Only Friends

Dreams are real,” he says.

I nod until he tells me he dreamt of our wedding night, how he lifted me off my feet when my dress became too heavy to dance, and we twirled around the ballroom like we were the only two people in the whole world.

I open my mouth to correct him, but my voice escapes. We are just friends — words every man hates to hear.

We’ve been friends for over two years. When will we ever be more? I know what I want — you. There’s no one else.

He’s always been in love with me. He knows my every secret, what I love and hate. To him, we fit, but my stomach bloats whenever I think of him kissing me.

I just don’t see you in that way…

I don’t tell him of my dream — the dream where I return home from the hospital, afraid to go inside alone with the possibility that my rapist still lurks in the shadows.

How many more rejections will it take before both dreams come true? I count my lives down to the day I can no longer tell him no.

—Nortina

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