“Oh, what have I gotten myself into”.
It’s all I could think, as I let my head rest against his chest. He wrapped his arm around me, letting his hand—soft yet still calloused—sit atop mine.
Only two days ago, if that, I had been sitting beside him wondering, what it would feel like to be his girlfriend—the girl who could set her head against his chest, the girl he’d pull close to him, and run his fingers through her hair.
I’m not his girlfriend. I’m not even the only girl he has his arm around. It’s a “cuddle puddle” we joke. We are all so tired, and out of relationships for so long, we don’t care. A little physical touch just sounds good—nothing more than a head on a shirted chest, or an arm around a covered shoulder. But something—anything—to remind us all that human contact actually exists, and that we can feel. I can feel…
His breath is slow and tired. My face digs into his t-shirt. And I let my eyes close. I let myself fall asleep, ignore the movie on, and just let myself doze off; in his arms, I rest my eyes, after wondering what his warmth feels like mixed with mine.
I ignore the fact that Megan is on his other side. I ignore the fact he’s leaning into her, as I lean my weight against him. I ignore the obvious—that we are still just friends, and try to let the memory slip away of telling him how I felt about him and hearing the words, “I’m flattered, but…”. I let the ache drift away to the count of his breaths. All I can do right now is ignore it, because for a few hours, my dream is real. It’s not quite to the standards that I had imagined, but it’s real nonetheless.
In about twenty-four hours, he will be gone—ten hours away—living another life, with different people. New friends. New girls… And maybe that one girl that might be able to stop him in his tracks, like he did to me. Maybe there will be that girl that legitimately makes him happy, and she can see the wonderful in him. Because I want him to have her I really do, but something I think it would just be so much nicer if that girl was me.
After the cuddling, he drops me off at my dorm. We meander to the font door, and awkwardly hug. Our first real one, and our last now.
As I unlock the door to the building, he walks back to his car. And like that, we are done.
My unrequited love is literally moving on now, instead of his figurative emotional status he’s held for the last few months.