Unrequited

An assignment from my writing class, a Year of Writing. 

Was it unrequited love or a promising crush that didn’t get off the ground?  I don’t know at this point, I just know that when I see her picture unexpectedly on social media sites, I feel something like an emotional cramp, a catch in my side at how close we came to living out some of the fantasies we shared in small chat windows and lengthy, detailed email messages.

She move away shortly after telling me that nothing was going to happen between us, that she was going to reconcile with her girlfriend.  Shortly after our one and only kiss.

I’d walked her out to her car, it was dark and cold.  She unlocked the passenger side door and put her bag inside.  Then she walked around to the driver’s side.  I was standing there, hands in pockets, watching as she walked around the front of her car.  She put the key in the lock and paused.

I stepped forward as she turned to face me, to say goodbye. I closed the gap between us and held her arms lightly.  She didn’t pull away, so I leaned into her, pressing her back against the car and tilting my face to kiss her.  She was a couple of inches taller than I.  She returned the kiss and I momentarily felt her body yield, felt her welcome my weight against her.

Then the moment was gone.  She pushed away slightly, looking upset.

I was caught halfway between feeling sorry for what I’d done and feeling triumphant.

“I just wanted to know.. how it would have felt … with us.”  It was half explanation, half apology.  She closed her eyes in response, my face still only inches from hers.

“Yes… It would have… ” A kind of anguished whisper, she didn’t finish the sentence.  She didn’t have to.  I stepped back.  She’d made her decision and I’d promised to respect it.

She turned to her car again, opened the door and turned back toward me.  “I’ll see you around, sometime.”

I raised my hand, already walking backwards away from her, to the other side of the street.  “Yeah, see you.”

I knew I wouldn’t see her and so did she.  If we saw each other it would be unplanned and extremely awkward.  She started her engine, gave me a wave and then she was gone.

I’d wanted to know what it would have felt like, to have a taste of who we could have been to each other before I let go of her forever.  Before I let go of the possibility of us.  Her lips were soft but eager and for those few seconds, I could feel that surge of energy connecting us.  The heat that we’d talked about on the phone, that we’d felt through the screen, it was there between us.  And we let it go, it was a smolder that we didn’t allow to grow to a flame.

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