"I can't deny what you're saying is true," I said. "But I have given my heart to you. And you shall have it for as long as you want it."
"But is it given unwillingly?" Theseus asked sadly.
I reached up and caressed his cheek. "Of course not, my darling. Of course not."
Theseus looked anguished. "I don't know what this relationship is doing, Sarah. The day I met you and kissed you for the first time, I was sure we were enhancing both our lives. But now... I'm just not sure."
"And that's my fault, darling. I shouldn't let you see the effect Jamie has on me. I should keep it hidden, for both our sakes."
"It's not your fault," he said, but I could tell he was just saying that so I wouldn't feel sad.
"Come on. Let's go up to Spanish. My teacher will be really impressed that you know the subjunctive."
Theseus smiled slightly and together we walked the remaining distance to the Spanish classroom. We tried to act like we were okay during Spanish, but deep down, both of us were dejected.
I wasn't ashamed of loving Jamie - that would be cruel. But I felt guilty that I had hurt Theseus by making my feelings for him evident.
I also felt a twinge of guilt towards Jamie himself, because the truth was ... he needed me.
I remember that fateful day in Year 3 when Jamie rushed up to me and said "Sarah, I just realised something."
He had led me to the courtyard more commonly known as 'The Quiet Area' where we had sat down on a bench and he had told me how it had struck him that he didn't have parents.
He had broken down completely, telling me how stupid he had been not to realise before and how much it hurt. As I had hugged him and tried to tell him that everything was all right, I had almost felt the huge rip in his heart that still hadn't healed up.
He had been such an intelligent and far-sighted seven year old. That unexpectedly early maturing had made things worse. He had thought too deeply about the tragic car crash and consequently stepped across the boundaries into a world no kid should know...
Four years later, I remember him coming up to me on his birthday and saying "Thanks for helping me get this far, Sarah."
And then I had made him a promise.
"Jamie, I will always be there for you. Always. I'm so sorry that the world deserted you and broke you inside, and I refuse to become part of that world. I will stand by you, support you, be a shoulder for you to cry on. I won't ever leave you, Jamie. Ever."
And in return, he said "You've filled the gap, Sarah. You're the only one who's ever understood me. I'm so broken that it's a wonder you could persevere to put the pieces of me back together. You're like an older sister to me but you're so much more. You're my best friend, my counsellor, my family, all rolled into one. I don't think I would be alive now if it weren't for you."
He had only grown more profound with age.
And then he had hugged me and I had hugged him, and we had stood there, crying our eyes out, both hating the injustice of the world, both wishing things were different. Better. I had been so affected by him that I almost felt guilty for not suffering. For not having to face the same heartbreak as my best friend.
And now I had broken my promise. Now I had deserted him.
I was hurting so many people. Was it worth it?
Part of me wondered not what would have happened if I'd done something different, but what I could have done to prevent this.
When Theseus had been about to plant that first, beautiful, devastating kiss on my lips, maybe I could have said "No. It would be selfish for me to fall in love when my best friend is broken and totally reliant on me."
When Jamie had told me he loved me, could I have gone up to Theseus and said "I'm really sorry but there is someone out there who needs my love, not just wants it."?
When Dad had told me to stop seeing Theseus, could I have dumped him and then gone to find Jamie to set things right?
I could have done any one of those things .... had I been a better person.
But my actions up until this point showed that I was selfish and inconsiderate.
It wasn't too late but I doubted I would do anything to change the situation.
I could tell myself 'Oh, it's because I don't want to break Theseus' heart', but I would always know that it was because I didn't want to break my own heart. I had wanted an archangel for so long that I wasn't about to give one up. Even if it was for Jamie.
It's ironic. Jamie always told me that I had an 'inspiring conscience'.