She & He

He reaches for my hand and time stands still. My heart leaps forward. If there had been a cliff in front of me, my heart would have jumped off without a second thought. My mind withdraws and tries to hide inside the cave before the cliff. If I give him my hand now, everything would change. If I walk away I could stay comfortable in my shell, comfortable in this world I’ve built for myself.

His dark eyes smile and draw me closer to the edge. I stare into their depths and wonder how far down he’d let me fall. How hard would the bottom be? Would he catch me? I could stay here in this cave, I could know with every shred of my being I’m safe. Can I really let my heart rest in his hands? 

The more I hesitate, the more his eyes lose their light. I can see the hurt he’s starting to feel. My fingers tingle. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. My heart starts to beat faster, thudding against my rib cage, begging to take the fall, but can I really trust anyone again? I think I maybe could.

The rain against the window taps hard, drowned out only by the occasional thunder. Cars pass in the street sending a shower of water onto the sidewalk. I reach my hand out to her. Everything slows and suddenly the rain & thunder are muffled by the sound of my heart. It beats fast inside my chest as hope rises inside.

I see the hesitation in her soft blue eyes as she stares at my open hand. When they finally lift to my own, I try to convey reassurance. I try, wordlessly, to let her know I’ve already jumped, I’ll be at the bottom to catch her. I want the spark of beauty that she is to be the spark within me. My breath seems to catch in my throat.

My hand starts to feel heavy. My heart starts to pound hard as anticipation builds. The longer she waits the more my head starts spinning. What was I thinking? I feel my stomach sinking as my smile starts to falter. I watch her hand lift slowly toward mine and feel my soul being lifted. 

Just as quickly as it was lifted, my soul drops hard against the floor I’m standing on. As she withdraws her hand I see a mist covering her eyes. My heart stops in my chest and the breath that was caught in my throat is released in one slow breath as I pull my hand back. I put everything on the line for her. I jumped off the cliff for her. Anger burns in my stomach. My jaw tightens and I turn without saying a word. I think I hear her say something as I open the coffee shop door, but then I’m outside and the rain and thunder resume it’s booming sound.

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