A Touch of Hope

Caitlyn’s head lays tucked in the curve of my neck. Her hair is soft against my skin and I hear her voice tremble as she speaks. We’re out here, laying in the freshly sprinklered grass. She lays on my jacket, to keep her velvet dress from the dewy grass. I, on the other hand, can already feel the water soaking through my shirt. “Hey, Tristan,” she says, looking at me intensely. Her eyes stare deep. But suddenly, her expression changes with a mischievous smile, “I’m stealing your shoes!” She effortlessly pulls them off my feet, laughing. “Here, you can have mine,” she says, tossing me her dress shoes. She rubs the blisters on the backs of her heels, and I grin reluctantly. “Fine,” I say, hanging the shoes over my toes. Caitlyn laughs at me and I smile, putting my head closer to her once again. 
This might seem like a romantic gesture to some, but laying next to my best friend on the grass, Romance is the last thing I want. 

I think romantic love is the most shallow kind. 
Maybe that’s biased of me to say, but I have my reasons to think so. 
Romantic love isn’t just someone loving you for your soul. It’s loving your appearance too. And once your smooth skin goes away or your twinkling eyes go away, the attraction or “spark” is gone.  No longer is it “romantic”. And once the romance dies, the relationship breaks off and both people are left feeling empty, looking to fill that void again. 
But true, deep, friendship - oh, you love someone for their soul. Not their face. 
Caitlyn and I lay out on the grass. She looks at the stars, telling stories. I look at her — and I mean really, really look at her — past her deep blue eyes and fair skin, and I know she still has sorrow left in her. We’ve both been broken-hearted. 
Suddenly her mood changes, her happy story ends, and her smile was merely temporary. She tucks her head close to my neck so I feel her warmth.
“I hope we aren’t using each other to fill in for the people we lost,” she whispers, staring at the stars. I whisper back, “I’m not replacing anyone, you know that, you are your own person.” Caitlyn looks at me, straight in the eye. “I’ve never done anything like this since... you know..him..” and her lip trembles, “The thing is, I just hope I’m not using you to replace someone.” She buries her head deeper into my neck, in attempts to hide her face. But, I feel her breathing go heavy as she suddenly begins to cry. 

A Romantic relationship is the most cruel. It starts off as superficial attraction, looking at someone’s pretty face, and then it gets deep — if you’re lucky, that is. It tricks you with kisses and touches and lust. It’s a dagger cutting deep in your chest, and when you pull it out at the end, your heart collapses in on itself, bleeding. Humans were meant to bond, to connect - not break apart. Caitlyn’s hot tears spill onto my shirt, and I hold her to my chest. I don’t love her in a romantic way, and she doesn’t think of me like that either. To me, she’s my sister, and I, her brother. And a brother won’t love you just for your ‘pretty face’. A brother loves you for your soul straight away. From the start, I found joy in her spirit, and our bond is something I want to last forever. Together I hope we grow, and stay forever. Eventually, Caitlyn’s breath slows, and her eyes open, no more tears. We look up at the stars above, my arm still around her. I know it will all end up ok. Maybe it’s not passion, maybe it’s not kisses and roses, maybe it’s not a romance, but I have hope in this friendship. Sparkles fade, laughter changes, but a pure heart stays the same. 
And that’s the kind of true love I believe in. 

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