“Why can’t you just say how you really feel?” I whispered to myself at 4 AM in the morning as I stared at my tired eyes in the mirror.
I wanted to respond and scream, “I don’t know!” I wanted to say, “I’m not brave enough.” I wanted to ask, “Will it make a difference?”
But the truth was that I was really, really scared.
The problem with fear is that it ruins all the amazing possibilities. It holds you back from telling your truth, from risking your heart, from living your best life. Fear keeps you awake at night, playing different scenarios in your head, trying to find answers to the questions that are swirling inside your head.
Some people spend the rest of their lives regretting the chances they didn’t take. Some people choose to remain silent because it’s a lot easier than having to explain what’s inside of them. Some people just go through the motions, allowing the world to decide for their fate.
And I’m starting to believe that we’re becoming those kind of people.
I’m starting to have this sinking feeling that, at the end of it all, we’re going to be something that could have been beautiful, but never did. I’m petrified to think that we’re going to look back one day with our hearts swelling for the decisions that we didn’t make. I’m scared that we’re wasting our time playing this stupid waiting game about who’s going to make the first move.
I know that there’s a special place for me in your heart, even though you can’t say it out loud, even though you’re skeptical to admit it. I know it because every time you walk in front of me, I can tell how much you’re dying to approach me. I can tell by the way you look at me that you’re trying to figure out whether we have a shot at something romantic, at something that can potentially last a lifetime.
But every time you put your feet forward to meet me halfway, I take two steps back.
Whenever you’re around me, I pretend like I don’t notice your presence. I act nonchalantly, coldly. Because I’m worried that you’ll hurt me eventually. I’m worried that I’ve spent plenty of my time in being so good on my own that I don’t know what falling in love means anymore.
And maybe this is how we will always be — just two individuals living under the same sky, and breathing the same air, but never knowing if they have a wonderful future together. Maybe we’ll just keep sneaking glances towards each other until someone gives up, until someone moves on and finds another person. Maybe we’ll never know if we’re destined to spend the rest of our lives side by side, and we are the ones to blame — not the world, not the people who are close to us, not even time.
We are the ones responsible for our loneliness. We can’t hold someone or something accountable for our frustrations and regrets. We opt to conceal our truths beneath us because of stupid reasons, because of our egos, because of our fear of rejections. We never push ourselves to open our hearts and see what happens next.
Our story already looks like a tragedy even before it begins. And that gives me more doubt whether or not to give you the privilege of seeing my vulnerabilities. My soul is worn out of welcoming people who make promises that they can’t keep. And right now, the last thing that I need is another heartbreak.
It seems, to me, that we’re only wasting our time catching each other endlessly. We’re both young and have so many important things to do. At one point, this waiting game will take a toll on us and we need to stop while it’s still early. We need to stop before someone gets hurt.
We will never know if we really have special feelings for one another. But maybe not knowing the answer is better than having to enter a commitment that might only complicate our lives further. Maybe this isn’t the kind of love story that I want for myself. And maybe this isn’t what you ultimately want, too.