I saw in those wondrous stories something familiar, something lovely.
Stories led to memories, and I fell in love with those, too. Each day and every touch sleeps in my mind, engraved in the deepest part of my favorite memories. I could, for the first time, embrace life with wide open arms, living each moment as it passed. With you, I embraced the future. Our futures, together. Happiness couldn’t describe the airy joy of my heart, and neither could elation.
No, it was love.
I couldn’t admit it, but you could. You told me how busy you were falling for me, and all it took was one look into your eyes and I knew, I was busy falling, too. It took me by surprise. It wasn’t at all like I’d expected. I don’t know why, but I’d thought falling in love happened suddenly, that it would occur to me one day when I woke up that I loved you.
That isn’t how it happened, though. It happened slowly, over those blissful months.
It was the little things. It was your smile when we spoke. It was that lilting laugh when you won a playful argument. It was the spark in your eyes when you were hard at work. It was your bad hair days, your cardigan sweater days, your I-need-a-friend days.
But most of all, it was us. It was our over-enthusiastic conversations about music, our geeky debates about superheroes, it was even our occasional complete disagreement. It was you holding me, or chasing me on the beach. It was all the obstacles we knew we would face.
It was those funny little comments you’d make at the most inappropriate times that would linger in my mind all day and drift into my dreams, where I’d still see your smiling face. It was a dream so sublime I could hardly believe it, until I awoke and you were there with a good-morning text and a long message from the night before. Each night, when I would fall asleep before you, and you would tell me how you missed my voice already.
That’s what love was to me. It was you.
It still is you.
But to you, love is her, not me. Not anymore.
Not six months later, when I still cry over the loss of something so seemingly perfect. Six months later, when I still can’t be angry at you. Six months later, as I sit alone on prom night, on my birthday, watching you dance with her. Watching her melt in your arms to the same song we once sang.
This night should be the pinnacle of high school. It’s prom night. It’s my eighteenth birthday. I should be celebrating, but all I can do is bury my face in my hands, letting the tears drop on my wasted dress.
I don’t want to spend this night with anyone but you, and you’re with her. You’re always with her, and I’m always alone.
From the edge of the dark dance floor, I wipe away my tears and stand slowly. I’ll always love you, I think to myself, wishing there were some way to tell you. But I can’t. I won’t. This isn’t a book or a movie, and I won’t make a daring decision to confess all that I feel, and you won’t leave her there and take me in your arms, and we won’t share one more kiss as you sweep me off my feet and lead me onto the dance floor for the most intimate and beautiful dance of the night.
This isn’t fiction, and that isn’t what will happen. Instead I walk away, your soft smile burned into my broken mind.
I make it all the way outside before the choking tears set it. Graduation is in exactly one week, and it’s the last time I’ll ever see you.
Everything we ever had, and everything we could’ve had, will end.
And like smoke through my trembling fingers, I watch my last chance fade away. So now, all that’s left is a tiny dream.
A dream of something sublime.