“I swear … that I love you.” I whispered, hiding my face from Collin. I knew he would make some rude remark in seconds but it didn’t come. I glanced up at his face and he was lost in thought.
“No.” Collin said, stopping his stroll and putting me down. “No.” he repeated, his eyes going wide with some emotion I couldn’t explain.
“No what?” I asked, still whispering as he started to back away from me.
“No.” He pulled at his hair and closed his eyes. Slowly, almost like it didn’t happen, “No. You can’t love me. I … I … you can’t love me.”
“Isn’t that what you’ve been wanting me to say?”
He shook his head and then nodded, still pulling at his hair like he could tear it all out in distress. Like he could rip himself to tiny, little pieces because of whatever was wrong.
“Collin?” I asked him and his eyes opened wide; his hands reached out to shake me.
“Do not love me. Do you hear me? Do. Not. Love. Me.” Then, he sprinted from the alley, leaving me in all my confusion.