We did not start out as childhood buddies or the best of friends. We’re not match-made in the sandbox or high school sweethearts. We’re just two people who met at some point in our lives and became friends. Nothing romantic, just friends.
Along with our friendship, came my admiration for your smile. You had braces back then, yet I knew that behind them was a perfect, blinding, captivating smile. You’d light up my day easily without you knowing. It was then that I realized, I couldn’t get through my day without seeing or touching you. As we grew closer, I learned important things about you – that you’re a sucker for the bad chick flicks or the latest immature love teams there are. I laugh at your vanity – how you keep your hands moisturized, how you spray just the right amount of perfume, how you wet your lips when they’re dry.
As we grew closer, I made sure I was there through your every milestone.
I watched you grow, stumble, falter in faith, cry a few times. I was attracted to that naivete, that vulnerability.
I wanted to be your superman, your knight, your shield as bright as day, that would repel any harm towards you.
Then reality hit me hard. No, it slapped me in the face enough to shake my senses. You’re already with someone.
Those smiles are made for him. Your vanity is to impress him. Your scent is to lure him. Your hands bind with his hands. His lips wet yours. You cry because of him. You stand against the storm just for him. Him.
You sometimes tell me how you struggle with the relationship, how he hurts your feelings, how you hurt him back. You sometimes tell me how you love him, how you plan to go away with him, how you badly want a life with him. Just him.
I don’t think I’ll be confessing about my feelings anytime soon. I’m that one who’d rather preserve the friendship than risk losing you entirely. And I respect the fact that you are in love. I respect the fact that you’re loved, possibly more than I ever could.
Maybe for now I’ll bask in the few minutes we spend together – how for a few moments, your smiles are for me. I’ll savor the moments when you tell me your secrets, that there are things only we share. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be for now. Who knows about tomorrow, right?
Though I don’t expect much, I still hope that one day the universe will conspire for us to be together. At the back of my mind I’m still wishing for that slim chance that we could be. Until then, I’m just a guy who’d rather keep you close than confess and lose you – a guy in the shadows, watching and loving you every day.