“Then tell her how you feel, Alan!”
“It’s not that easy anymore! You don’t understand, John.”
They stormed into the dimly lit hallway until John stopped him at the old clock ringing out the hour.
“You love her! What’s to understand?”
“John, I don’t deserve her! She deserves the world presented to her at every hour. Not struggle for it her whole life just to get what crumbs are left over!” There was a sincerity in his eyes John had never seen before. A pain and anguish smothered in admiration.
“But Alan you—“
“I spent two years not giving her even the time of day when all she did was practically worship and adore me with all of her being! And the one thing I regret most is not telling her I loved her each and every day.”
“It’s not too late.” Said John. He watched as Alan dropped his head slightly and turned his back to him.
“Things are different now. I fought to keep her as close to me as I could after completely tearing her apart. It never struck me that in all that fighting it was because I loved her so much that I couldn’t stand being without her.”
“It can’t be that different. You’re still friends. You’ve still got time!” He pleaded.
“We may be friends, but I don’t know that I deserve another chance at anything more. I let my head get in the way before and just when I had started to open up to her. It terrified me and I don’t scare easy. I saw an opportunity and I jumped ship—leaving my true feelings with her.”
Such sadness pervaded from his voice that John paused long before responding to him. In all the pain and torment that had occurred recently, Alan had emerged victorious with a new lease on life and the goal of self assessment . A truly meaningful examination of his actions and what really mattered in his life. She had made the top of the list.
“Alan, look—you know this now. It took you a lot of mistakes and a lot of time, but you know now right? You know that you love her beyond a shadow of a doubt?” Asked John.
“I love her.” Said Alan. His eyes reaffirmed.
“Then you need to show her.”
“I want to. I really do. She’s the world to me and without her…I tried to think of what it would be like if something were to happen to her the last time she was sick. It was awful. I was so scared out of my mind. That’s when I really knew.” There was excitement in Alan’s voice as he relived the moment. A culminating experience that broadened his thinking and revealed the status of his own heart.
“You must tell her.”
“No. The cruel irony is that I can’t anymore. I spent so long not telling her how much I loved her and now that I know for sure and want nothing more, I can’t.”
“Because things have changed.” Alan said with his head down once more.
“Changed? You think she still doesn’t think of you? Do you think that all her memories of you are so wretched that she can’t stand your presence? You’re still friends aren’t you? She stayed by you and was there for you when no one else was!” Shouted John.
“Because she’s an amazing and selfless person like that.”
“Because she loves you!” John cried.
“God, you’re such an idiot! Do you honestly think that the two of you could change so drastically that you could ever be apart at all?”
“I don’t know! I just know that I love her and she deserves to be happy!” Alan shouted back at him.
“And why don’t you think she can be happy with you?!”
“Because…Because…I don’t know.” At last he was thinking.
“Exactly. And that’s why you need to tell her. Because you don’t know. For once in your idiotic life you don’t know. Now get your head out of your Aquarian ass and show her how you feel!”
“Still…perhaps in time, John. But not now. I still have to prove myself. I’ve caused a lot of damage.” Said Alan, turning his back to John again.
“Then fix it. And move forward. I won’t hear another word of this, Alan. Love her and shut the hell up.”
Alan smiled slightly, “You’re too kind, John. Please tell me harder.”
“You’re a book I know too well. I know you cover to cover. I’ll withhold the rights to a brisk ‘I told you so’.” John turned and began to walk away.
“And quit sulking like you’ve done something wrong and get out there and do something right! You love her for God’s sake—BE HAPPY!” Shouted John in the distance.
“You can stop helping now.”
“I swear! If guilt had a face it would be your stupid mug plastered into the dictionary like some criminal on trial! A waste! A brilliant waste!”
“Seriously! Stop helping!”
“And that stupid way of thinking—“ John continued.
“I will get better, John. For myself and the one I’ve loved for such a long time.” Alan glanced at the clock and then walked firmly behind his friend. Tomorrow’s new day could prove to be a beginning. A beginning for a love that was never allowed to blossom, but for the first time would meet the sun head on and greet the rain with a smile. Even as a storm approached and threatened all that he had hoped for. He would put off his final act for one more attempt at love and perhaps this time he could find a reason to live.