It’s one of those instances when I just had to shut my mouth for a few moments and let him say what he felt he needed to say. That way, I had to let things unravel. He needed to be the one to let his guard down and show me how he really felt. I could read between the lines…
Of course, I’d deny to the core of my very being that there were hidden meanings in the things he was telling me. That’s just me - the Queen of Denial. And he saw right through that.
This is my gift, my curse - to hear the meaning behind the words uttered and left unsaid.
“You can’t stand there and tell me that you’ve moved on,” he said. He took a long drag from his cigarette and added, “You can’t say you don’t care about him anymore when clearly you still do. The mere fact that you’re standing here with me, contemplating about whether or not you should see him… that’s proof that you still care about him. Don’t deny it. Because if, as you claim, you really have moved on, you wouldn’t second guess or whatnot…”
He went on and went on, giving me his opinion on the matter. I’ve never seen him so… defensive and so repetitive with the things he was telling me.
“Shut up, will you?” I blurted out. “I don’t want to get back with him because I have you in my life. YOU are the one I want to be with, but I haven’t said anything about that because I don’t know how YOU feel. I don’t know if you look at me the way I look at you. You keep your guard up… I’d know because that’s what I do. You live in the glory of your eccentricity and you don’t give a damn what anybody else thinks. Maybe that’s why I like you so much. Maybe that’s why I keep coming to you because whenever I’m with you… I feel like it’s okay to be myself. I can be with you and the rest of the world doesn’t matter. I don’t care who watches or what people whisper among themselves… it’s more than enough that you and I are in this third space of sorts and get lost in each other.”
“These tears you see aren’t because I’m sad over him… it’s because I’m happy. I’m happy I met you. I’m happy I have you in my life. And you came just when it felt like life was a never ending Dark Age. Being with you makes me feel infinite - like the world is filled with infinite possibilities. I lost that belief until you came along and reminded me how important it is to keep believing. You changed my life and I don’t think you even know that. So shut up, will you?”
“I can’t imagine my life if you’re not in it. I’m afraid I’ll go back to the Dark Age where I don’t know what to do with my damn life and I’ll have to go back to doubting myself. I’m afraid I’ll look at the world again with cynical, pessimistic eyes.”
“You could just be the best thing that’s ever happened to me this year, and my God, this has got to be the most turbulent year, but you came along and somehow held my world until it became stable. Shut up because it’s not him that I like.”
“You are the guy I thought about when I posted that quote from The Fault in Our Stars: ‘You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.’ That’s how you are.”
“I like for who you are. I’ve come to accept you for your flaws, you big goof. You’re smart, but you can be downright condescending because of what you know and how much you know.”
“You’re not Adam Levine hot -as a matter of fact, one look at you and I wouldn’t even consider you ‘hot’ - but there’s something about your Harry Potter meets Miles Halter look I find interesting. And I know you don’t know who I’m referring to, but that’s beyond the point”
“Your life is an open book, but you still like to keep your issues drawn.”
“You maintain this aloof facade when it comes to love. You keep this front about you’re cool and fine on your own… but I can tell that a part of you wants to pick up your acoustic guitar and play all your favorite Beatles song for a girl - not to impress her, but simply because you both love The Beatles.”
“You are a riddle wrapped in a mystery trapped inside a…”
My eyes began to sting with tears threatening to pour like a floodgate. “See? I can’t even finish what I’m saying. You just… you are the reason I’ve been so happy lately. Can’t you see that? Can’t you tell I’ve been happy. I don’t think so ‘cause you keep yourself guarded by the forts you built around yourself.”
And right then and there I knew that I the only thing I wanted was to grab him by his jacket lapel and kiss him until he realizes that I am telling the truth. No, I am never getting back together with him. Not since he came to my life.
But, I said none of those words.
I, too, am guarded by own forts. So no matter how I feel about him, I can’t wear my heart on my sleeve unless I am absolutely sure - with every fiber of my being - that he feels what I feel.
Because I don’t think two souls meet and connect - and not even know it.
So what now, when both are shields are up?
“Do not strike when the iron is not yet hot,” they said. “If it is not yet hot, heat it up first.” Who knew things would catch fire?