protecting this heart

It’s hard not to envision him with every turn of my head. In every new direction, a split second of him flashes, sometimes with a mustache, sometimes without. It’s hard not to think of all the eye contact and conversations where “How are you?” really meant that. I feel like I let something slip through my hands and yet I’m not completely sure how I did it. Right now, I just feel a little mourning. The email said, “he’s still dating ___” and my stomach lurched. That makes it at least a year now and knowing that it’s Christmas I have a feeling, a feeling that this one might stick, that this one might be the one for him. She’s seen him through one of the hardest times in his life and that is not nothing. Something is telling me a question might be asked soon just like something in my head said, “I could marry you. We could be happy and live together and yet keep our identities. I would accept you, every bit of you,” on one of the first nights we met. I remember it because we were in a foreign country and everything seems so much more magical away from home. And now I think about all the signs I might have misread, the “I wish we had had more time,” emails, and the “I want to see you when you come to town again.” I brushed them off and littered my replies with “friend.” Maybe I shouldn’t have because now I feel a loss. And the girl, I even told him, “She’s a good egg,” with a smile before he ever thought of dating her. I miss those blue eyes, that red hair. If he reads this he’ll know it’s him. He’ll know the foreign country, the eye contact, the emails, and he’ll know we’ve never crossed that bridge. Maybe he never wanted too, maybe he did. But now, now I have a feeling I’ll never know.

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