All a Game

I love you.

She smiles as the lie passes through her lips, a bright smile that she’s mastered over the years. She looks into her eyes and she can tell she knows she’s lying, she knows but she won’t say. She won’t call her out on it because that’s the kind of person she is, but she can almost hear her heart breaking. Her smile drops a little, but not enough to be obvious. To the surrounding people, they look like a happy couple, awash in the new romance but that couldn’t be any further away from the truth.

They’re not dating. They’re not in love. They don’t know what they’re doing.

It’s a game, she thinks. Who can get who to crack first, to show true emotion, to fall in love.

She doesn’t know when it started. Maybe it was that time they started insulting each other. Maybe it was that time they spent the whole night on a bench in the park, talking. Maybe it was time she got drunk at some party at some fraternity and strutted over to her, grabbing her shirt in her fist and pulled her down until their lips met in an uncharted frenzy. (She thinks it’s that.)

It was pure fun in the beginning, none of them serious about it. Just fooling around, holding hands, flirting, kissing, doing whatever a quintessential high school couple does. But then her eyes started lingering, the ghost of her lips still pressed against hers and she was scared. Their eyes would meet with a spark and she felt the need to keep her pressed against her, touching her. She knew she was feeling the same, their masks weren’t covering as much as they thought.

She’s not in love with her, she’s not lying, she doesn’t love her. But she’s quite there, almost and she doesn’t know what to do. She’s always been a prideful person and telling her cannot be the answer here. She cannot lose this, whatever this is.

So, she keeps on playing. It’s a never ending game, none of them can see the end and it’s honestly a mess. She’s so tried, she‘s so tired. But their pride keeps them from saying anything.

I love you too.

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