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Oh how he loved her. He loved her smile, the way her eyes crinkled slightly when she laughed uncontrollably and the way she said his name. Her playful teasing was something he enjoyed the most about her. He loved the way she was with him in good times and bad times..she even let him see her without her makeup, wearing her worst and when sick and didn’t pretend to be embarrassed, because she wasn’t. Selena was the only woman he knew who never changed or acted different no matter who was around.

Whenever she entered a room, whenever she was near him, his entire being lit up and every fiber on his body became alive.
His pulse quickens at the sight of her, his heart begins to pound hard against his chest it’s almost deafening to his ears. His stomach muscles clench automatically giving him no control at all.

She was the love of his life. She was the woman he would always love and she was the only woman who won his heart. Oh how he loved her. Kyle knew no other woman would win his heart the way Selena had….and she didn’t even know it. For twenty years Kyle has been in love with Selena, his middle school friend, neighbor and confidant. She was there for him when his parents divorced, when he crashed his motorcycle during his college years and when he dated the stalker. He was there during the time the ‘mean girls’ bullied her, was her stand in prom date when she was stood up and when Damien Stone broke her heart. Oh how he loved her.

During her wedding he thought he would die when she said “I do” while he stood by as one of the groomsmen. He never once stopped smiling while congratulating her and her new husband even though his heart was shattered and his hopes all gone. He was there for her when she miscarried her second child and he cried wishing he had the power to take away her pain. Kyle would have done anything for her because that’s what friends do and most of all because he loved her.

As Kyle walks through the sterile halls, the smell of rubbing alcohol and disinfectant overwhelm his senses. He begins to tremble and gets light-headed as he nears the Intensive Care Unit and sees a priest near the doorway which he knows is where she is. Oh how he loved her and now for the last time he will be there for her, to hold her hand, to say goodbye and to be strong yet again as he has done for so many years.

Nearing the room family and friends exchanged pleasantries and allow him to enter the room. Selena’s husband waved him over to speak to him privately. The man’s eyes which were always full of life, seem sad and hopeless as he tried to smile. “I’ve known all along Kyle. I’ve known how much you loved her throughout these years and you never said a word or acted inappropriately.” “I don’t know-” “No need to say a word. We don’t have much time. I don’t want these last moments to be sad for her. I want her to be happy as she has always been. Thank you for coming Kyle, you mean so much to her and I want you to promise me, that you will be there for her as you’ve always been and continue to love her but not in secret when I’m gone.”

Kyle’s heart was aching, not for the pain she will endure and not for all the years he loved her in silence. His heart was aching for the man who on his death-bed gave him permission to love her freely, to stand by her and to make her happy. His heart was also aching for all the years he thought he wasted but now was being rewarded for.

Oh how he loved her.

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