He irritated her. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but it was something in the
way extent to which he adored her. It was that look in his eyes as he stared into hers searchingly. A look that told her that to him, she was his world. Impatient. She was always impatient with him, never in a rush, never needed to be anywhere, never waiting- yet, still impatient. He didn’t care. If truth be known, he didn’t know. He just loved her so much.
Today was like no other. Her hair was scraped back carelessly into a swinging ponytail. She hadn’t bothered to apply any make up, she never did for him anymore. It was funny really, her absolute apathy. She didn’t care about what he thought anymore. She made no effort. To him this wasn’t apathy, this was her feeling comfortable with him. Besides, he liked her when she looked her most natural anyway. He saw what he wanted to see.
His thoughts were consumed by her. Hers were elsewhere.
Today her world crashed around her, a little bit. The moment that he dropped. Dropped to his knees. He took out a humble ring that she knew would have cost him his every last penny. His words were choked and he stammered a little, but he asked her all the same. She froze to the spot. She knew he loved her, but this was unexpected. She was only sixteen afterall.
The silence hung in the air. It was deafening. She wanted to say something, she knew she had to. Just what? No words came to her. The silence continued. She watched as tears pricked his eyes. Suddenly she cared. But still there were no words. Nothing was adequate. So she did it, she made the mistake that would stay with her for the rest of her life.
She barely recognised her own voice. She watched this one word have its full impact. Disbelief then joy, pure joy. His eyes pricked with tears again, but this time it was different. He stood now and flung his clumsy arms around her tightly. He was breathing in this embrace, making it last forever. She wished it would stop. She stood still, immovable and in disbelief. A different disbelief to his.
The enormity of it all hit her like a brick. She wanted to unsay what she had said, but his tear pricked eyes and that funny expression on his lips were imprinted on her mind. Was this it? Was this to be the engagement that she relayed to her children and then her grandchildren in the future? When her friends asked would she tell them how it had happened, or would she tell it differently?
She would tell it differently.
The heartbreak that she had seen flicker across his eyes momentarily as he knelt on the ground waiting for her response was nothing. Nothing compared to the heartbreak that she ultimately caused him, when, a few days later she told him she had changed her mind. No. She told him that she had said what he wanted to hear, not what she had wanted. She let him tell his friends excitedly that he was engaged. She let him then tell his friends, a matter of days later, that it wasn’t going to happen. Humiliation and heartbreak.
It stuck with her from that moment on. She knew that she wasn’t a bad person. She had never set out to hurt him. She was just naive.
She hurt him and she knew it. But, the real hurt was hers. The girl who became afraid of commitment. The girl who always sought to please everybody at the expense of herself. The girl who was forever accused of being cold hearted and difficult to love. The girl who was struggling from then on, whose relationships would never be the same again.
I should know, I am that girl.