The overwhelming urge to lay my head on his shoulder is eating me up now, but somehow I will myself not to do it.
He would let me if I try, won’t he?
But it would be like every other time I try to get closer to him – he wouldn’t push me away, but I’ll start to wish for even more; I’d wish to get even closer to him.
But I’m not allowed to do that, not allowed to wish because we are ‘friends’, and that’s all we’ll ever be.
I turn sideways to look up at his face. The wrinkles beneath his eyes peek at me as he smiles and raises his eyebrows at me. I shake my head and look away.
The sounds of laughter of our other friends reach my ears, but I can’t make anything out. The dim lights don’t do any good to kerb the overpowering emotions that I’m feeling at the moment.
I look at him again, and I feel like my heart will burst because of all the things that I want to say to him, all the things that I’ve been feeling since I met him two years ago, and those feelings have only gotten stronger since then.
In the fear that I might blurt out all the love that I’m feeling right now, and regret it for years to come, I get up hurriedly and rush to the restroom to have some moments to myself.
I look into the mirror and see the face of a helpless girl staring back at me. I hate being powerless, and maybe that is why I never wanted to fall in love. I hate my situation right now because I know I am hopelessly in love with him and also know that he’ll never love me back.
I know that he is still too much in love with her, and even if someday he moves on, I’ll never be the one for him.
I rest my body on the wall because I fear that I’ll fall on my face and slide down, tears running down both my cheeks. I prop my face on my hands and cry with all that has been built up inside of me – all the love for him, the realization that he’ll never love me, and because I’ll never be able to tell him just how much I fear my confession of love will make me lose my best friend.
I hear a knock on the door. I quickly wash my face and reapply kohl and lipstick. I come out of the restroom to find my friend waiting for me, saying that she and all the others are worried about what’s been taking me so much time.
I plaster a wide smile on my face, saying, “An upset stomach, that’s all.” We both laugh, and go back to our table.
My best friend drops me home after our little party is over, and just as I turn to leave the car, he holds my hand and says, “You were crying then, weren’t you?”
A smile works its way on my face as I realise that I can fool the entire world, but not him.
I look into his eyes and say, “I am so glad I’ve got you”, and fling my arms around his neck.
He holds me close and quietly says, “And you always will have me. That’s what best friends are for.”
I bury all the love for him in my heart and find solace in his arms, even if it is only for some moments.
If not a lover, I’ll keep him as a friend – I’ll keep him anyway I get to.