I am not the baron’s daughter to your gallant Milun. No passion can grow from so small a string of characters tapped distractedly onto a fingerprinted touchscreen. You don’t know me. You’ve never seen me in person, nor have I you. For all you know, I’m not the intended recipient of your messages (though, in my own defense, I am). My responses are without stammer, with hesitation, with careful placement of punctuation and synonyms and strategic emoticons. I haven’t once lied to you, this I assure you of. But I have tweaked things here and there. The advantage of distance grants me the small window to brush under the rug my vocal falters, my awkward, half-finished answers. You don’t even know what my voice sounds like. Is it a rich contralto? Is it a Natalie Portman-esque, girlish soprano? Do my words flow from my mouth like notes on a composer’s score, or do they elbow their way out like a disgruntled, squawking Black Friday shopper?
You call me pretty, intelligent, delightfully witty, and yet the only evidence you have of this is what I have selectively fed you. I’ve only put my best face forward, and even this is but a fraction of who I am. There is more, so so much more, and yet you’ve fallen so deeply in love with only the veneer. You haven’t witnessed the moments when I stare out into nothingness, losing myself to the depths of my fantastical thoughts. You haven’t seen the cold anger that grips me when I find myself backed into a corner of defeat. You haven’t heard my wheezing gasps as I recover from a fit of genuine laughter. There is so much, so many tiny nuances that would shift your perception of me, and I say it not with wistful regret, but with trembling frustration.
Falling in love is a slow, almost undetectable process. Maybe I’m not the world’s leading authority on falling in love, but I’m not completely misled, either. I was in love once in my life. I didn’t realize it had happened until one day I realized it did, and what had been unknown suddenly became unbearably palpable, filling my thoughts, driving my actions, causing me to trip on my words–and sometimes, on my own two feet. He was my friendly rival since childhood, my best friend of adolescence. I knew everything about him. I had comforted him at his lowest points, praised him at his highest. My fingers interlacing with his sparked an electric current in my veins. His kisses failed to satiate me; instead, they made me want him more and more. He laughed even at my most floundered jokes. He wiped my tears away. He could spend hours conversing with me, and hours in contented silence. He knew everything about me, and I trusted him with the whole of my heart. And when things came down crashing around us, it hurt me, and I know it hurt him too.
I know that was love. There is no doubt in my mind that it was.
You say you’re in love with me in order to charm me, and instead, I feel insulted. I feel sick. I want nothing but to push you away, to drive you so far that I forget you were ever here in the first place. You are not in love with me. You’re not.
Or maybe I’m just not in love with you.
P.S. When I say no, it means no. Your persistence isn’t aiding your case, it’s harming it.