cold wind was blowing through my coat. I did not zip it up because I figured I would be back in my car in a few seconds. Instead I was standing there listening to a friend. I could hear her words and I knew what she was saying. She was saying the things that I felt. The things that I pushed back deep inside. She was awakening the feelings I did not want back. I knew the moment when she asked for a moment of my time in private what the talk was coming. As she said each word it seemed as if time has slowed down so this would take longer than it needed. It had a surreal flavor to it. I know why it did too. I had dreamed of this moment in the past. This was what I had wanted. The next step to our friendship. This was the moment I also have feared. Her words flowing out frozen by the wind so they hung there for a moment before disappearing. As cold as it was I did not need to zip up my coat because the warmth that was spreading inside filled me.
“I do not understand how you could have missed the hints I have dropped and I have wondered if you were daft.”
“No I caught a lot but I have chosen to not do anything regarding those.”
“Why would you ignore this then? Is this not what you also want? I know we can be happy together.”
“I do not doubt the moments that would be enjoyable. I wish I could do nothing but spend the rest of my life with you. “
“Then what is stopping you? Why the restraint on your heart?”
“My friend cares for you. I understand his position. I know how much he cares. I could not hurt him for our joy. I will not cause him the pain I have suffered in the past because I wish to be happy.”
“So your going to suffer for your friend? You self-righteous bastard! Your friend was turned down and he refuses to understand. So your going to deny what you feel because your afraid to hurt him? Pain is a part of life your friend should be happy that you choose the path of joy.”
“Perhaps he should but it is my decision to make. In time I will reconsider my position on this. I cannot ask you to wait. I will not ask anything of you except to be a friend. I want you to understand that I also do not wish him to ever know of my decision.”
“What if I tell him and then we both speak to you? Would you then reconsider your position?”
“If you tell him then I will never let go the restraint on my heart. I want you to understand I have suffered the pain I am sparing him. I was almost not strong enough to survive it. I doubt he is yet strong enough.”
“Your calling your friend weak then and your protecting him. Have you asked him if he wanted to be protected?”
“No I do not discuss such things with him. Nor shall I. I want you to understand but I guess that will not happen. I wish you a good night.”
“Don’t leave me. Stay here at least for a few more hours. We can sit and talk as a friend.”
“No I must go.”
I turned and started to walk away. I could hear muffled sounds of agony from behind me. I knew her tears were freezing on her face. I knew deep inside her heart was getting a bit colder. I knew the future could have been wonderful. I also knew that I would have torn myself up inside for hurting my friend. I never wished to be in this position. I never wanted to make a choice. I doubt she will understand in the near future. Perhaps in a few years we will both grow a little more and be better friends.
The cold wind blowing through my coat. Finding a way into my heart. I used to wish I would never feel again. The thought of being emotionless was a better life than the constant torment and pain. Now I wish I could feel some pain over this. I wish I could feel some regret. I know my friend will never know about my choice. My heart will keep reminding me of the decision though. There is no wind cold enough to numb that feeling.