My love for you is like the stream that flows effortlessly and unimpeded over the rocks, its water always moving forward, ceaselessly, tirelessly. I sit here, on a moss covered rock, my legs dangling over the side just inches from the water, wishing I could declare my feelings to you but fear prevents me. So, I keep them hidden. They are tucked away in my heart for safe keeping until it is time to let them out. I wonder, though, if such a time would ever come.
I draw my knees up to my chin and wrap my arms around them, wishing that you were here with me. The sun like golden spots dot the stream, giving the place an enchanted look. It is a place like this where I imagine us together, holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes, oblivious to everything around us. That’s how I feel whenever I’m around you–the rest of the world doesn’t exist. It’s just you and me.
Oh, what a foolish girl I am, filling my head with fanciful notions. I can’t expect a man like you to see me as anything but a girl with a crush on him–a crush that you think will soon fade away. If that’s the case, this has to be the longest crush in history. I have had it since I was thirteen and that was ten years ago. I know that the first time you held me I was wearing pampers and squawking. I wasn’t a very pleasant child, I’ve been told numerous times. I was always crying and I hardly smiled but somehow, you seemed to have a strange effect on me. Whenever you held me, I would babble. My parents were amazed and wondered if I had a clone or something. Even then, you had a hold on me.
How wonderful it would be to be held in your arms again. I wouldn’t babble, of course, but I would make funny sounds, letting you know how happy and secure you make me feel. But, that’s just wishful thinking because I fear that when you look at me, you wouldn’t see the young woman but your god-daughter.
A tear rolls down my cheek now and I brush it away. My feelings will remain hidden, locked away, until you unlock the door that keeps them in check or until someone else does…
A sound behind me startles me and I swing round. My heart leaps in my chest when you emerge, tall, handsome and smiling that smile that makes my stomach flutter. I smile so that you don’t see my distress. The last thing I want is your pity. I rise from the rock and walk towards you.
“I’ve been looking for you,” you say. “Your mother said that you would be here.”
“I always come here,” I reply. “It’s my favorite place.”
He seemed a little nervous. Clearing his throat, he said, “Natalie, I’ve wanted to say something to you for a long time but just couldn’t work up the courage.”
My heart was pounding now and I realized that I was holding my breath, anxious to hear what he was going to say. Please don’t tell me that you’re dating someone or that you’re getting married.
“I-I know that I’m much older than you but it doesn’t change the fact that I love you and–”
“You love me?” I cry, incredulous. This had better not be a dream.
He nodded. “Yes, I’ve loved you for a long time but wasn’t sure if to tell you or not. I guess I didn’t want to scare you or jeopardize our relationship–”
I was laughing now, giddy with happiness. I threw my arms around his neck and declared, “I love you too, Kaeden. I’ve loved you since I was thirteen.”
He put his arms around my waist and held me against him. “All these years I wanted to tell you but was afraid to. I dreaded the day when you would fall in love with someone else and I watch you walk down the aisle with him, kicking myself for not declaring my feelings.”
“And I was afraid that a moment ago you were either going to tell me that you were dating or that you were getting married.” I laughed, feeling relieved that I was finally able to unlock the door to my heart and release my love.
He smiled. “I’m happy that things have turned out the way they have,” he murmured.
“Me too,” I managed to say before his lips touched mine, sending shivers down my spine.