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Kay C., 03 Mar '14

The bells are loud, the crowd louder still, excited as the confetti falls and cheers ring out everywhere when you arrive.

You laugh your girlish laugh, so dear to me from our childhood together, as he twirls you in your resplendent shades of silver and white. Dark hair against pale skin, the both of you, a pretty perfect picture fit for a mantelpiece I want to smash to the ground.

How many people know, I wondered, as they turn to me with looks equal parts pitying and curious? When I'd sat at the back of the reception, far away from where you'd stationed me, wanting to see me there because I've been your best friend for all our lives and then some – the awkward girl you'd messed around with a couple of times in your experimental phase, the one you said you loved above everyone else while we lay there in our ratty PJs in a mess of nachos, the single most important person you could never lose.

Oh, but I'm no fool. I knew how much I meant to you, and how true it held for the other way around. And that's why I had to hurt you, make you angry. Make you cry.

Make you leave.

The happiness I feel for you is edged with the bitter, darker curls of regret, a disaster of my own making. If this were but a chapter in one of the books you'd so loved, I would object. I would have the courage to speak, to not hold my peace. I'd forget everything, forgive everything, and ask you to be mine once more, in the remnants of our broken friendship.

The moment comes and passes, a sigh of a question. When I turn from his face to yours, I'm not sure if I'm imagining the expression on your face: that careful guarded blankness you wear like armour when you're upset, when all you want to do is run.

Maybe I'm imagining it. Maybe I'm not.

But I won't know a moment like this again, a chance where I could've changed everything again. Your disappointment rests heavy and hard on my back as our yesteryears together fall off my shoulders into the nothingness.

Your future will not have me in it, and it's better this way.

I take it back; I am a fool. A fool for a life that will no longer have you and your warmth lighting my days and thoughts, who let pride and cowardice stay her hand.

He will love you. And so will I.