I first met her two years ago, in a master’s program. In the first year we barely talked to each other. Every discussion revolved around plain stuff: classes, exams and occasional jokes, mostly about teachers . She was not the club going girl. She does have that perfect body, but she has the most sincere and disarming smile I have ever seen that can melt anyone away. Yet we kept things to ourselves. Later I found out that she was an introvert, like me, and you need to gain her trust if you want to know her better.
As we entered our second and last year, we started taking lunches together, we and a couple of friends and we started to know each other better.
By that time I had acquired the “precious” skill of letting people into my heart exactly how much they let me into theirs. I felt that some things you can’t disclose. Our hearts patiently lie awaiting for the right person to knock on its door with sincere voice. Then and only then it will open. Rilke said that words are crumbs that fall from the feast of our minds. I took from that the pain we feel of not being able to express through mere words. I still believe in that.
Over long lunches, she unknowingly bridged over layers of my souls that other people couldn’t access. I liked the way she touched me on my shoulder or my elbows when we walked by together. I liked the fact that she could inspire me unbounded confidence with a mere word or gesture. I never felt a stronger desire for intimacy or of confessing what I felt, to another woman than the times when she was looking into my eyes, smiling sincerely. I saw it in her eyes, too. It seems strange now, but it never occurred to me at the time that I was falling helplessly in love with her. And she had a boyfriend. And she liked them older too. She found them more mature. She often reiterated how she only prefers dating more mature guys, as if to hint that we, the other guys, would waste our time approaching her. I knew I shouldn’t fall for someone who’s not emotionally available, but once I saw that she felt how I felt, one severe judge from inside of me told me: She has a boyfriend and you are not ready! But another part of me whispered with a voice full of hope: Make her yours forever!
That’s when things got complicated. For weeks, I was unconsciously perpetuating the feelings I felt for her and that were breaking the seal of my heart. This first manifested in the songs I chose for my playlist and movies that I watched. Quickly, both sad and hopeful romantic songs took over the usual feel-good/up beat songs. I started having a thing for Ludovico Einaudi‘s piano pieces. I realized I was thinking all day long about her and that it was a mistake to think that this was a simple innocent crush, and that what I felt was transitory. It ran deeper than that. When I realized what mistake I had made, it was too late. My feelings for her deepened and I could not look at her the same way. I was daydreaming, hard. In my imagination, my lips were relentlessly pressing her rose-pink skin which shivered under my breath. I was hugging her tight in my arms, feeling her skin on my skin. I was imagining myself stealing her away from that other older guy, whom I thought he did not love her right, not the way I thought she should be loved. I figured my love touched places of her heart that he was not even aware of their existence. I had the arrogance of thinking I was a better lover than he was, even if I had met him only once. Yet, I was sure of that as I am sure of my breath. I was afraid that when we were talking she would notice how I really felt about her. So I started to deliberately miss classes, hoping my feelings for her would fade away. Time off does that, I thought.
But one Friday (two weeks ago), after I had missed for two good weeks, I came to classes. She was there, too, and she and two other colleagues decided, being a lovely spring day, that we visit the highest point in the city – the tower of the old Roman Catholic Church. I had visited the place several times for its beautiful view over the city and its vast surroundings. I cared for that place very much, but I always felt that something was wrong. I wished I had been with someone else. I knew that what I was feeling, what I felt to be beautiful, the people that I had been with could not understand or feel. Until I saw her face, looking into the distance, She was so happy, so full of life, that her happiness reflected on those around her. I knew then that she felt not only the way I did, but as intense, too. I was feeling what she was feeling and I was feeling it with her. I remember looking at her thinking how rare a girl she is.
After seeing yet another confirmation of how much our souls mirrored each other, I decided that it is best I stay away from her. That night, not being able to cast her away from my thoughts, I got so drunk that I do not recall how I got back home. The next day, battling a massive hangover, I thought that a walk in the nearby park would freshen me up. but I soon discovered that I was too sick to walk around, so I took a chair out on the terrace. The sun was shining bright on everything and everyone. As I was sitting down, I got a quick look over the park and the mountains beyond the city. Then the whole landscape gained a new meaning for me: the view of the green chestnut branches that were casting dim shadows on the children who were running around and playing on the black alleys and whose voices was piercing the air from time to time til they got to me, the bright red roofs of the old town houses, so white you had to tighten your eyes to look at them, the glowing fog that hid the mountain feet and its white peaks and its trees, darkened on one side of the crest, but which bathed in light on the side where the sun shone – the meaning of a too vast beauty and of an unfulfilled happiness. As I was recalling what had happened that previous day, small tears started to water my eyes, the tears of a happiness not yet fulfilled. I felt as if my place at the table of the feast of life was crudely refused and started to feeling the certainty that some people are truly unlucky in their life.
Sometimes, when I’m face to face with her and she’s speaking, I imagine telling her how I feel about her, but the expression of her face freezes my thong and I realize that no matter what I would send up saying will never be what it should be, what I feel, But none of the scenarios that run around my head end happily. She seems to be happy with him and I fear the time is not right, I fear trivializing what I feel, and most of all, I fear rejection.
What saddens me the most is the inability to love her, even when the most intense feelings of love unravel me. There were times when I wanted to take the heart out of my chest and lay it on the table, so that I can free myself from the pain and feel absolutely nothing, cold and detached, even if it were for only 5 minutes.
All my life I dreamt of meeting someone else who feels the same way and as deep as I do, And now that I found her, it seems that she’s taken. Now I sigh and lose myself into the contemplation of my unhappiness, of my unrequited love, with some sort of feeling that is both painful and joyous at the same time, I feel that I arrived to late – or too early? – and that whatever I do, I can’t get her out of my head, no matter how hard I try.
Written by Razvan M.