I never really wanted to hit ground zero with him, it just...sort of happened. I never wanted to be in love like I am right now. At least all the love novels I have read tell me that I am. Whenever I think about him, I start smiling like a fool. I can’t stop thinking about him, so generally over the last few years, most of the people I meet have come to think of me as a perfectly happy person. I’m not. Inside, I am rage and fire and ice and I am a storm and a grenade, and one day I am going to blow up and hurt all the people I love the most. But yes, I am in love. With the one person who was always there for me, and whom I can never see again.
We are just friends. Or at least that’s what we thought. All his friends could tell how much I liked him. It was just him that seemed completely oblivious. I knew, of course. I tried to tell him without being too obvious, you know, holding him a little longer when we hugged, laughing extra hard when he said things, walking away when he was with a girl I didn’t like, things that to any other guy would be so obvious, and he always followed me when I walked away, and he would walk me to class after lunch, and tell me when something went wrong...eventually we began to write to each other about our stories and soon enough, we were editing for each other. I found myself all of a sudden writing about a girl who was never noticed, and who couldn’t seem to find the right guy. Still, Alex never could read between the lines, so to speak. Then it happened. I finally got tired of him not knowing how much I thought about him that I told him. We were skating together when it happened. He had asked me how you know that a girl likes you and in return, he would tell me the same about boys, so I began to describe exactly how I had acted to him. He guessed, really, I just confirmed it to him several minutes later. His reaction was not at all what I thought it would be.
“Really? I KNEW IT!”
I almost laughed, I was so surprised. “Am I that obvious?”
“Nah, I’m mexican. Love runs through my veins.” He flashed one of those smiles that let me know that he was okay, and I was okay, and everything was okay.
“But I know...that you like Abby, and you are so in love with her, so we can never be together, so keep going for her. But,” then I added probably speaking too fast, “You don’t mind, do you?!”
He laughed that laugh again. “Nah, it feels nice to know that someone likes me.”
“So...we’re alright,...right?” I bit my lower lip. That’s what I did when I was nervous with him.
“Yeah, of course! Who else is gonna read my crappy stories?”
His bluntness made me laugh and the tension broke. “Their not crappy. You’re a good writer.”
And then, all of a sudden, the night was over and we were saying goodbye. He left, and I stood for a long time after he left, my hand still raised in a farewell, already missing him. That was the last time I saw him. Leaving on strange odds, wishing one more look could happen. I have felt like that ever since, but that goodbye is not why I can’t see him. It’s what happened the next day. The next day was Thanksgiving, and we were coming home from my grandmother’s dinner at around 7:00PM. Alex had invited me to a Christmas party with him, and of course, I had to go. He invited me even though we couldn’t be together. I had to go. But when I asked mom, my hopes were shattered.
“Mom, Alex invited me to a party at his house for Christmas. Can I go.”
I frowned slightly. “Why not?”
“After last night, you can never see him again.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
She set her hands on her hips and gave me one of those mom looks.
“Are you going to be that flirtatious every time you see him?”
“Mom, I wasn’t flirting?!”
“You can never see him again.” and that was that. I began to walk upstairs, head hung and tears welling up in my eyes. I stopped and turned around to her.
“And for the record, I told him, and we are still just friends.” I returned upstairs to my room to cry myself to sleep. The man I would never stop loving, and I could never see him again. I wouldn't. I layed on my bed until I fell asleep, and when I awoke, I wished I could just go to sleep and never wake up again. I wanted to lost myself in a dream world where I had no problems, and where I could dream about Alex Miller forever until my last breath was drawn and I could wait for him in Heaven.
And that is how I know I am in love with the one person in the whole world who I am almost certain is out of my life forever. But that’s the thing, he’s not out of my life completely. He hangs on the fringes, dancing and smiling and acting, I just can’t touch him. But at least I know he’s still there. And that’s how I reached ground zero with Alex Miller.
Names have been changed for the safety and reputation of the persons portrayed herein.