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But they're wrong. There's one thing that passes one by in life, if you don't take advantage of it when you're young. There comes a time when it is too late. I'm talking here from a heterosexual male point of view and I'm talking about young women. No, I'm not talking high school, I'm talking college age and beyond, let's say to early thirties. I'm talking about the most beautiful animal that inhabits the face of the earth. Women, young women.

Now, don't get me wrong. Certainly, there are plenty of very attractive ladies who age well and are gorgeous even in their senior years. And, beauty isn't everything. But, I'm talking preferences here. I think most men would prefer younger women. But like most opportunities that present themselves when we're young, we don't recognize them. And what I'm saying is, there comes a time when you, as a male, reach a certain age, that unless you're in the Donald Trump category, time runs out. They, the young women, are just no longer interested. They have better choices.

I'm there; I'm past the age where younger women find me attractive for , let's say, dating purposes. Now younger men, when you frequent a restaurant, a bar, a grocery store, and see this young woman perusing cantelopes, you can walk right up and say, "Nice Cantelopes, huh?" And just maybe meet the woman of your dreams. Who knows? Or at least, get a phone number. It's not beyond the realm of possibilities. But, try it at 50 something when they're 20 something. The results just aren't the same. And it's tough, with all the young ladies everywhere, to look and realize, well you just can't touch.

So, the moral of this story is fairly obvious. While you're young, don't waste time with education, careers, and other senseless possibilities. There is a time when it's too late. Go after the women while you're young, and say hi for me.

Going on three years, I've known a girl. That girl. The one that constantly makes me wonder if I've waited too long to say something. The one that shows up in my dreams unannounced without having to be an object of lust or comedy. The one with whom my favorite memories are those that we spent alone, just kicking back in the early spring sun and sharing lunch or an early dinner in the grass, even as out of character as that could seem for both of us, because I had her to myself for hours and could let my heart believe that she could be mine one day. One that I have feelings so deeply for that I continued to have them for the entire length of a relationship with another woman.

I'm scared to death that I actually have waited too long now.

The last major thing that I remember that happened between us was on a trip with our college chorus about four or five months ago, since we didn't see each other at all over the summer because of the respective locations of our abodes when classes aren't on, not to mention that we have never really been dating or anything more than good friends. On some weird impulse, we decided to share a coupling of seats on the bus, her on the window side and me in the aisle. We slept most of the time we were on the bus, and spent almost all of the trip hanging out together; we had lunch together, alone, and went window shopping together afterward. We both decided not to leave the bus when it stopped at the mall. For the first real time during the three years we've known each other, we talked to each other freely and let ourselves be a lot more open with each other than usual. We breached the wall of friendship, and we got into something else; what it was, I'm not sure I really have a name for. All I knew then was that I was falling in love.

We had a long day with the chorus, and at the end of the day, even though we'd been sleeping most of the trip, we were ready to sleep some more while on the way home. Despite being incredibly drowsy, I let myself be awake for a while to watch the interstate go by while she drifted off. At some point, she grabbed my arm gently and asked while still mostly asleep if she could have my shoulder, and I obliged with no hesitation. I've got no idea how she felt for being so close to me, but as for myself, I was incredibly elated just to have her leaning on me that much. My contentment led me more quickly to sleep than I was going; I fell asleep without really remembering getting there. I woke from time to time, and most of these short moments of consciousness were spent thinking how lucky I was and then falling back out.

At some point, after a particularly long sleep, I woke up and we were partway holding hands: my pinky and ring fingers were being held in her palm, gently yet firmly. I didn't sleep anymore, or if I did it was only for short moments at a time. I was on a cloud, even if I couldn't guarantee that anything was happening because my feelings were turning out to be mutual. Eventually, she woke up and took her hand back, and she acted like it didn't happen.

The lunches in the grass continued. It felt like we were getting closer. She was telling me about her friends, about her problems with her guy (finally, a reason to mention exactly why I haven't said anything to her), about where she was going, what she did, and who she was. I thought that things were finally moving forward, especially considering some of the things she decided to tell me about her relationship.

Summer came, and it seems like it took less time than it does for a leaf to fall from a tree to the ground for summer to come to a close. Most of three months went by in which she didn't answer any of my texts or talk to me anymore when we happened to be on social networking sites at the same time. And now that classes are forcing us back together in a sense, I find that she doesn't speak to me at all. She avoids me in hallways and avoids my eyes in the choir room. She quit our other mutual ensemble, too, so that now there is even less time shared between us.

At the time I wanted more than anything to confront her about how I feel, she put an enormous distance between us and built a wall of total silence in its wake for good measure. For the shreds of experience I have, I know nothing for why she would do this, and I fear what it could mean. All I really want is just for her to know what's on my mind and in my heart.

Even if it's too late.

But how do you go about talking to someone that's already in a relationship about the way you feel? How can you possibly feel like there's a chance for you when there's already somebody standing where you want to be? It's an awful thing to be half-way to ground, falling in love with someone who appears to be in love with someone else. I only hope that, with Lily, there's still some time left, because if there isn't, I'm not convinced that I'm ready to be crushed again.

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