CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

She looked at me through the wall, just as she always had, only this time something was different. I had always been able to read her soul through her eyes, and my inability to breech the perimeter around my heart had taken its final toll on her. She was broken. She was exhausted. She couldn’t wait any longer, and I couldn’t go any further. We both looked at the wall which stood between us and called things off once again.  She would remain my friend, and I hers. But that damn wall would prevent us from ever being free to be together. To love each other.

I sat on my side of the wall, looking up at what I had built around me. Desperate. Sad. I had no idea what it would take to finally make it come down. I remember crying as I looked up at that damn wall. Several times. It seemed I had become a slave to my own fears. Perhaps I had put it in place so strongly that I would never again experience a life without my stupid, stupid wall.

By this point, Tweni assured me over and over that she didn’t have feelings for me any longer. She assured me she couldn’t. She assured me she was done. But still, she was there, my best friend through it all.

And then, while we were broken-up, I kissed a girl. It wasn’t Tweni. In truth, I didn’t even enjoy it. With every moment that passed after that, I found myself hating myself for guarding my heart the way I had. I found myself all the more desperate to be with Tweni and only with Tweni. I found myself desperate to bring that wall down. I didn’t want anybody else. And so I picked up my tools and continued to work at it.

I wrote journal entries and poetry to try and find ways over that wall or under it. I spent many restless nights plotting the wall’s demise. I knew I had to get to Tweni before she was gone.

And then, for some reason, I told her about the other girl that I had kissed. Maybe I was feeling guilty because even though we were broken-up when the kiss took place, I secretly and silently loved her from within my wall. Maybe I wanted to know that she still loved me even though she claimed she didn’t. Maybe I was just thoughtless. I don’t know.

I do know that after I told her, through those blue eyes that have always been the gateway to her soul… I saw it. Pain. Anguish. Hurt.  Devastation.

With my admission, I destroyed her.

She picked up her things, and began walking toward the door. “You just lost the best friend you’ve ever had,” she said to me over the wall that still separated us. Moments later she was gone.

I collapsed into the dirt against the wall and began to weep. “You f***ing wall!” I screamed. I had no energy left. The wall had destroyed me. And eventually I fell asleep. Alone. Truly alone.

She was gone.

I awoke minutes later because something within my chest started pounding against my sternum. I hadn’t felt anything like it in a long, long time. Wake up you freaking idiot! it screamed. I reached down and felt where it was coming from. It was my heart. When I looked back up again, what moments before had been the wall that would end me was now somehow crumbling before my eyes. Small holes started to appear which turned into bigger holes. The wall still stood, but yes… there were holes in it that I might be able to squeeze though.

I leaped from my bed, my heart pounding so hard I was afraid it might burst from my chest. I love her. I looked at the clock. She was probably asleep long before. I unsuccessfully tried to go back to sleep as well, planning to tell her that I loved her the next day. Planning to make her mine. Planning to meet her, for the first time, without that damn wall between us.

But that never happened, because the next day she finally let herself fall in love with somebody else that she had met some time before.
I’ll wait, I thought, trying not to panic. I settled back down, sure that she would come back. Sure that the love she had always had for me was still there. Sure that days or weeks later she would be free again, and I would be able to confess my now growing love for her.

With each day that passed, my heart broke even further. Yet I refused to give up hope that she would come back.

My heart still screamed at me constantly. You love her. Tell her. Now. My mind kept screaming at me that I had to be “respectful” of the relationship she was now in. I had to “let her go.” I had to be okay with it. I had to stop… loving her.

The constant battle between heart and mind worsened, and I began attempting to subdue the conflicting voices in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways. I was sure that another girl could make me stop loving her, and so I began searching for one. I started dating incredibly beautiful women. Women established in their careers. Fun women. Women who fit the mold of everything I thought I’d ever want.

Yet with every date, and with every moment I spent with every other woman, in the end, I could think of only one person.

Tweni.

My heart belonged to her. The fortress had come down just enough to make that possible.

Then the man she was dating asked her to marry him. And she said yes.

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE