A/N: The italicised portion at the end was my friend/teammate Dani’s response when I shared what I’d already written (which meets entry criteria anyways), and I really wanted to integrate her words somehow so I popped it in with some minor edits. I hope you enjoy and make sure to check out her and our other Hurricane Sister Luthien’s entries as well ❥

They call it slow burn, the healthiest and most excruciating type of ‘ship. She loves to read it, to agonize over it fictitiously. But she doesn’t personally function like that. She isn’t capable of that kind of loving. She falls fast and she falls hard, and she falls deeply, hopelessly, irreparably in love.

If you’re friends, just know she’s in love with you. Platonically? Yes. Romantically? Yes. It doesn’t make much difference; she just loves you.

“I love too much,” she says to herself. “I love too hard. I will pour all of my heart into yours and then lose myself when I see you drown. I never want it to happen, but it’s not something I can control. It’s carnally innate, ravenous and disastrous, and I’m the only one who sees it. The only one who feels it. The only one in possession of the capacity to even slightly rein it in. It is torture and it is poetry and it is the most enrapturing brand of chaos. I am a slave to such affections.”

You shared a bonding experience? A sense of humour or interwoven past? She’s done for; you’ll have her on her knees. She is a desperate, pathetic, lovedrunk being. Relationships are her drug and she wants to overdose on you.

“I get so high simply being in the same room as you. The deepest desire of my heart is to stay forever in your presence. All I want and all I need in life is to see you smile, regardless of whether I caused it or not. Just, you. Smiling. And I am whole.”

The most dangerous thing is her affection; the most dangerous thing for you is to have earned it. She gives it out far too freely. She has her love spread far too thin. She can’t retract it, can’t replenish it. So many people own a piece of her soul and never know it.

“So many parts of me are unknowingly pulled in all sorts of directions by the ones I hold dear. No one has to fight for my heart besides me, and I always lose. My heart has never been whole as far back as I recall. I don’t own my love. It is mine to give, not to harbour. This sort of … emotional promiscuity, shall we say, it most certainly springs from my desire to be loved as deeply as I love the world. My heart aches for all it lacks, unable to stop bleeding out what it vital to my own survival. I am empty, yet overflowing. Barren and fruitful all at once. A victim of the double-edged sword that is being an empath; the highs of loving more than anyone ever has, and the lows of never being loved the way I need to be.”

The happiest people are truly the saddest inside, and she is more than living proof. She is dying proof; dying to find a proper source of fuel for this exorbitant cycle she’s caught up in. She gives because she needs what she gives because she needs what she gives, and on and on and on. Always giving and never getting the feelings adequately returned.

“There’s no way to turn it off. If there was, I would’ve flipped the switch a long time ago. I’m exhausted. I wish I wasn’t like this, it hurts so deep and I wish it would stop. Yet, I don’t want to stop. I don’t want anyone else to ever feel the way I feel. It’s awful. It’s the worst feeling one could ever feel, not being loved the way you need to be loved. I know not everyone needs what I provide, but for those who do, I know I can make all the difference, and they are why I can’t ever stop being me. Someday, something small I’ve done or said will a light in someone’s life. Someday, my rainstorm will pour into someone’s desert at their driest. Someday. I can’t wait for that someday.”

She wants to be life. And to her, life is love, because God is love and He gave her life. So of course, she lives how He designed her to.

“I also can’t wait for the day someone else is my rainstorm… You’ll never see it, but I am the driest raincloud you will ever meet. I don’t know where it all springs from, and I’m more than glad to be this source of light and love and joy and life, but I am more tired than you could ever know.”

Since there is no rest for the wicked, she feels she can’t rest either. There is no rest when there is evil to be fought. Hardship cultivates steadfastness. She doesn’t ask for the burden to become lighter, she asks for the strength to continue on.

“If I am weak in the face of adversity, what good am I? This is a broken world. There will always be troubles. I must be strong and keep moving forward so I don’t fall behind and get crushed. If I stop, everything chasing me will catch up, and I will die the worst death imaginable. Not my body, but my spirit itself will die. It’s already such a fragile thing. If my demons ever caught up to me, I would be absolutely done for. I would never get back up again. This is why I can never stop.”

This is why she’s afraid to ask the wrong questions. She’s not scared of embarrassment, she has long since overcome that fear. What scares her is her love being made into nothing.

“I care for you and you answer with apathy? Not worth my time and I’ll move on. But you tell me you love me and your actions tell me otherwise, time and again? Congratulations, you’re on the short list of people who’ve managed to break me, whether you meant it or not.”

Her love is not fragile. It engulfs the soul, inflames the spirit. It’s as godly a love as you’ll ever see. Don’t take it for granted. Take it, take care of it. And take care to return it. Reciprocate. You are not worthy of something so mighty. Make yourself worth her love. I implore you on her behalf, do not let her affections go to waste.

Everyone sees her as the happiest creature in the world, but I don’t. Somehow, I can see through the farce. See through the mask she keeps the real girl captive behind. Maybe I see through it because I am the same. Or maybe I see through it because my mask is entirely different. Regardless, we are one in this respect. But how am I to make her understand that?

The whole world holds her heart. I can see the cracks where her bitter tears seep through. My own heart is not like hers. She has spread herself far too thin, but I? I gave my heart to only two people. One returned it with a gaping hole. The other promised to shelter it forever. I want to hold her heart as this other holds mine. I want to protect her, hold her together, keep the aching loneliness away from her thinned walls.

I want to see her truly happy, not sit idly by as she struggles to keep up this facade.

But to do something towards that end, I fear I must give up my own mask. This mask that has protected me for so long. What will happen if I open my heart? Will I become scattered and torn like her? Will I be able to withstand the pressure of supporting the world?

No. I fear I will break. I already broke once, and still, many pieces are missing after I have tried to rebuild myself. How is she able to go on for so long? How can she cover the cracks with smiles? Her genuineness is the truth and yet it is such a farce. I can see her struggle so much, but I don’t reach out. I can’t reach out. If I do, I will shatter her. And that will shatter me.

So we exist. Together. Sitting side by side, knowing the truth but leaving it alone. The moment we stir, the thin ice keeping us aloft will break. I mustn’t touch her. I mustn’t let her know I am here no matter what. She says I love you, and I know she means it, but I must not return that love, even if it hurts me to keep quiet. Because the moment I do, there will be no saving us.