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By Kate


Another night, waiting for sleep. But it doesn't come. It stalks slowly around the edges of my brain, teasing me and I lie awake again.

I turn my head and stare at his back as he lies there asleep. We occupy the same space, but it's getting emptier between us. I'm swimming away from the shoreline that is our relationship, no longer able to head back; treading water furiously in a sea of uncharted emotions and desperately fighting to keep my head above the waves.

Little wonder that it stood no chance of survival. Sandcastles aren't built to last. They easily get washed away, and I guess we built ours on the flimsiest of foundations. The ideal couple, professional, successful, heading for the suburban semi; the proverbial 2.4 strapped safely in the back of the family saloon. I'm making no attempt to save it. I'm letting it slip through my fingers. Because I realise it's no longer what I want.

Not with him.

How do I dismantle his life? Slowly? Gradually? Brick by brick? Or do I go headlong in there with a wrecking ball; one decisive hit and it's all over?

"Had a good day darling? I've made your favourite for dinner tonight so sit down and eat. Oh and by the way, I've made a mistake, I can't marry you, I don't love you. Pass me the salt please sweetheart."

It's not his fault. He doesn't deserve what I know I have to do. But I can't live a lie to save him from the pain, that will eventually end up killing us both if I don't do something.

And end this.

I pulled at the loose thread that was hanging there, irritating me as I tugged at it to break but it didn't. And then I watched as the hem of my life began to unravel and fall apart in my hands. I wasn't prepared for this. This wasn't in the contract. But I guess it was. Like most people, I never bothered reading the small print.

I try to remember the moment everything changed, how it happened. What is was about her exactly. Was it her smile? Or her laugh? Or those doe like brown eyes of hers, twinkling, full of mischief and daring.

The defiance and petulance I could handle. "WARNING! DANGER! KEEP OUT!" It seemed to be written all over her and how I love a challenge! I could fight her, never back down. Our rules of warfare were clearly defined in the beginning. We each stood in our own battlefield, shooting invisible bullets at each other. And she's so glorious with all her guns blazing.

But she carried small print too. "warning! fragile! handle with care!" She wears her heart on her sleeve, open and vulnerable to abuse. An easy target. They think she's tough, but they're so wrong. She's like an innocent child sometimes. Full of life, over excitable, won't go to bed. Like a kid with keys to her own sweet shop.

Then she's studious, intelligent, confident, analytical, probing. Then she's a pain in the arse, hard work, stroppy. I want to shout, "Oh for God's Sake, will you grow up!"

Then she'll look at me, all lost, uncertain, scared, insecure. It's like looking at a child that's just fallen off her bike and grazed her knee. I see the injustice of it all and I want to kiss it all better. Make it go away.

Whether she displays arrogance or hate, passion or compassion, she's never indifferent. To her it's either Yes or No, Day or Night, Black or White. She doesn't see the grey in life, the bits that fall in the middle. But the most fundamental part of her make up is love. It's like a thread that runs through her whole being. She loves all the way. All or nothing. As it should be.

And it scares me to death.

I feel myself start to lose control around her. I can't function properly. My first and my last thought every day, is now her.

I'm drowning slowly in my feelings for her, so natural are they to me, that I'm left totally defenseless. She sees straight through me, knows me and I feel naked.

Somehow, she took control and rearranged the rules of war. She changed the targets without me knowing, and I had no means to stop her assault. Creeping through my own trenches, capturing my heart like a Roman trophy. She assailed the ramparts of my life, walking quietly into it.

Wearing hobnailed boots.

She kissed me the other day in her cell. The softest, most gentlest of kisses. I felt her support. I felt her reassurance. I felt her warmth. I felt her tenderness. I felt her love. I felt safe. Then I reacted, like I always do. I shouted and blamed her. I stormed off and left her. I made her feel even more ashamed at what she had done.

And I regretted it.

Because I wanted to stay there, nestled tightly in her arms, my lips frozen to hers.

I want to hold her in my arms and watch her while she sleeps. I want to hold her in my arms and feel her body move beneath me. I want to hold her in my arms and love her to hell and back.

This isn't what I want. It's what I need.

But I'm the grey she doesn't see. The unpredictable element. The one that will do the right thing. The one that will cause her hurt and pain. The one that will sacrifice her love for me, to save myself. In order to save us both.

So now it's time to take control again.

Damn it Nikki! …..

…..for making me love you.

The End

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