How come smiles give way for dreams?
How come laughter turns to tears?
How can you close your eyes and still see?
How can you hear a voice’s melody?
How can you lose something you never had?
How can you miss someone you never knew?
How can someone love so much?
But what if it’s not for you?
Sophie and I walked on a narrow path illuminated by the faint light of a street lamp. The streets leading to her place was nearly empty. Rattles from the garbage bins disrupted the silence every now and then. We just came from a group date with some friends; I had the courage to volunteer into walking her home.
“So, did you like the movie?” I asked.
“Twas cool ‘cause I was watching it with you and the gang.”
..because I was watching it with you. That was all I heard.
When we were a few paces away from her building, Sophie stopped. She picked something inside a pile of trash and whistled. In a matter of minutes, stray cats emerged from all corners and filled the alley we were in. Their number almost terrified me.
“Scared?” she teased me.
I just smiled at her and hurried towards the open street that leads to her apartment door. As expected, she didn’t run after me but stayed with the pact instead. From where I’m at, I could see her silhouette scattering the trash. Then I heard another whistle, then a laugh, a giggle, then a ‘good boy’ here and there. This girl always surprises me.
“Run! Here comes the Cat Lady!” I shouted as if afraid when she walked to me.
“Oh, shut up!” she said followed by a punch in the arm. Man, I had to pretend it didn’t hurt!
And she sat on the bottom of the stairs beside me and rested her elbows on her knees. She’s thinking about something. I thought of a joke to break the dead air between us but she suddenly uttered something I didn’t know she cared much about.
“Do you think someone has the capability of liking me? I mean seriously, honestly and sincerely fall in love with me. With someone like me?” The last phrase was almost a whisper.
I thought the question was insane! Sophie is the most attractive girl I know – shirt, jeans, tattoos, chucks, bob cut, red hair and all. She has the most beautiful eyes that shine when she’s happy. She walks gracefully and smiles shyly. Her stories are the most amazing and her humour is right on. She has this positive aura that makes you want to be near her. Some say she’s rebellious when she’s just being independent. They assume she’s dumb when in fact she can name 80 famous rock bands, 20 banned books and the nearest McDonald’s in your area. I looked at her and saw a terrific, lovely girl.
I may have been staring at her for a long time because the next thing I knew was her raised eyebrows and folded arms on my face. Oh yeah, I have to answer the question.
“Learn how to knit and bake because with a personality like yours, you’ll probably marry at 60!”
Sophie stood and kicked me on the side. The usual thing she does.
“I hate you”, she said in a somehow sweet tone. We laughed!
Damn, I’m falling in love with her.
I looked at him as he talked about how ‘normal people’ irritate him; I listened to his speech about relationship do’s and don’ts; I pretended to care when he started sharing about his amazing persona. His biography bored me eventually. So, I put on a mischievous smirk and started contemplating. This man is so full of himself! He thinks he’s superior to everyone else, self-righteous even. In fact, he was annoyingly arrogant when he thought he was being modest and honest. What a fool. If he only knew that I wasn’t at all impressed, maybe he could have behaved differently.
You want to know what’s going on? Do you really want to know? Her heart pounded so loud she had to yell to hear herself. The nerves inside Amanda burned and her knees grew weak as she tried to stand up once again using the bedroom wall to support her.
He surveyed the place. Clothes scattered everywhere, broken glasses on the carpet. On the bed sat her luggage, half-full. The room smelled like cigarettes and cheap wine. The humid summer air intensified the heat that was already building up.
Dear, you know I am always here for you. Come sit down and tell me about it so I can help you, the man in a well-pressed satin tuxedo said as he took another step near her.
Stop. Just stop your mind games already.
What’s going on love? Don’t you know that I care?
He stared at her with such compassion. His bright blue eyes piercing through her weary heart. She stopped herself from hugging him when he came closer and pressed his face close to hers.
I told you to stop didn’t I? Breathing heavily, Amanda pushed the man with all her might but was unable to move him. The second time she tried was just as useless as the first. He was too strong, too composed, too superior.
I’ll tell you what’s going on. I’ll tell you exactly what’s going on! —- I love you!
She was shocked on how the sound reverberated through the room. On a split second she wished she could catch the words that came out and suck them back in.
But it was too late. All she could do was take her chance, say her piece as he stood still – surprised.
Yes I love you. But I don’t want to love you. I don’t want to be hurt anymore.
He backed down a few steps. Not knowing what to do. Not knowing how to respond.
Do you even realise how much I want you? Do you even have the slightest idea of what you do to me? Every time I hear your voice my heart melts and I just want to throw myself in your arms and be yours completely. Do you even consider that? Of course you do. If you are not clueless, not cruel, not judgmental, not assuming. If you feel the same way as me, of course that would have crossed your mind. But that would be impossible.
You are not worth it. I won’t let you hurt me again. My happiness will not depend on you.
Every morning I tell myself these. Yet every night I still think about you, forgetting what I lectured myself that day. And I feel like a total idiot. For only an idiot has the capacity to still hope and love an insensitive person that doesn’t even look at her.
You say you care for me but I don’t want you to only care! I want you to love me! You say that you’ll be there for me. But you tell that to every single person you know! I want to be special. I want to be different from the rest. And it sucks knowing that I’ll never be. It sucks knowing that I am nowhere near special to you. It sucks that even though I can give up anything just to be with you, you would not dare do the same. You only see me as some random person you know while I refer to you as the most important person in my life. Can you see the big difference?
I don’t want to love you. I hate myself for even loving you this way! Considering the person that you are. Considering the situation that we are in, considering the circumstances, considering everything! How could I ever love you? I could not possibly love you! Loving you should be hard and impossible.
You and I are full of impossibilities, you know that? And that hurts like shit.
Now, what else do you want? If you can’t love me just leave me alone and stay away from me! I don’t want to hope anymore and you’re making it so hard with all your flowery words!
She wished hard he won’t listen.
Leave! Leave me alone!
She wished she could give him reasons to stay.
He stood up in the corner of that poignant room without saying anything. He fixed his suit, conscious that she was watching him. He anchored a glare out the window and didn’t move for a long time.
Amanda didn’t expect that this man would comfort her or wipe away her tears. She did not assume that he’d love her back. She didn’t expect it all, but damn she hoped!
Standing as proud as a king in control, the man finally glanced at her as he said in a calm but authoritative voice,
I’m surprised I was able to stand all that drama.