subject line: honest. June 22, 2015 by Hannah Brencher winston salem, north carolina I checked my work emails twice tonight to see if he had responded.I checked them only after a short and increasingly more distant texting conversation we shared.We dated from Black Friday to late January, a few days before my birthday. It’s crazy how short time frames can contain so much story in them — or maybe it’s crazier how long the echo of one short story can ring through your life.I swore this would all be a faint memory by now.He is the first guy who has ever done it right. He was brave, upfront, pure in heart and motive, and communicated bravely the moment he saw a need for it. In some ways, our relationship was like therapy for me. Earlier the year before, I spent a hefty chunk of time pining after a guy who showed enough interest in me to keep me consumed, but never communicated anything with me. It all ended abruptly when he asked one of my friends on a date — in the middle of it all.6 months of hanging on every word he said and bending over backwards to have interesting conversations and altar plans to ensure I would accidentally on purpose run into him — and it all ended.So here comes my growing friend, new neighbor, and coworker who communicates his heart from the very beginning. I wish that more guys knew what a gift it was to cultivate a safe place for a girl’s heart to land. Especially for me, after all of the wondering — for the first time ever I felt pursued purely, never questioning how he felt about me. There was this massive problem, though — no matter how much I wanted my heart to “go there” with him, I couldn’t force it.I wanted so desperately to force it.I still want to, if I’m honest.One night after a date, we got really honest. He asked me if I was attracted to him, and I floundered, lied, and gave him some sort of yes with a mumbled disclaimer tacked on to the end. He pegged me right after.”I think that you love spending time with me and you’re really comfortable being my friend, but I don’t know how convinced you are to go any further than that.”He was right.We continued hanging out for another week or so, but soon after, I got brave and ended things after a fancy dinner one town over in the pouring rain. His company was great, but I never felt like we understood each other. You know, how there are some people that know things about you, and other people who KNOW things about you because they feel the same things in their bones.It was like we were majoring in two completely different subjects in college. We’d meet together briefly for lunch and try to catch each other up to speed, but our differences in interest and our paths altogether seemed to be entirely different. The lunch hour just wasn’t cutting it.It’s now July and not January, but we’ve had a few conversations since then — the last one being this week. We both agreed that we wanted to be in love, and that no one ever fell in love trying to make things fit in their heads the way we had been doing.Walking away for good.And I’m still fighting the sadness, if I’m being honest.I’m sad because I really wanted it to work. He wants a happy ending and someone to love and to build a life with, and I desperately wanted to be that person for him. I want the same things - but it just wouldn’t fit and wouldn’t connect, no matter how we tried.I’m not sure where to go from here.There’s a girl deep inside of me that keeps dreaming — a girl who holds all of my hopes like precious jewels and whispers “it will all be worth it! Everything you walked away from will be worth it!”But there are other days that I’m sad and I can’t seem to get away from him and we have texting conversations that grow distant with every exchange.Today was one of those days.