“I came to tell you that I love you. And I have felt this way for a long time. But, but I was afraid of risking what we have. Will you go out with me, please?”, Gregory Milne aka G-Millz blurted out with enough anxiety to cause a tsunami. Since he had trouble maintaining eye contact during conversation, he’d focused on her eyebrows*. Practice is not always the basis for confidence, G-Millz in that moment was the living proof. And since he was not confident, he seemed insincere.
G-Millz and Alese (pronounced a-lay-say) had known each other for over two years. They lived in different time zones. One would think it had been difficult for them to maintain their relationship, but it wasn’t so. The prevalence of coincidences that ensured they maintained their relationship would lead even the most cynical observer to believe that these two were meant to be. It was eerie. Equally eerie was the fact that even after two years, they were only friends. Yes, yes, they did have the odd sexual encounter. Well, actually encounters because there had been two, but the encounters, surprisingly, didn’t consummate anything. But this was not the first time Milne had decided to wrestle matters from fate’s hand.
There was this one time, when Milne and Alese were cuddling in a couch at her parent’s house and he was about to whisper “I love you” into her ears when Alese’s brother, Thomas, drunkenly trudged in and abruptly left while uttering words of apology. Then there was the time when he wrote his proposal in a card to give Alese; her parents had decided that was the day they’d announce their impending divorce. But nothing was to stop G-Millz today. He’d been planning this for weeks. If she were to accept his proposal, he’d kiss her in the mouth and ask her to come camping with him. She loved being outdoors. If she rejected, he would ask her to overlook the whole thing altogether so they could continue being friends. Then there were numerous iterations of everything in between acceptance and rejection. But this was the moment. He’d said it. Now the perpetual anticipation that lies between action and consequence.
“I waited for you for two whole years, Watson. [Pause] Yesterday, [Pause] Zach asked me out.” She sounded irritated when she said this bit, “And I said ‘Yes.’ So we are a thing now.” Somewhere along that sentence, G-Millz had started falling and at the end of it, he hit the floor of his existence with the weight of the whole universe. Since he had not anticipated this scenario, it made little sense to him. Also, he was obsessed and in love so naturally his heart was breaking. And the pieces kept growing in weight and sank into his stomach. Heartbeats were skipped. Pupils dilated. He was a brick, and nothing from outside penetrated. He was trying to speak but what came out was not sound. And she was still there, eyes looking into his soul but failing to fathom its grief.
After what to him seemed like eons, G-Millz finally asked, “What do you mean you said ‘Yes’? How does that work?”
“I told him that I would be his girlfriend”
“But, but what about me?”
She said nothing or Milne didn’t wait long enough. I don’t know which, dear reader.
“But how does that work. I always assumed that love did not have an expiration date. Event. If I’d asked before him, would we have been together? What the fuck?!” Milne grew visibly upset.
“I still love you.”
“Don’t say that.”
I don’t know where he got the cue from but Milne started spilling his gut, “I always assumed you and I had something special. That we’d built slowly but it was steady and had strong foundations. A mixture of respect and trust. And we really don’t have to spell anything out, things just fall in place for us. If love already existed, which we both know it did, then asking you out should only be a formality, no? Aren’t my insides no longer yours?”
“It is not always black and white like that, Gregory. I don’t know how to tell you. I wish you’d asked me earlier or given some kind of hint. But now it is late. That time I dropped you off at the train-station, I felt so strongly for you. I stared at the back of your heard until you dissolved into the concourse. The whole time, I kept praying, ‘Please turn around, please turn around, please turn around’ but you didn’t. If you had, I’d come running to you and call you mine. It’s been incredibly difficult for me, these two years, aching to know. You don’t realize what I have had to go through to be able to even consider someone other than you. And it breaks my heart seeing you like this. But its”
Milne interrupted, “Oh, fuck no! Come on, man. Don’t say that. I have tried to muster the courage to ask numerous times. And really, that was the only thing left, asking. I am hurt but I am disappointed more than hurt. Oh and didn’t we, didn’t we. Well fuck I cannot explain it now. It was so clear in my head before. “
Alese retorted, “Please don’t cry Gregory. It kills me to know that I have hurt you. I love you unconditionally. I never feel any malice towards you. I love you and I’ve never felt this way towards someone. We have something that, from my eyes, is inexplicable. And it’s ok, we’ll get by how we get by.”
“I don’t want to get by like this.” Milne said before he turned around and started running.
*A friendly tip, bought to you by the mighty internet.