Day after day, year after year, he had said nothing of his affections. He often thought about doing so, of coming right out with it but he just couldn’t do it. Scared of more rejection, the fear of being even more alone if she spurned him. The one time he did try to tell her he got all flustered and was tripping over his words; he felt like an utter buffoon and came out with something else instead that made him feel completely foolish and left him too self-conscious. It was then he decided that having her as a friend was better than nothing at all, and all though he was completely infatuated with her, he would tell her nothing of his feelings.
They had met at the bookstore, bonded over a love of greek mythology, and since then remained good friends, meeting up a few times a week. She had told him of some on-off boyfriend but other than that she was a mystery to him, a complete enigma. In some ways he thought he knew her but often she would say or do something that made him think he didn’t. Somedays she would be perfectly normal, chatty and friendly, but sometimes she would speak in riddles, avoid answering questions, and always be looking around, almost disinterested.
The chatty friendly version of her became more frequent in their meetings, and whilst he yearned for her to feel the same as he did, he never acted upon his feelings.
One day, he received a phone call from some man. This man was a brother she had never mentioned before who wept down the phone as he told of how she had died in a car accident a few days before. He hung up the phone; not listening to the details of what had happened. He was in shock. He did not want to believe that she was dead.
It took him a long time to bring himself round to visiting her grave. He wanted to do it, say one final goodbye, but it was too hard, too emotional. When he finally convinced himself to go, he stood at her headstone for some time before eventually, with a single tear strolling down his cheek he whispered,
“I love you” his chest heaved and his tears came stronger and harder.
“I love you too” came an emotional voice from behind him.
Slowly turning around, his eyes rested upon her. At the mere sight of her it felt like his heart was going to jump out of his throat.
There she stood, even more beautiful than he remembered. He couldn’t move, stricken with confusion and overwhelming love. The two looked and smiled at each other before he finally strode toward her, full of confidence he had never experienced before, pulled her into his arms, kissed her and held her like he was never going to let go.
“I thought you were dead” he exclaimed through tears of happiness
Nodding, she pulled away from him and took something out of her pocket to show him.
It was an ID card. Underneath the logo of Her Majesty’s Government was a photo of her, next to a name he didn’t recognise.
“Let’s go back to yours,” she suggested, “I’ve got some explaining to do”