There’d been more than a few times in the past few years that I’d had to take my fists to someone for hurting her feelings. That I cannot stand. Never could, never would.
So that day those tears and that brave little look on her face touched something inside of me and I leaned over and wiped her face with my sleeve before kissing her cheek and patting her shoulder.
It was the look in her eyes when she looked up at me. Those big green eyes still wet with unshed tears, and her pouty pink lips still slightly trembling. To this day I still don’t know what came over me. I just know I almost got lost in her eyes.
I felt almost like I was dropping off a deep cliff, and I couldn’t look away from her eyes and the light in them. Then something started happening in my chest. Almost like it was being squeezed.
I remember the feeling had scared me so bad I thought my heart was going to fly right out of my chest. And then as the days went by, I realized that that wasn’t fear. That it was my new normal whenever I was around her. I put two and two together weeks later and figured out that it was love.
Back then we didn’t hide anything from one another so of course, I told her the very next day after I realized. She got this big beautiful smile on her face, but at least this time she didn’t make me take a blood oath. We’d already done that the year before when we swore to be friends forever.
But from that day, the day I told her how I felt, we were the youngest couple in the world, though no one else knew it. So when we held hands as we walked, to the rest of the world, we were cute little friends that no one minded since we’d been living in each other’s back pocket for the better part of four years going on five.
But to me, it was the beginning of her being mine. Even then I was a selfish little shit. I never shared her with anyone, and she never wanted me to. Of course, there was nothing sexual, we were too young and even at twelve there still wasn’t anything like that between us.
Though we still held hands, and I’d graduated to kissing her forehead or her hair instead of one of her cheeky dimples, but that’s as far as it went. The long hours we spent talking to each other was nothing new, that’s what we’d always done.
We’d been as close as two people could be. So much so that she’d begged not to go on that last family vacation with her parents, but to stay home with Nana. Maybe she had a foreboding of things to come.
It’s for this reason that I haven’t forced her to accept my return. When the time comes she’d learn that I never left her and that if I’d had the choice back then she’d never have spent one day without me.