“I’m afraid I’ll never fall in love.”

“I’m afraid,” she whispered in the dim, yellow light which warmly lit our fortress.

These words, only ever spoken to my best friend, were absorbed by the sheets that protected us, silenced to the world, never to be repeated. We felt completely safe in this feeble structure because we knew even if fire rained from the sky or the sea swallowed the night sky, here our secrets were forever.

“Afraid of what?” I whispered back.

She tucked a rogue curl of the blackest hair behind her ear, “I’m afraid I’ll never fall in love,” her words hung in the air, so full of unspoken emotion.

I gulped, swallowing the urge to say the wrong thing. I was so afraid she would stop speaking. I never wanted her words to end.

“But not the love my parents have,” the crease in her forehead told me she felt guilty just thinking that, “They are content. That’s all. I never want to be just content,” she looked up now, her big, brown eyes setting my chest on fire. My skin tingled where her knees touched mine, “I crave the love that inspires novels and fills pages upon pages; love that defines the poetry of our soul, the lyrics of our heart, the blood of our films. I want the type of love that emanates from my being because it cannot be contained in just my body,” her breath was course against her throat, the oxygen defeated by her words. Her brown eyes were bright with a fierce passion that would not be extinguished, “I can’t bear the thought of simply being content.”

My heart beat in my ears, the tips of my fingers and toes. I stared at her. Her soul had always enveloped her body. I liked to think it was because it was too large to be contained within a mere physical vessel. She was so much more than her perfect black curls and long-lashed hazel eyes.

She looked down now, at the fingers she hated, “What if that love doesn’t exist? What if it’s all a fictitious hyperbole created by artists who saw the world better than it actually is?”

My throat was thick, my body turning against my wild mind, “That love exists.”

Her hazel eyes met my grey ones, “How can you be so sure?”

How was I sure? I was sure because I was so desperately in love with this beautiful creature in front of me.

Her soul exploded within my own and had not stopped since my love for her consumed me. It made my skin tingle, my heart race, my stomach churn. She lived inside of me. She had become a part of me. She ignited everyone around her, but while they beamed, I erupted, and she was the only one who could reassemble me, only to destroy me once again.

Yet despite her best efforts, every time I shattered, a tiny piece fell from her delicate hands and was lost forever.

My love for her was born in the same place as my loath. I despised her almost as much as I loved her for she broke my heart every time I was exposed to her. I hated her for making me feel empty when she was not around. The world faded into monochrome shades of black and white and a silence settled that made my ears numb.

But most of all, I hated her for being her: my best friend who I could never part with, and even though my heart would shatter if her love found another, I knew I would have to fix it myself. Selfishly, I would rather have her settle for ‘content’ than for a love she could never bear; a love that perhaps not even the world would.

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