Alice is in love with her best friend. She soon knows the true meaning behind best friends
|"Hey, what's that on your hand?"
I look down and notice the words I wrote in pen a little earlier.
“Oh, this is a song I really like,” I hold up my hand so he can see it better.
“I’m yours.” I said, quickly smiled at him and put my hand down. I need to look away, his stare is too intense.
“Sounds like a nice song. . .” He trails off and turns his head to continue gazing at the tree to our right.
Something came through me then, a terrible, desirable urge to tell him how I feel. He won’t understand why do I bother? I’m fretting over nothing, why does this feeling come? We are best friends and nothing more.
In the midst of my fretting, I must have brought attention to myself because Caleb looked over at me again.
“You look uncomfortable, is everything alright?” He gave me one of his sincere, puppy dog, I care about you a lot looks and I realized I must have been squirming in my seat and wringing my hands quite a bit the past minute to actually draw his attention to me.
“Uh, it’s probably just these benches. . .” Well that was lame; he’s never going to believe that. How am I going to explain -?
“We could find somewhere else to sit.”
I contemplated the idea, maybe walking would make it better to deal with, but of course, there is virtually nowhere else to sit in the park. Picnic baskets, family reunions, little children and owners with their dogs as far as the eye could see. At least he offered.
“No, it’s okay.” I said and with that, he shrugged and turned away.
I’m going to get over this, I have to. I mean, how long can someone go on, loving their best friend before they realize: “Best friends forever” is as good as it gets? Before they realize friendship is just as valuable?
Why should I tell him that I love him?
And then it struck me - why not?
I looked over at him again with confidence practically radiating from my body. He glanced my way, apparently feeling a change in the atmosphere as well. “You know that can also be literal.”
I won’t allow myself to look away from his eyes. He probably feels like I am looking through to his soul and I hope I am not intimidating him. As it turns out, he shifts his body my way to hold my gaze.
“I don’t understand.”
This was a question that could be answered without words which I am indeed thankful for. I’m not sure how long I can keep up this whole ‘glowing confidence thing’.
So I simply raised my hand.
He just barely whispered the words written there and traced the letters with one of his bony fingers.
He looks up at me when he’s finished. “You’re mine?”
My confidence is definitely depleting fast and the burning glow is now making its way to my cheeks.
I nodded, for lack of a better way to say it; I am scared that if I try to speak, nothing will come out and I will end up looking ridiculous so I am keeping my mouth shut.
He surprises me though. Instead of turning me down right then or returning his feelings; he sighs. A long, almost sorrowful sigh as he sits back against the bench again. He closes his eyes and puts his finger to his mouth. That is his famous position for thinking, but he is thinking hard about something; there is a crease in his eyebrows that rarely ever shows up. He never needs to think that hard to solve something.
Apparently my confession stumped him.
After a minute of excruciating silence and my anxious glances, he opens his eyes to look at me again. His eyes, they are now so gray and dull. Worry and concern has shadowed them and I can see my copied, worried and concerned, expression through them.
There is a long pause before he begins to speak. “I release you from my grasp. . .”
Shocked, no words came to mind. “What?”
Of course that is all I can manage to say. It’s one of those absolutely helpless times when your mind is drowning in a sea of questions, but only one of them survives.
“You are free, you are no longer mine.” He said in pain.
He leans back and closes his eyes again while I am sitting here like an idiot and choking up.
Now I am completely at a loss; if I even try to whisper something, my voice will squeak. I am sure of it. There is this awful sticky feeling at the back of my throat, tears are about to spill over, and my heart seems heavier than it usually is.
I feel like yelling back at him, “Why?!” but of course, I can’t.
I can’t yell at him, every time I try I say sorry for being mean. Every time I become mad at him, I end up forgiving him. He tries to push me away purposely, but I keep holding on, blaming myself for everything.
I can’t yell at him; it would hurt him.
“I don’t want to be free.” I began to conjure up all the strength I still have in me to at least be able to walk away knowing why I am not wanted.
Again, he wasn’t expecting that.
He was more than likely thinking about how I will stomp off and abandon our friendship and then find a message by me on his answering machine the next day.
He took another long pause before looking at me again.
He is terribly upset. I know how much this is hurting him, as it is hurting me. In fact, if he wasn’t trying to explain something to me, he would have been on his knees swearing that he will never make me unhappy again. He would do anything in his power to make me happy.
“I’m not good for you. . .” His voice cracks as he says this and my heart sank even deeper. I desperately want to comfort him, but how can I do that if he won’t let me?
“What do you mean? You’re the best thing that’s happened to me.”
“I wish I wasn’t.”
When I winced, he did as well. Why did he have to be so blunt? If it is hurting him so much then why is he doing this?
In that moment I begin to cry.
I couldn’t help, but notice how pathetic I must look. Tears are streaming down my face and I am deliriously holding onto the only piece of thread that’s left of my sanity.
Might as well fight for what is left. “But why do you say that when your eyes tell me something else?”
Through most of my crying, he had his head in his hands and when he did look up, from the corner of my eye I could see that he was mad for making me upset. He wanted to fix it.
“I don’t want to hurt you anymore more, Alice. . . I keep making you cry, you constantly blame yourself for the mistakes I keep making. You think you’re at fault, but you aren’t. You are not the reason why do the things I do. In fact, you’ve made me happier than I think I could ever be. . . That anyone could ever be.”
He pauses to take a breath and he put his hands lightly on my shoulders, I guess because I seem out of it. How long have I been waiting for this confession?
“Alice, I cannot return your feelings because I might end up hurting you more. It makes me angry when you are upset; I want you to be happy. Please understand. I’m trying my best.”
I’m not crying anymore. I know he cares about me enough to be concerned about me and tries to do what’s in my best interest, always. I’ve never noticed how much he really cares. Here I am, waiting for him to return his feelings, and he is telling me how he doesn’t want to hurt me. He cares, he’s concerned. Is that not love in itself?
He looks up at me and smiles. It’s a warm smile, and his eyes are bright again. “Are you ready to go home?”
When I go to stand up, he catches me in a hug. It is nice and long; standing there in his arms makes me feel warm. He begins to softly chant in my ear, “Everything’s fine,”
And that also made me feel better. After he walks me back to my house, my day is lighter and the heaviness of heart is replaced by a nice bubbly feeling.
That night I dreamt of angels.