Stretched out on the carpeted floor as we share meaningless gossip, she falls into a pensive silence... I ask What's on your mind? Nothing, comes the reply, though nothing is the furthest thing from her mind and it shows plain as day.

I continue with a few probing questions - Is it about me? Something you'd forgotten? She shakes her head and sighs. I see that she's in her own little somewhere, so I trace little patterns on the thick plush carpet. She watches me - I start with random things, and they become little hearts of varying shapes and sizes. I see that she's watching and, embarrassed, I look back up.

She looks at me with those incredible hazel eyes, and I realize I'm in that little somewhere too. She moves, and a moment later I find her cuddled against my side. I'm silent for a moment, but eventually fold my arms around her because I can see it's what she needs right then.

After a few moments, I tell her I'm sorry.... She asks why. I tell her it's because I can't be there for her like I should. My mind brings to my vision another girl, a girl I can never think of being without. She tells me that she doesn't care... She'll wait until I can be hers. She won't have anyone else. I silence her with a finger to her lips. No one deserves that pain.

I cannot love her.

And yet, I do.