An Epiphany

“As he looked over at her, it suddenly struck him how beautiful she was. Her hair was glowing carelessly in the wind, rich and dark in the sunlight. He had the oddest impulse to touch it, to reach out, to see if it was as soft as looked. Her lips were curved into a slight smile that seemed to radiate warmth. He wondered who or what she was thinking about, and felt his heartbeat skip when he imagined her smiling for him. She was happy and free and every part of her being seemed to be a mystery, just waiting to be discovered. He found it crazy that he’d never noticed before how her eyes were just the right shade of green, or how her laughter sounded like summertime. They had been friends for so long, and yet he’d never really looked at her. He found himself staring, desperate to learn more.

“What are you looking at?” She asked, finally pulling him out of a daze.

He was at a loss for words. Why did she suddenly make him nervous? They’d been friends for years. Friends weren’t supposed to make you nervous.

“Um… You. You have a bug in your hair.” He stuttered. He reached out, but stopped himself. Did friends do that? He suddenly did not know. She shook her heart, which just made his heart speed up.

“Is it gone now?” She asked so casually, as if everything hadn’t suddenly changes.

“Yes.” He replied, aware of how his voice sounded, of how his teeth were crooked, of how completely lovely she was. “Yes, it’s all gone now.”

Did he dare tell her she was beautiful? No, that could ruin everything. He decided that maybe this feeling would pass, that maybe tomorrow she would go back to being his best friend, and not a girl that made it hard to breathe. Maybe, this epiphany was temporary; maybe, he would not forget.

As months went on, he did not forget. Instead, he found himself thinking of her late into the night, hoping there was a chance she might fall to sleep thinking of him. He found himself making lists in his head of what made her laugh, so he could hear it more and more. He found himself unable to look away, even if she was just carelessly reading a book; sometimes, especially then. He could not erase her beauty from his mind. The moment he’d looked at her from a different perspective, he could not go back. After seeing her beautiful, he could never again just look at her with indifference.”

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