Please, Just Let Her Walk Away

She hated the way he walked.
She despised it.
Hands in pockets.
Shoulders slack.
Walking leisurely as if he didn't have a care in the world.
He had places to be.
She knew it.
He was just never in any hurry to get there.
His gait was the opposite of her own.
Instilled from her mother.
She always walked far too quickly.
And it felt like pulling teeth to try and slow herself down.
That was one thing she was working on.
One thing that she tried to fix in herself.
She purposely took the long way home.
Purposely savored the wind and the cold as she walked to and from campus.
Her fingers were always the first part of her body to grow cold.
Followed by her cheeks.
And her ankles.

It'd been almost a month.
She purposely walked indirectly to wherever she needed to go to avoid them.
All of them.
Especially him.
Because his presence.
His very existence
Infuriated her.
Not because he was bad.
Not because he was cruel.
But because he was good.
Far too good.
And she knew herself well enough to understand that eventually she would've taken advantage of that.
It would've been too easy.
But what bothered her the most was his refusal.
His absolute, adamant refusal to give up on her.
Even after she burned bridges.
Demolished them.
He never wavered.
It drove her absolutely insane.
All she wanted was for him to hate her.
Avoid her.
She couldn't bear this ceaseless niceness which masked his longing.
She didn't want to be wanted.
She didn't want to be protected.
She just wanted to be.

So, she sped up.
Breezed right by him.
Never dared a glance.
It was better this way.
It would always be better this way.