212 nights later, he gave up all pretense, and he cried. A single tear crawled down his cheek and the trail of chill it left on his face surprised him. He closed the book in his hand and let the tears crawl some more. “So this is what happens“, he thought. He felt the rejection of love, without having felt love itself. A thousand maybe-I-should-have’s ran through his mind. “It still wouldn’t have mattered“, he thought. “Either you’re on her procreation-possibility list, or you’re not“.

He made up his own hate list. Is it possible to make up reasons to hate a stranger?
He was reminded of her laughter. The way it abruptly began as a chuckle and became a tinkle.

He thought of way his college hat was too large for her head. And he remembered the fragrance that lingered in it afterwards.

The way she looked at him came back to him. Those placid eyes, and the lopsided smile-shrug that hinted Mystery once, conveyed Apathy in hindsight.

He couldn’t think of any more. Weren’t these enough to prove her moral and mental inferiority? He laughed inwardly for having fallen so low. “You percieve dimly after your first true love that it wasn’t true and it wasn’t even love.“,he realized, and thus he lost his Innocence.

And yet he hopes.