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That Sting in Your Chest

It turns out that I really like writing stories like this.

I think I could blame Graham Greene as much as anybody. And Kurt Vonnegut had one story like this and I think it's one of my favorites. But it just feels so good to pour stuff like this onto paper.

It stings. It shouldn’t sting, but it does. I tell myself it shouldn’t. That dulls it a bit. I reassure myself and that dulls it a bit more.

But it never goes away.

We’re not together and it shouldn’t hurt. We have no obligation to each other.

It doesn’t matter. That’s what I tell myself. I tell myself I’m just not that type of guy.

My heart sank into the pit of my stomach when I finally noticed that she’d disappeared with another man. It wasn’t exactly jealousy that gripped my heart and kicked me in the gut. It was that foolish longing, that hope that if things were slightly different, that could be me in there, holding her close, kissing passionately, hands delicately wandering.

But, alas, it isn’t me. Could it ever be? It’s doubtful. I’m hopeful, though.

On the way home, where she’s with me again, in close proximity is both sweet bliss and torture.

Although I’m almost sure (or so I tell myself) that nothing happened in with the other man, we were both acting like fools, reacting like fools. I tried so hard to hide my longing and she grew defensive. After we got back, I had to work up enough courage to tell her how I felt. I had to give her some idea.

I had to.

The pain of my message weighted my chest down with such force I could barely breath. My words burst from me, as awkwardly as possible it seemed, “I think… On some level, and I don’t think…in a creepy way, I love you. I love being with you, I love being around you. Yeah. I love you. There.”

And so there was the first and closest time I had ever come to telling her that I loved her, to someone who only “might” reciprocate. And not the love of lust or sex. The romantic love of being around someone, regardless of circumstance.

Her eyes meet mine and we have that moment where would kiss if circumstances hadn’t dictated that an impossibility. My breath leaves me again, she’s taken it. She reaches over to give me a consoling hug. Consoling to both of us, not just to me.

“I know how you feel. I really enjoy being with you.” Is that pain in her voice?

I’m so full of pain and joy and anguish that I can’t even tell.

I leave before I give into my urges, filled equally with happiness and forlorn regret.

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