So the post-once-per-day thing isn't working out too well. I just get too busy to spend enough time on it to make it worth the effort.

Still, here I am, and I finally have some time.

Is this supposed to hurt this bad for this long?
Because she deserves nothing less, I am putting on a strong front, trying my best to hold my composure around her, interact with her professionally, and perform my job tasks as best I can.

I suspect she sees straight through it anyway, but as much for my benefit as hers, she plays along and lets me pretend I'm doing okay with all of this.

I just want to know how long this stuff is supposed to hurt? How long is that "dull ache" meant to last?

I finally figured out today what that dull ache actually is, and how it manifests itself. I don't even understand how I realized all this, or why today was the day I picked up on it, but there it is... there's lots of things I long to do with/to/for her that I can no longer do.

The confusing part is while certain things are obviously off-limits (sex, probably kissing, etc.), lots of other stuff isn't. I'm sure I attach more emotional significance these days to holding her hand or hugging her than she does, but still, she knows the effect those things have on me. She still shares them with me anyway (and I'm grateful to her for it).

There are times when it takes absolutely all of my mental strength and will power not to just grab her, wrap my arms around her, and kiss her hard enough to pull the enamel off her teeth. There are times when she so obviously needs a long, close hug ... someone to just hold her for an eternity, and I can't just walk up anymore and do that for her. There are times when she lays on her bed, walks past me wearing little to nothing, or flat out flirts with me that make every part of my body and soul ache for her. There's even times I just want to toss her down on that bed and make love with her until we're both too stiff and sore to move.

I'm still learning what the new boundaries are. Obviously, hugging and holding hands are still options, because we still do that very often and she initiates most of it. I want to tell her that I'm just afraid to reach for her hand or draw her close to me for a hug, not because I fear she doesn't want it from me but because I fear I may cross a boundary she's drawn in her mind to help her avoid getting too close to me again. I would spend every waking moment holding her hand, holding her in my arms, stroking her hair, massaging her, calming and soothing her, and making her feel loved, if only I could. The only reason I can't right now is that I respect her wishes; I can't stop her from following her heart.

I just wish I couldn't see how much it hurts her. He's still cold and distant, I think; understandably she doesn't tell me much about their relationship, but I can still tell it's not going how she hoped it would. It kills me to know I can give her everything she wants if only she would just tell me she wants it from me, and to see her trying for the same thing from somebody else who either isn't ready, doesn't really want that, or is playing "hard to get".

Why did I have to fall so hard in love for her? Why am I still so perfectly tuned to her feelings and soul? Wasn't her choosing him over me enough pain to suffer through? Why do I get to experience the added "fun" of knowing exactly what she's going through and feeling? Why do I have to feel her hurting too?

Most importantly, why can't it just be the way it should be? If we were together, the sadness would heal and eventually go away. As it stands now, we're both just living our lives together but apart, growing closer as friends and coworkers but ripping each other's hearts to shreds -- hers while she tries to figure out what she really wants, and mine as I wait for her to decide.


I wish it didn't hurt so bad on the inside every time she tells me "I love you," because I know that's not the emotion she wants me to feel. I always (absolutely always) tell her I love her too, whenever she says it to me. I make sure to tell her even when she doesn't say it first. I'm prevented from telling her just how much I really love her by the knowledge that every time I do, it hurts her to hear. She doesn't want me to hurt like this -- I can see that in her eyes every time she beams that warm, gentle smile at me after she says "I love you." But I do hurt like this. It's not getting any better. I don't think it ever will.

I can never give up. My heart refuses to do it anyway, and I have already learned to stop trying. Meanwhile, they'll go on dates, talk about things, try to rebuild a relationship they might both want. Someday, I will see her happy, truly smiling because she is content and has what she wants. No matter who that ends up involving (if anyone), I know she will share that moment with me because she knows it will be a very special moment for me. Since the day I met her, I've wanted nothing else but her happiness.

That's why I'm still here, and it's why I can't quite let go of everything. She's not happy yet, and if I can contribute anything to her life, whether it's taking work off her shoulders, helping her relieve stress, holding her when she needs to cry, listening to her when she needs to talk, loving her when she needs love, making her laugh, or standing tall alongside her through the toughest moments of her life, then dammit, I will do it.

I don't care what the outcome is for me. I don't care if she's just using me for whatever she can before I "burn out". I know she isn't, but it's a possibility that I've considered (and rejected). I seriously don't care what happens to me -- as long as I am able to provide for her, care for her, and love her, I will. As long as I am capable of feeling, I will feel this strongly for her. No matter what she does to me, or what she does with him, I will love her. I will still long to touch her, comfort her when she's sad, and to be the most significant person in her life. I will never burn out. Never.

This may be a burden I carry on my shoulders for the rest of my life, but it's nice to finally realize I have a purpose. Funny as it sounds, as much as I lament the pain I suffer every moment from this, waking and sleeping, I don't want it to stop (unless it's by her choosing me again). This feeling, bad as it is, makes me ever stronger, ever better, and ultimately more appealing to the woman I care so deeply about. They say struggle and pain both build character. If that's really true, my character is pumping fucking iron.

"I love you," she frequently says to me. Well, Erica, I love you, too, with all my heart. I am immensely proud to tell the whole world that.

...and no, this is not an April Fool's Joke...