It isn't fair to him, to be treated this way. It isn't fair to either of us. He isn't what I want; he was never what I wanted. But I settled for him, I stayed. And now I can't help but go over all the things he says that aren't perfect, the things that separate him from the one I really want. And the truth is when I think of these things, I loathe him. I loathe everything about him until I realize I'm blaming someone who is innocent in all this.
He treats me both with the respect one should give a person and the perceived control one has over a possession. Of course, he never says this aloud. He merely implies it in his speech. He claims to have almost lost me in the car accident, as if I was ever his to lose in the first place. He constantly reminds me of how others, even his own family, view me. In their eyes, I am either a hopeless romantic, constantly denying my love for him, or a sociopathic predator, eager to break him down, piece by tiny piece. Of course, the truth is far more complicated and distinctly more difficult to admit. I love him, certainly. He is one of my closest friends, even when my heart screams to hate him for trapping me here. Even so, I harbor no illusion that my affection extends into the romantic. The very notion of a sexual or even mildly romantic relationship with him makes my skin crawl, my stomach twist. For me, it would be worse than entertaining feelings for my own brother. No, the cruel, sickening truth is that I cannot love him, and all because I am in love with her.
I know my chances of happiness are nonexistent, yet my heart refuses to give up its incessant pining. Every time I laugh, I look around to see if she is laughing as well. Even when I know she isn't there, I always look. It is pathetic, disturbing. I am well aware of this. I marvel at everything about her: her willpower, her beauty, her ability to provoke a smile from me simply by glancing in my direction. But even as I stand in awe, she places me above her. Even though I would clearly do anything for her, she can't figure out why.
She does not see herself as beautiful, as worth anything. She doesn't see herself as intelligent, funny, or brave. Instead, she sees these qualities in me. She thinks of me as caring, compassionate, intelligent, courageous, and perhaps even beautiful. And for all my intelligence, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why.
There is a mirror to this happiness she induces in me, however. A negative. Sometimes, when I'm around her, my blood is poison in my veins; I feel the life seep out of me just as water flows down a drain. The worst part, however, is him. I have, on several occasions, had the inclination to throw myself in front of moving traffic when she talks about him. The way her eyes sparkle when she thinks about him makes my body ache. Perhaps, if I flee from it all, I can drain the rest of my being before she can. Perhaps then, I can stop thinking of her. Perhaps then, I can stop pretending that it doesn't hurt.
I do not want him. I want her, and nothing short of a bullet in my brain will cure my emotions. Until then, however, I am trapped in a self-destructive cycle with no winner but her, and she doesn't even know she's playing.
It's a game of poison, and I have no intention of coming out alive.