They say a watched pot never boils, and I realized the truth of this statement when I let Malcolm go. I had already made a fool of myself for far too long when I awoke one night from a vivid dream and realized with the utmost certainty Malcolm’s love for me would never spark. He would never see me with the same admiration I gave him and I was fooling myself, believing one day he would wake up drowning in a love so deep and passionate for me we would grow old together and rest beside one another upon our deaths.
So I resolved to let him go, or rather to let go of him, and I arose that morning with a new sense of joy and peace and comfort. I had an epiphany, and it gave me a new hope that I would meet someone who would reciprocate this deep pool of love that was bubbling up inside me. It was a new pool, crystalline, untouched, and undiscovered; the love I had for Malcolm dried up, and it was liberating.
Three aspects of this whole unrequited love story irk me to no end.
One, I never met that promising new someone.
Two, that too late, a deep love for me sparked in Malcolm’s heart.
And three, that he thinks I did this to myself.
But here is the truth:
After my epiphany, I paused all contact with Malcolm, though I doubt he either noticed or cared. I told no one, as no one besides Malcolm knew of my fervent love for him, though in hindsight, it was more of a blinding infatuation. My epiphany was that he did not deserve my feelings for him, nor the stupid and covert ways I professed myself to him, and I did not deserve the constant push and pull between attraction and rejection I received from him in return. So days later and feeling happy for the first time, I went for a rejuvenating and head-clearing hike to a hidden pond I knew well.
I sat on the sunlit rocks and gazed at the crystal waters, smooth and dark like onyx. No waves ruffled the surface, though a weak, yet cool breeze blew through the willows. Forest life whirled around me, but the still water, contained by the smooth rock surrounding the deep sinkhole, was a dark and tarnished mirror reflecting the cloudless sky.
I basked in the sunlight and recalled the simple fun of skipping rocks. Beaming like a child, I picked one up, and Malcolm’s beautiful eyes flashed through my mind. That memory seeped into the rock and I flung it, then watched it skip across the water and plunk into the depths. I picked up another, and then another, until I ran out of rocks within my reach. Whether skipping or plunging into the dark waters, each stone carried a memory of Malcolm and the torturous two years since our first acquaintance. I then walked along the pond, searching for flat and smooth rocks, and putting them in my pocket, until I had enough for a lifetime of rock-skipping and memory-chucking.
Giggling and giddy with delight, I took a rock, placed it between my fingers, drained my most painful Malcolm-memory into it, and drew my arm back to toss it. It would have been my greatest feat. I meant to hurl it clear across the firmament and into the blazing sun, but I slipped on moss and mud, and while falling, I glimpsed a flash of blue sky before the inky, dense black engulfed me. Moments later, I was sinking deep into the pond and trailing a wake of blood squirting from my temple.
Now, Malcolm sits alone in his room, cradling a keepsake of me, and weeps. He weeps for me, for what he thinks I did for his sake, and for the life we could have had together had he been a better man, less selfish and less proud. Now, he drowns in a dark pool of his own sorrows and regrets.
His love for me sparked too late, but I regret nothing.
His sad figure slips away as I move on to a new existence, unencumbered by what might have been in this old one.
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