Diane Woodrow

I saw you briefly today, only long enough to whet my appetite. And therein lies the problem-the damned appetite, and the fact that I have it at all. After I saw you the first time, it took me six months to work up the nerve to say hi. Even then, I stuttered my way through it. Somehow you knew and you slowly brought me out of my shell. You got me hooked on coffee, and you made me hungry.

You talked to me, but more importantly you saw me, not the girl I'd been twenty years ago. It's intoxicating, that smile of yours. You so disorient me, but I hear you: I'm not your type. You have morals. You love your wife-maybe still. You're safe. My wife shouldn't worry 'cause we're just friends.

Okay I get all that, but my body doesn't. My heart's beginning to misunderstand too, apparently. I think I have to be wrong about that smile. It's not for me-well, it is, but not that way. Maybe you're not sending mixed signals; maybe it's I who's crossing them in my addled brain. Addled by that smile.

And talk about type. You're not mine either. Or at least that's always been the case, but there's something about you. I love that smile that I sometimes fantasize is only for me. And those eyes. Green with little flecks of gold like a treasure I get to look at, one that pulls me in and makes me lose myself.

You wonder what the look was for. It was pure terror laced with a longing I shouldn't feel, because I don't think you do. But then, you smile at me and my heart goes to the races again, galloping off into uncharted territory where we both could lose our souls.

I don't want to hurt her; we loved so well for so many years. But now it's gone, and I can't bring it back. And you look at me with that smile and those green eyes that I can't meet, for fear of what you'll see in mine. You simply steal my breath.

Even though I know it can't be, can never be, that it would leave a trail of destruction that couldn't be made whole again, I want this. How am I supposed to deal with that want? How am I supposed to look at you and not bear my soul? Wear sunglasses? Wait, I do that already. So there; that's why. I'm spilling all my secrets now.

Maybe I should let you go. You say you don't want me, and the last thing I want to do is make a fool of myself. So I keep coming around, telling you my problems, listening to yours. It's not all of I want, but it's enough. I guess that's why they call it making a fool of yourself.

You tease me about breaking hearts, when all I want to do is to mend mine. Why do you care whose heart gets broken if your heart's not on the line? I go after we part-neither of us wanting to-and I sit in my car in the park. I think of how badly I wanted to hug you, to feel that intimate connection. I think you did too, but you are so true to your word. You gave me the space I so desperately do not want.

The day is warm and sunny and I notice my ring, her ring, glinting off the windshield. Blue and brilliant orange pop as the reflection dances in the glass. Fire and ice. That's my dilemma. You are fire and I am drawn to that fire like a moth, but we all know what their fate is, don't we.

She's the ice to your fire. The anticipation, the touch, leaves me cold, leaves me wanting the fire that I can't have. I hate myself a lot these days for being drawn to a fire that isn't mine to be consumed by. That's what you tell me, over and over again, and yet I still want it.

Isn't that the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result? No mystery there, but there is in the song you posted the words to. The mess is impossible and you have crowded my thinking beyond impossibility. I'm not sure I could survive the mess we would make-that is, if you wanted me. But you don't. You've said so, over and over. There goes that insanity thing again.

So why do you look at me with those green eyes, the ones that bore a hole in my soul and invite me to lose myself? Why does it seem like four hours is four minutes that leave me wanting more all day? Is it just me? If it is, I can live with that-a fool perhaps, but I can do it.

But then there's the connection, so strong right from the start. We both feel it. Even you, with your honorable intentions, said you feel it. It's there, not tenuous, but strong like a lifeline and undefinable, like the looks I catch from you sometimes. The looks that say you don't understand it anymore than I do and that you're scared shitless just like I am.

And I'll admit this is not what I planned. I wanted to talk to you, to make a friend, and I did, and so did you, but things have turned down a dangerous road for me now. It's a road I'm not sure I want to follow. I'm equally sure I have no choice, when, at the end of that road, there's your smile and those green eyes that spark with fire. Who in their right mind would choose ice?

But we've discussed that insanity thing before. I must be. This invades my thoughts. I can't work. I can't eat. I can hardly sleep. Is it that way for you? Of course not; you've told me over and over it isn't. So why does my mind persist? See, I'm insane. You've crowded my thinking, and now, with this, you, probably think I'm crowding you.

Just let me down gently with those lovely green eyes and that tender smile. I'm sorry I had to ruin this by going insane. Really, I didn't mean to, and I can keep it to myself as long as you don't try to draw it out of me. I can be your friend, I tell myself, but that's so pitiful and I don't want your pity.

I won't get that, though, because you'll just go quietly away. I won't push you away without telling you why, like I did a couple of others. You'll just go on your own, and maybe that's better because the other way, I never knew if there was a chance. This way, I'll have the pain of certainty. It will hurt, but it's a clean-slicing pain that I can heal from, not the jagged kind of pain that comes with not knowing, and that stays for a lifetime.

So here I sit, doing what you told me, just to the wrong person, and I know it's all for naught. I'm sorry if I've ruined a budding friendship. You've been nothing but kind and honest, and I needed that. But then why do you look at me that way, with that half smile and those dancing eyes? Have I been out of the game so long that I don't know the plays anymore?

Obviously so, because your eyes say one thing and your mouth says another, and I can't quite seem to sync the two in a way that makes sense. Maybe you can't either and that's the problem. So, as I sit here and idly turn the ring on my finger, I see the fire and ice alternate, like a choice to be made.

Maybe you'll be smart, or merciful, and make the choice for both of us, but what would it be? Can you walk away from this, whatever it is? Because I can't, not without a shove that you'll have to give me. Maybe we can just be friends, since I don't bore you yet. Be serious and tell me, but don't ever lose that cocky grin that makes you so irresistible.

And now you're vexing me again with cryptic words that a friend could take one way and a fool another. Love is like breathing, when it's true… But you see, I know the music too. Chances just don't come round again, not like this. First a laugh, then… And it sets me to wondering, will there be a kiss? Will I be free in you?

Anyway, I don't know what's true anymore, except that my mind is in chaos, right along with my heart and body. It would be easier to live this fantasy life, if I could be sure it was pure fantasy. Tell me that, if you can. I dare you. I think you want to, but can you?

Do you feel that, whatever it is that I can't define and can't walk away from? Do you feel that connection that's bone-deep and inexplicable since it happened so quick? I don't even know you. Maybe that's how true friends really connect. If so, I've never had one. I think I like it, but it sears my soul in a way that makes me forget myself. So run. Run the other way and forget about this thing with us that will tear our lives apart.

I can't do that. Maybe you can and save both of us-or at least me because you don't really want me anyway, at least not like that. And that's probably really good for my marriage, if not my heart or my ego.

So what's it gonna be, green eyes? Friends or other. What is this crazy dance meant to be? I can be your friend, and I'll be the best one you've ever had. Just tell me how to play this. Tell me to put it aside. If I'm wrong, please tell me I'm insane and mean it, because when you smile at me, and your green eyes dance for me, I feel totally not crazy and wonderful and scared out of my mind.

Sorry if this scares you or repels you. If it does, then chalk it up to my insanity. I'll just say goodbye and thank you for your honesty, and for giving me the knowledge that my heart can wake up again. Be happy and take care of yourself and those beautiful green eyes.

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