"We can't choose who we love. I wish, more than anything, that we could."
I watched as he ran, jumped and maneuvered his way through the opponent’s defense and threw the ball neatly into the hoop. As the crowd shot to their feet and cheered thunderously, I remained seated and clapped for him, my eyes never leaving him. I watched as his teammates lifted him onto their shoulders and paraded him around the court, him laughing and yelling for them to put him down.
“Can’t you just let go?” I jumped in fright and spun around to see my best friend, Rachel, standing there, hands on her hips.” I swear, the way you look at him, it’s like he’s the last slice of pizza left in the whole world. I mean, c’mon! It’s been two years!”
I flushed red and grinned sheepishly as she sat down beside me. “It’s not that easy, Rach. I’ve told you before.” I sighed, resigned. “I can’t just tell myself to not like him and then actually don’t. If I could, I would never have any feelings for him in the first place.”
She shook her head. “It’s all about the will, Zoe. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You’re not trying hard enough. It’s not like you don’t know he has his eyes set on another girl already. Isn’t that enough to make you want to get over him?”
I looked down at my hands clasped tightly in my lap. “I want to, Rach. Believe me, I do,” I said quietly. “But feelings don’t work this way, at least mine doesn’t. I’ve tried. Every time he leaves to go back to college after vacation, for that long period of time when I don’t see him, I thought that I could do it. That I could get over him. That I could forget about all the feelings I have for him. Then he comes back again, and it’s like I lose control of my feelings.” My knuckles were white, drained of blood. “You think I want this? To want someone who wants someone else? I don’t, Rach. It hurts. You have no idea how much it hurts. I just can’t do anything about it!” I buried my head between my knees, trying to calm myself to prevent myself from making a scene.
I heard Rachel sigh beside me. She gave me a sideways hug and stood up. “My heart goes out to you, Zoe. But I really have no idea how to help you. May God give you the strength and courage you need to face all of this,” she whispers into my ear before leaving.
After she left, I looked up to witness the exact moment when he ran forward to envelope a girl in his arms. The happiness clearly projected on both of their faces made my heart break all over again.
I mustered every ounce of strength I had to stand up and walk away, at the same time trying to hold myself together and keep myself from breaking apart in front of everyone.