(Late night thoughts)
He was lying awake in his bed, curled up on his side, his eyes open in the darkness, his look distant as he lay there, staring off into the darkness, thinking of her.
The memories were bittersweet to him—the memory of her bright smile and the sound of her effortless and musical laughter, and the way she never tried to hide away her smile or her laughter around him or tried to censor herself around him or pretended to be someone other than who she really was around him, the way she always did with everyone else she’d ever known in her life.
He knew her—really knew her– and he knew it. More than that, he knew that she knew that he knew it. She came alive around him, as he always felt he came alive around her. And that fact was never as glaringly obvious to him as it was now, lying alone in his bed in the darkness, and wishing she was there for him to talk to.
For him to hold, the way he’d caught himself imagining more and more often lately. And he was aware of the fact now that the more he tried to deny the fact that he’d come to think of her in a much more intimate capacity than was probably appropriate, the more he realized it was true, and that it had been for a long time.
He loved her, and on some level or other he’d always been aware of it, even from the start, but then, she was an easy person to love.
That wasn’t the problem. She was a beacon—a rare and incredible sort of person, and her light had drawn people to her all her life seeking comfort, seeking shelter, seeking to share in her warmth, her light, her goodness.
The problem wasn’t that he loved her. Hell, that was part of the reason they’d gotten along so well all this time.
The problem began on the day he was standing there, talking with her about everything and nothing, the way they always had, and suddenly, standing there, listening to her ramble on about nothing with passion and vigor the way she always did, he’d found himself wanting to lean in and kiss her.
It was one thing to curl up on the couch and watch movies together. It was one thing to tease one another or for them to flirt when they both knew there was no ulterior motive behind it—that was just part of the charm of their friendship dynamic.
But this? This was something else.
And it scared him.