This is one of my favorite short stories. Can't remember anymore when I wrote this. I think this was for Mr. & Ms. Magazine...
“Deep down, I was glad
it was cold, for while
I was keeping you warm,
I was secretly loving you.”
-COLD by Joe Pintauro
Marvie sat beside me in the bus, and I could feel sweat breaking out through my body. I could feel her heart beating so close to mine. Gradually, my pulse quickens. I move in my seat, extremely uncomfortable. I have never been this close to anybody before – man or woman. Slowly, Marvie leaned on my shoulder. She was too close to me now that I can hear her breathing.
I met Marvie, or rather, she saw me, in one of the benches around the park near our house. I had been walking and stretching my muscles, and I was with my dog. The moment she said “hi!”, I knew that something in me was forever changed.
That first meeting at the park was followed by another...and another...and another. And soon enough, we became close friends. We went out a lot – we went to bars and concerts, and even exercised together. Slowly, I felt myself falling for her. My heart would beat fast everytime she was near me. Whenever she held my hand, I’d be lost, as if I was flying over nowhere. But this is where it all stops...
You see, when I met Marvie, she was very much in love with this guy called Wayne. They have been together for two years. I met Wayne a couple of months ago, and he seemed nice. Marvie was happy with him. You’ll know it when you hear the sound of her laughter, and the excitement in her voice everytime she talked about him. They had plans – travel plans, wedding plans.
Last night, Marvie came to me and cried a bucket of tears. We stayed in my apartment the whole night. I listened to her cry, sigh and complain. It turned out that this nice guy, Wayne, had been living in with some other girl, and it had been going on for months! It was plain and simple cheating. Marvie saw them in his apartment. They explained and announced that they were “in love”. Marvie simply walked out. No violent reactions. No radio-drama hysterics. No wailing. She let him go.
Now, I am at the crossroad. I know not which path to take – there are many before me. I can talk her out of her depression and we could both go away for sometime. Or, I can leave things be and let time heal her wounds. Then again, I can always tell her to look for another guy – someone really worthy of her love. Will I have the guts to tell her that, knowing that I love her myself? I don’t know...
Everytime she takes my hand and leans on my shoulder, I feel my whole world crush. How can somebody so close to you seem so far away? I cannot reach her. No matter how close we can get. I will never be able to reach her. If I were an ordinary young man, maybe things will be a little different. But, you see, I’m not. There’s nothing ordinary, or extraordinary, about me. I can feel. I can touch. I love the smell of her hair. But I have never seen her beautiful face – not even once. My world is in total darkness. I wake up each morning not really knowing the difference between night and day. I don’t know what the flowers I gave her this morning, look like. I don’t ask about her favorite color. Why should I, when my world is pitch black darkness? She’s the only rainbow in my life. She brightens me up. She completes my day. She makes my heart see.
So now, what? Am I to continue holding her in my arms while secretly loving her? People say I look good. Maybe she likes the way I look. Maybe she’ll wake up one day and realize that I’m special to her. More special than Wayne, more special than anybody else she has ever known. I wish Marvie would stay with me forever...so I could hold her, embrace her all my life.
They say “love is blind”. In my case, it really is. I just hope Marvie keeps her eyes (and heart) open. I’m pretty sure that one day, she’ll discover a brighter world.
- xxx -