We were children – lost in a world of imagination and laughter and the echo of school bells. My voice carried to you in a crowd of people – like windchimes on a quiet day. You would stand beside me, shoulders touching and skin tingling, when they only walked over me. They teased me for the gaze that lingered on you too long and you stood up for me, as if I hadn’t left my heart in the front pocket of your shirt, its beats blending with yours like chocolate and strawberries.
One lunch break, we raced across green grass, your footsteps blurring like a movie in double speed. I should have known that it would always be like that – you running in the opposite direction and me chasing after, never able to move fast enough. I should have known this love would always be a race, one I could never win.
I didn’t know what love was then but I knew how to file memories away so I could fall asleep every night to the thought of you. You didn’t know what love was then, but you knew how to make me laugh through every class until the teachers were glaring and we had stopped caring.
Time was our enemy and our compass. It would steer us close only to push us far. Maybe you could hear my heartbeats racing and didn’t know how to not turn a deaf ear. Maybe I could feel your nonchalance and didn’t know how to not starve from it.
One day our hands were touching, and the world was dissolving around us and when you wrapped your arms around her I couldn’t figure out why you’d breathe in her neglect when I was shattering at the mere mention of your name.
She met you in our locker area and I made myself blend in with the wall, like a wilting wildflower. Time has nurtured my feelings for you and washed away your memories of me, like photo frames in a flash flooding.
This is a story of decay and destruction, and I don’t know how to tell it without making the vivid colours appear as faded and washed-out ink. Maybe if they saw the way you melted in my presence they would understand. Love is not like the movies. Love is suffocating in plain sight. Love is dying before your closed eyes. Love is this. A shaky hand and a page in a notebook and another failed attempt to make the world see how much you broke me.
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Compelling and original writing
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The story invoked strong personal emotions