Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Short Story: What I Wanted to Say

Getting this one in very close to the wire today. Mostly cos I slept all day after injuring my foot last night; bed was the only place it was comfy and when I was in bed I napped. Still, I managed it. Go me.

What I Wanted to Say

You keep trying to tell yourself she's your colleague, nothing more, but your heart won't listen. Your eyes keep on noticing the way she moves, the little curl of a smile in the corner of her mouth when she's amused by something, the tiny crease in her brows when she's concentrating.

Despite your best attempts at denial you're a mess, completely gone and a hundred percent done for. And she can never know.

It's not that you're ashamed of your feelings, quite the contrary. It's that there is no world in which you can ever be good enough for her. She is a goddess in human form. She deserves the stars.

There is nothing that you can offer her that will do her justice. Rejection would break you, and no matter what happens you still have to go on working by her side.

It's not like she lacks for company. She's a beautiful woman, funny and outgoing. You're not the only one who would give their right arm for a few seconds of her time. She dates, men and women alike with no discernible preference, and talks about her evenings out with your other colleagues.

You try to tell yourself that you have no claim on her, that she owes you nothing but you can't seem to help the surge of jealousy that rushes through you when she talks about her dates. You know it's wrong, but if your emotions did as you told them you wouldn't be in love with her in the first place.

Time passes. She continues to date, never more than two with the same person, and you keep your misery to yourself. Sometimes you think she looks at you with a question in her eyes but what she wants to ask you have no idea.

You watch for any sort of sign, however small, that your feelings are returned; that she might feel even a fraction of what's inside your heart. But there's nothing. Your heart forgets what hope feels like.

And then... you learn that you're about to lose what little you have and you break.

She's got a new job. At another company. In another city. And for some reason she seems utterly miserable about it.

Your chances are now finite. Fear is your enemy. You have to say something if you want to have any chance of happiness. And if she doesn't feel the same way? Well your concerns about having to continue working by her side no longer apply.

You have nothing to lose except the wall of misery you've built around yourself.

It's time to take a deep breath and jump.

Part of you wants to wait until her last day but you know that's just the fear talking; her last day will be be far too late. You pick the Friday after you find out she's going; if this goes ill for you then at least you'll have the weekend to lick your wounds.

You stumble over your words, your tongue feeling like it belongs to someone else, a foreign presence in your mouth. You're not entirely convinced you make sense, but somehow you managed to get enough words out; your heart belongs to her and always has, and if there's even the smallest chance she feels the same way you'll go to  the ends of the earth to be with her.

She stares at you for a long time after you finally speak what's been in your heart almost as long as you can remember. You are tempted to slink away, to lick your wounds in private but there's something in her gaze, something soft and warm that makes you think this might not be a rejection. So you wait, heart beating faster than it ever has, hoping and praying that your bravery wasn't for nothing.

Instead of saying something her lips find yours, hot and wet and impossibly soft. It's possible that your knees give way, that she is the only thing keeping you upright but your brain is too focused on the kiss to pay attention. This is everything you've ever dreamed about and more.

When she pulls away she'd breathless and there is a light in her eyes that hasn't been there for too long; you realise it's joy, the same as the feeling trying to burst out of your chest.

"I thought I had no chance," she says softly, breath ghosting across your face. "I thought I wasn't good enough."

You let out a bark of laughter before you can think about how that might be taken the wrong way. She starts to pull away, but your arms tighten around her; if you have any say in matters you're never letting go of her ever again.

"I thought I wasn't good enough for you," you whisper back. "I thought you'd never even look at me."

She chuckles then, and it's the most beautiful sound you've heard in your life. "We've both been fools haven't we?"

"Yes we have," you say, and kiss her again.

Her lips feel like home, like the realisation of a dream you've had for years but never dared believe might come true. And she kisses you like she'll die without it, like she's been waiting her whole life for your mouth on hers. Your kisses are all at once frantic and incredibly gentle. You don't have the words to describe it.

The need to get more air in your lungs is the only thing that coaxes your lips away from hers. She looks at you like you hold all the answers to life's mysteries, like you're the only thing in the world that matters and you realise she's always looked at you like that, you were just too blind to see it.

Her face falls then. "What about my new job?" she asks, and you can hear fear in her voice. "I'm moving to another city just when I've realised I belong here."

You smile and brush her hair out of her face. All the fear is gone and you feel you could take on the world if she asked it of you. "It doesn't matter," you say, and you know it's true. "We'll work something out. I'll follow you if I have to. Whatever it takes, we will be together."

She smiles and your soul lights up; she believes you. There'll be time enough to worry about the logistics later.

You kiss her again, a promise that you'll do this for the rest of your life if she'll let you. The kisses she gives you in return tell you that she will.

If you enjoyed this story feel free to purchase one of my books either here, or here. Or you can buy me a coffee here.

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