Once there was a girl.  She loved a boy who didn’t love her back.  She didn’t understand why, but she decided that trying to be his friend was the next logical solution.  At first it felt easy.  It was as natural as the air she breathed.  They were natural together.  But then, it got hard.  She couldn’t help but be bitter.  How did he not see the potential of them?  How did he not see the magic they spun together?  How did he not love her?  Why couldn’t he?  Of all the impossible things in this world, she thought this hardly deserved the check mark.

She tried changing things about herself, as the foolish do.  Little by little. Trim by vicious trim.  She was most agreeable.  She loved his awful taste in techno opera stars.  She attempted to swear less.  For a moment she even considered taking on a new language or instrument to improve the strength of her romantic resume.  But she decided that just laughing at his jokes would suffice.

Initially, the girl loved all those things about him.  So of course she was happy to adapt to the changes. ‘He made her a better person,’ she thought to herself. And that truly stuck with her for a long while.  Until it didn’t.  Soon, little inklings of doubt began to swim through her mind. ‘Better…Better…?’ That word kept pattering through her head.  ‘Was a I bad before?’ she wondered.

And so the girl grew even more bitter. Love wasn’t so pleasant when it stripped you down and laughed at what you saw in the mirror everyday.  What made the girl furious was that the boy didn’t seem to notice these changes at all.  It was seamless.  To him there were no changes to be noted.

It seemed to her that these changes had gone unnoticed because the boy must have never really seen the girl in the first place.  Of course he had looked at her.  They smiled and laughed, and teased and talked.  But it occurred to her that he had never really looked at her.  He had never truly looked at her, past the smile of her eyes and beyond the tease of her lips. Essentially, the girl felt that she had become a shell, a shadow, and a sheer reflection of her former self.

Everyday she contemplated ending the friendship.  But everyday she couldn’t bring herself to do it.  How could she?  It wasn’t the boys fault he didn’t love her back.  Although he could be blamed for driving her bat-shit crazy with every conversation they had, the girl could never accuse him of leading her on.  Not once had he brushed a hand against hers.  Never did he call her beautiful, and never had he ever given her the look.  The look that everyone knows, the look that screams “I want you forever”.  Why then had the girl fallen so deeply in love?  No one knows, and she can’t even explain it herself, so there is no satisfying answer to this horrible question. Instead she can tell you the exact moment she knew she loved the boy.

They had been sitting beside each other, on the couch with a group of their friends, and she caught herself admiring his eyelashes.  She literally had the thought “I love those eyelashes”, run through her head.  And it hit her heart right then and there.  Love is stupidly explosive like that.

When walking past her vanity mirror, the girl nearly fainted when she mistook herself for an intruder.  In her ill conceived attempt at befriending someone she  loved, the girl had  transformed into some smiley-faced, techno opera queen who bit her tongue before saying the auto-correct version of “ducking”.  And she hated it.  She loved those bizarre pieces on him, but on herself, the girl slowly felt weighed down. Like she was sinking into a great abyss, and could do nothing but admire the bubbles of air escaping her lips.

She’s still sinking, poor girl.

She isn’t ready to let him go.  Perhaps not until he forces her to do so.  What scares her the most, as she sinks to the bottom, is this thought: if she removes this beautiful yet painful weight that has become so shackled to her heart, what will she see when she reaches back to the surface?