Fractured

There is a girl in his life. He believes that he loves her. Or rather, he believes that he could love her, if only he could be a bit more sure of her.

She lives on the other side of a wall of imperfect glass. It is clear, but in the way of a crystalline mountain stream: he can see through it, but the view is warped, slightly, by ripples and patches thicker or thinner than those around them.

He knows her as well as he can, through the wall. He can neither touch her nor get a perfect view of her, for there is no spot on the wall with a view providing perfect clarity, and there is, so far as he has discovered, no hole in it through which he might reach.

Though he is not sure of her, he still longs for her. He begs the world to let him know her. He begs the glass wall to disappear, so that he can witness her more fully. He believes she might be beautiful, but until he finds a way to pierce or displace or see through the wall, he can’t know for certain.

He hopes, but does not quite have the strength to believe, that she might feel something for him in return. She looks at him through the wall from time to time, though it always seems to be when he has looked away. He catches her observing him in the periphery of his vision.

Twice, they have made eye contact. Both times her eyes latched onto his and, for a brief moment, all of the imperfections in the wall that blurred her form seemed to smooth out and fade away. She smiled. He smiled. They knew something of each other.

Then that moment, and the focus within it, faded. The wall was still there: it had never left.

He punched the wall once, in desperation. This achieved two things: the wall cracked, and his knuckles split and bled. The wounds healed, but the spiderweb fracture in the wall did not. It left a place through which his view of her is even less clear. The fracture splits and warps her appearance into a multifaceted display, and none of the facets read to him as true to how she might actually be.

Someday, he hopes, the wall will come down; or he’ll pass through it, or find a way over or around it. Until that day, in the times when her attention is surely turned away from him, he finds himself pressing his hands against the wall, hoping for even a hint of her warmth, longing to know what the rest of her might feel like.

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