“Whaa…wh…huh?” All I could do is stutter. I felt like my body had been shocked by ten thousand volts. It had been one of the most magnificent feelings I had ever felt. And all I wanted to do was feel it again. Harry was standing with his back to me; I could see his muscles tensing through his sleeping shirt.
“Cathleen,” Harry flipped around and kneeled down in front of me, grabbing my hands in his own. “Cathleen, betrothal or not, I love you.”
“No, Harry, don’t,” tears were springing in my eyes. “Please don’t ruin your life. I’m a bad idea, and what will your betrothed say? She probably does love you, and there must be something you like about her. She’s probably a well-to-do princess with lovely looks, and,” Harry cut me off.
“But, she’s not you. She’s not the girl I grew up with, who let me tell her stories, and chase her around the house with a frog. She doesn’t paint, or have a secret hiding place, or have a weakness for pasta. She is attractive, yes, but you, you are beautiful. Beautiful and perfect. And I love you,” he raised his hand to my cheek wiping away a tear that had escaped my left eye. I pushed his hand away and wiped my eyes.
“I can’t ruin your life, Harry. I’m sorry but no, we’ll never be anything.” It came out a lot harsher than I intended, and Harry looked as though I had slapped him.
He pulled his hands away and stood up, “I’m going to bed. Goodnight.” He turned and walked off, not giving me a second glance. I felt my heart break into smaller pieces with every step he took. And I could tell I had hurt him more than I ever had before. He disappeared upstairs and I finally let a sob escape my mouth. I wanted him more than anything, but his happiness was the most important thing to me. I wasn’t going to let him ruin his life for me; I liked him too much for that. Okay, okay, loved him too much for that.
“What am I going to do?” I whispered as I laid down on the couch and cried until I fell asleep.