(Also posted at IndieInk, July 2010.)
You look at me from across the room with a smile in your eyes but not on your face. You approach, and I am conscious of your breath, mere inches from me. You accidentally-on-purpose brush up against me, or touch my hand as I go to gesture. This is the undertow that keeps pulling me in; you are the vortex.
It’s the things unsaid that echo in my mind; the words just underneath the surface. They imprison us; we are imprisoned by them. It’s as if our vocal cords are paralyzed. You can’t say it; I won’t say it. And you’re scared and I’m scared and together we’re even more scared. We can’t admit what everyone else has long since realized. If you would just tell me then I could let you in – I would tear down my walls for you if you would just ask. But you won’t ask, and I am tired of being your second choice.
I clenched my teeth when he touched me for the first time; I shuddered the first time he kissed me. You know how it is: wanting what you can’t have, not wanting what is right there in front of you. I wish I could say that I made the right decision. But you and I both know that’s not how this story ends.