I think the proper prognosis for me right now is, I'm screwed. Thanks for listening.
She couldn't understand why it had happened. There was no need for a demonstration, no need for any kind of show. The point made itself, so why had she found herself holding hands with the one person who'd always been her weakness?
The softness of her hand, the coolness against hands that always got hot on contact. The criss-cross over knuckles of lines, felt under the protective thumb. Then even closer, the body pressing against her, smaller, so she fit just under everything. She couldn't look up, couldn't make eye contact. That would be too intimate, with all she knew. Knowing, for the first time, how they'd fit with each other. How they could be. The constant pressing and knowing, full well, that it was just a demonstration. Just for show.
Knowing there was no chance.
And then stepping away, not letting go of one hand. Holding it still, just to repeat the point. Those hands.
And release. Not sure whether to be relieved or devastated. Not knowing how everyone else saw the exchange. Not knowing what they might think. Was she obvious?
The days that follow are agony. A whole whirlpool of emotions, sucking her down in to a wondering pit of despair and need. Of wondering. Of laying in bed because it's taking all her strength not to cry at the loss, at the not knowing.
This is how love treats its sufferers, when unrequited feelings lead the way.