<<Hi. You know the drill, I’m Joe, Jester’s handler, and I’m writing stories for this blog to make sure Jester doesn’t get overworked through the Christmas period.>>
<<An exercise in the second person, this story is a love story told in the simplest possible terms. No character names, no specifics, not even gendered pronouns, yet this story will make you cry, and if it doesn’t I will eat my pen. Enjoy!>>
You would forget to talk to me for a week, and I would brush it off. I would tell you not to think about it. To not worry. It’s not that I missed you, or cared if you called. It’s not that it mattered if I saw you at all. It’s fine. I don’t care if you don’t notice me, it doesn’t matter if you don’t. And it’s fine when you leave me alone by myself. When you go off with your other friends, passing by me like I don’t even exist. Like I’m part of the furniture. It’s OK when you don’t see me watching, taking in your every move. It’s fine that you don’t care about who I am or what I do, or what I love about… you.
Because it isn’t fine, when you think nothing of me. It’s not OK when I don’t talk to you at all. It’s painful when you ignore me, or blanket me out with all of your inconveniences. It hurts when you live in your own world, not seeing what I feel for you. It hurts. And every time you stare straight through me, every remark about being a “good friend” empties my heart.
Sometimes I just stare at you when you walk by me, without a care in the world. And you notice me. Just once. And my feelings soar and my heart lodges in my throat. But you take me for granted. And the feeling fades. Because even though you never can know, I’ll always be there for you. No matter how much it destroys me to do it. No matter how much more in love with you I get, you never see what I feel.
And then they appeared. I saw you with them. The way you drank up their smile, the way you saw the sunshine in everything they did. The way they charmed you with their every move, and you never knew that I wanted you to look at me like that. They laughed and you mirrored them, and they said something and you smiled, and with every time they said they loved you I died inside. But something saved me. Your smile. Whenever you smiled when you were with them, I couldn’t get angry. I couldn’t get sad, because that smile is why I loved you. And I knew that even then I would never hate you, for as long as you were happy I could never hate you.
We were friends, but I wanted much more from you than that. We were close, but it was never close enough. And we laughed together, spent time together, but it felt hollow. Like you still didn’t see me. And they were always there with you, making you smile, and I couldn’t bring myself to face them. I knew you were obsessed with them. You would laugh even when they said something stupid, and smile at every little nothing whispered in your ear. Until one day you didn’t.
You would walk out of the room crying, and I wouldn’t say anything. I would see you, and I would just know. I would take you by the arms, and guide you to the couch. I’d sit you down, wrap you up in a warm blanket and push a hot drink into your hands. I’d sit there, clasping you while your body wracked with silent sobs. I’d comb my fingers through your hair, and say absolutely nothing as I knew how you felt. And I’d be there with you. And you knew that I would always be there with you. And we would be together for as long as we needed each other, not moving, just needing each other. Eventually your tears would dry up, and your drink would be empty. And nothing would ever need to be said, as I just got it, I understood all you were going through.
But you still wouldn’t understand how I felt. I would be there, and while I thought of you and you thought of how they made you feel, I would be holding you in my arms. You wouldn’t notice how I hugged you tighter now that I noticed you had a reason to stop. You didn’t feel how my heart thrummed when I was near you. You could never know how being this close to you made me feel, like my skin was burning and all of my senses overwhelmed. You couldn’t have known how I felt time slow down for those moments you were there.
But you felt it when I made up my mind and kissed you. You were quiet, and melted into the kiss. I felt like fire, fire and ice and heat and cold and everything was a rush and I was kissing you. I don’t remember who pulled away, but it doesn’t matter. What matters was your smile. The same you used on them. The same smile I had loved since the first moment I set eyes on you. But it was better than that, as it was a smile for me. And only for me. And I must have smiled back because you kissed me again, softly this time, and whispered into my ear. “I never knew… All this time and I never knew.”
And I would press my face into your neck and whisper back, and I would say, “How could I ever not love you.”