"I feel tormented!" I exhaled in a breath. After opaquely studying the daily rigmarole of street traffic my eyes eventually found her, gaping at me from across the table, it was all I could do to stay rooted to the chair. 'There, that was easy', I thought. Now that it was finally out in the open, I felt a sudden urge to get it all out.
'Okay, here goes nothing!'
"You know, there is so much I want to do with you. So much I want us to experience. So much I want to ..." my voice broke off. 'Well this definitely was harder!' I hazarded a peek at her and immediately regretted the decision. She was staring intendly at me with one of those piercing gazes, the ones which you are so afraid of that they may lay bare all your secrets. Her eyes were brimming with oceans of internal turmoil and yet I could see a faint trace of understanding running in them. "Then why don't you?" she whispered, her eyebrows dancing in an unusually playful manner. Her feeble attempt at a smile failed to masquerade the pain she felt inside in anticipation of what she knew was coming.
"Its not that simple...", I argued as I felt a huge knot rise up my throat. Apparently all the things I had been practicing in my mind for the past week had not bestowed upon me the eloquence I had hoped they would. Thankfully the waiter appeared, giving me the opportunity to leisurely peruse the menu. She ordered a chocolate mousse while I made do with a double latte. When I could delay eye contact no longer, I looked up and found her mysteriously smiling at me.
'What the hell is she on about?' Apparently she read my thoughts as if on paper, for immediately she averted her gaze. But as she did so, I caught the pain resurfacing in those hazel eyes I once so much loved. 'I did it again!' I admonished myself.
Sighing heavily for the umpteenth time, I took her hand in mine. She was shivering slightly but the touch of my sweaty hand seemed to calm her. At length, she looked at me and I knew if I had to say something, this was the time.
"You are a wonderful person and I would like nothing more than to spend my whole life with you." I began, cringing inwardly on how cliche it sounded. "However I can't bring myself to do this to you. You deserve someone better and you have your whole life before you..." I immediately raised my hand to stifle her retort. "I know what you want to say and I understand that. But give it a few years' time and you will see my point."
The room seemed to have grown hotter and I vainly tried searching for the air conditioner to test my theory.
Failing in the search, I dragged my eyes back to her. She was broodily pushing around the remains of the mousse and I gave her credit for not breaking into tears. Personally I did'nt think I could handle any of that. However the damage was done and the rest of what was supposed to be an enjoyable evening became a complete drag.
At length she spoke, "So now what?"
"Well we'll always be friends and you'll be a very special one for me, you know that!" I said more to convince myself than her. With a slight nod she indicated what one could call forced acceptance and I knew that that was the end of it. Silently we paid the bill and left the place which would be etched in my memory forever.