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You make me want to hold you and never let go. I almost told you that once, but then I forgot. Or did I? I can’t remember.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry this is awkward. We’re standing stiffly in a elevator, your eyes roaming the flickering buttons. But you don’t look at me.
I’m sorry that I’m looking at you, still, after all of this. I can’t help it. But I’m not a creep. I’m not a stalker. I just think you’re beautiful.
The trickle of New Age music in the background seems to taunt us with its peaceful, ebbing sound. Seconds pass in tense silence, and my hands clench, unclench, as if on the cusp of reaching out before recalling that something - that you - can never be mine anyway.
A minute has passed and we’re not to floor two yet. I can tell that you’re nervous because you blink like you always do, rapid and wet, and glance at your watch through your eyelashes - long, dark, spindly lashes, beautiful enough to make any girl envy you, I used to tease.
But that was then - before I told someone I shouldn’t about you, and you discovered everything. But you didn’t. You just...didn’t. You didn’t anything - talk to me, look at me, love me back...
Oops. Did I say “love?” I’m sorry. That’s a lie, at least by now. You know that, right?
The elevator doors ding and begin to part soundlessly, the end of us sneaking up on me, just like before. Your foot moves forward, lumbering slowly cross the gray carpet, as if in slow motion from those kung fu movies we used to watch.
There isn’t a “we” anymore...and just like that, I can’t take it.
You stop in the middle of the doors, refusing to turn around. That makes me angry. Why are you doing this to me? All I did was love you, want to hold you, touch you, have a million of your smiles for my own. Was that really so bad?
Still, alI I want is for you to forgive me, even for sins I never committed, so I whisper, “I’m sorry.”
For a second of fleeting, fragile hope, I wonder if you’ll turn around, look me in the eye after two months of painful avoidance. The old you - the friend I thought I had - would never do this in the first place. He would spin around, smiling, pat down his tussled hair, and ask me what was wrong.
But you don’t turn around, and I remember that the old you never existed at all.
Instead, you stiffen. From your hunched posture, I can imagine your expression perfectly: your eyes squeezing shut, your soundless sigh, the wince on your face.
I watch you walk away and pray for you to turn around, look back, anything. But another part of me resists, quieting my desperate hope for you to prove the world, to prove me wrong. However much I want you, in that instant, I realize that even if you whirled around now and kissed me - I couldn’t. I can’t. I won’t. I’m too proud, too strong for that.
So when you disappear beyond the corner, I reach forward and push a button. Slowly, painfully, beautifully, the doors close shut.