Promised Love

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction
Hey, I’m. . . um. . . I’m not sure what to do. I never thought this would actually happen. What to do, what to do. . . I guess, ugh, this is awkward. Did you hear that? Do you hear? Or do you see what I am saying? Or thinking?
Hmm. . . well this is starting off wonderfully. . . Can I share something personal with you? It’s really hard for me to open up, so you have to promise me two things. One: you won’t hurt me. Secrets can have a way of hurting you in the nastiest ways, so please don’t share or don’t use it against me. Two: try to be supportive, even if you think I’m a little weird. Trust me, no one is more aware of my awkwardness than me. But, here goes. I have a huge crush right now, and it’s kind of overwhelming.
Wow, I’m just throwing everything right at you, aren’t I? I guess I’m more than a little nervous. Let’s get started on the right foot. My name is CJ. I would list other remarkable things about me, but those are somewhat lacking, so let’s move on. Yes, I have a crush. A passion, an affection, a fondness for another human being. It’s strange, isn’t it, how someone can feel so strongly, in their core, about another living, breathing person without really knowing who they are? Yet here I am.
I have thought a lot about love recently. Not much else to do really, and this crush has derailed my thoughts. It seems that whenever I am not working on a task my mind focuses on that person. Is that infatuation? Possibly. I feel like I can’t live without them, yet they hardly know me.
Perhaps I can fix that. As I said, I’ve thought a lot of about love recently. I think (and I’ve had a lot of time to do so) that love born of knowledge and understanding is much stronger than love that simply comes from mutual attraction. Once you get to know a person, see their good and their bad sides, then you really know how you feel about them. You don’t love the way they smile; you love them when they smile and when they frown. You don’t love them during Valentine’s Day; you love them on Valentine’s Day, on Christmas Day, on Guy Fawke’s Day, and all the other days of the year. Knowledge breeds understanding, and understanding breeds love. You can’t love someone until you know them to the point where very little surprises you.
Thus, I feel that I can’t fall for someone without them truly knowing who I am. Because if they didn’t know me, how could they love me? And if they don’t love me, then I will be anxious and nervous that they aren’t committed or won’t care enough about me. So, I think that my crush should get to know me, know me better than anyone else that I know. From what I have come to understand, it is hard work, but it will be worth it in the end.
In order to get to know someone, as I have pondered, you need to focus on them. A distracted mind is a cluttered one. You can’t store tidbits of knowledge in a cluttered mind. You can’t really get to know someone if you can’t remember the small details, the things that really make a person unique. You can’t remember that their favorite color is purple because their older sister would give them purple gifts. You won’t remember that they outwardly are jealous but secretly proud their younger brother earned an associate’s degree in high school. You won’t remember their ideal superpower or who their favorite author is or where you first realized you liked them. A focused mind allows you to store these memories, and if needs be, transport them to the immortal page. Therefore, when you focus, really, truly focus, on another person, you are expressing love to them. If they are wise, they will realize this.
But I’m not very good with words. You probably think I am rambling. I’ve tried to speak what I mean, but it is really hard. Plus, it doesn’t help with you there. Don’t go! I’m sorry, I’m just a mess. I have a hard time articulating what I feel (I did warn you after all).
Who am I kidding, I am still terrified. I can hardly express myself without stuttering or stopping halfway through. But I think that’s enough beating around the bush. What I have been trying to tell you... is that I. . . uh. . . I. . . um. . . I really like you.
I know this is out of the blue, and you really weren’t wanting or expecting me to say this. But I just wanted to say that I really am grateful for the time that you have taken to get to know me. I really, do truly appreciate that you have taken time out of your day to read or watch or listen to what I have to say. You have been focused on me, on silly, little old me. I feel like you have been able to see past my awkwardness, and you gave me the chance to say what I really felt, how I see the world, to understand me. You have shown me deep, abiding love in how you focused on me, not on anything else, and got to know me. You spent time to get to know me and that in turn led to getting to understand me. You understand how I feel, how I view love and how I want to be with someone who shows me love as I try to show them love. Please, I know you must be overwhelmed, but I want you to know that I really, truly, deeply love you.
Wow, like I said, it is hard to open up. I hope that came out clearly.
Wait, don’t put me down. Once you go away, I won’t exist. I only am around when you are here, when you can read what I am saying. Once you put me away, I will go away. I won’t be anymore. Look, I know that you must be overwhelmed, but I want to be with you, always. I will help you and support you and care for you with everything that I can offer. Please, you promised you would support me. You promised you wouldn’t hurt me. Please don’t put me away.