"Hey." she said as she FINALLY went in. She heard her voice crack but she's not sure if he noticed.
"Sup, loser?" he replied, grinning that Cheshire cat grin of his. She knew him well enough to know that he did not mean to use 'loser' as an insult. Truth is, it's more of a term of endearment coming from him.
She kept quiet as he worked. He was only making copies of some insignificant document but she could not move. She just stared at him. This was a lot harder than she thought. They exchanged words and short comments but she was so nervous she could barely talk. Just as he was about to leave the room though, she knew she had to say something.
"Hey." she said softly, just as he was gathering his things.
"Yeah?" he responded, his tone a mix of concern and curiosity.
"Can you do me a favor?" she said in a voice so quiet it was barely audible.
"What is it? What's wrong?"
"Nothing. Can I borrow your hand for ten seconds?"
"Huh?" his eyebrows rose in surprise. She felt herself blush.
"Hold out your hand," she said a little louder. He did as he was told. He held out his hand, palm up. She reached for him and as she entwined their fingers, she said in a shaky voice, "Let me hold your hand. Just for ten seconds."
He looked at her like she was crazy. She glanced at him once but his face was unreadable. Scared of what he would say or do, she decided to take her eyes off him. She looked at every thing but him for the next few seconds as she counted slowly in her head.
"What the hell was I thinking?" she asked her self.
"He probably thinks I'm crazy or something. I shouldn't have done this." she thought to herself.
"GOD! My heart is about to explode."
"I can't breathe."
"Oh. My. God. Almost done."
She let go of his hand, her own dropping to her side as she whispered a quick "Thank you" and started to walk away.
"What was that about?" he asked, falling into step beside her.
"I was testing a theory." she said with a shrug.
"And I was right."
"Why do you want to know?"
"It's not important."
"Then tell me."
"I wanted to see how I would feel if I held your hand."
"And what did you feel?'
She stared at him as the question hang in the air. She weighed her options. Should she lie? What would happen if she told him the truth? How exactly did she feel and hos should she put it into words? She sighed as she realized that words could never explain what she was feeling.
The moment their hands touched, she felt her heart break. She was right. And as she felt the pain and helplessness of the situation sink in, words failed her. How do you tell someone that holding his hand felt like finding the perfect novel only to have it ripped away from you just as the climax approaches? How do you explain that you felt happiness for a few seconds only to have it quickly extinguished by overwhelming sadness?
She shrugged. She didn't know what to tell him. So she made up an excuse and started working just to avoid the topic.
What she could never tell him, though, was that the moment she let go, the crushing reality that THIS wasn't possible sank in and she was left with a tiny hole in her heart. She found herself staring at the back of his head, moments after the conversation ended, and she knew that tiny part of her heart would now belong to him forever. And nothing can ever fill that gap. That might actually be the most painful part.