It started with the love spell.
Like all pathetic and depressing one sided romances, of course a love spell would have to be involved. My problem wasn’t that I was actually in love with the person I had accidentally been in love with, like Blake was. He and Tori were perfect for each other, and watching them dance around it that night I realized that my problem was that I was in love with Blake’s brother.
Unrequited love is the deadliest of all the afflictions. And let me tell you, love is a disease. It weakens the brain, causes the eyes to sparkle, the cheeks to flush, blood pressure to rise, and can cause to heart to beat at an abnormal pace. In some instances, the rapid fluttering of the heart can lead to convulsions; a heart attack.
And don’t even get me started on sex. Sex is the most violent thing the human body naturally goes through. Pupils dilate, arteries constrict, core temperature rises, heart races, blood pressure skyrockets, respiration becomes rapid and shallow, the brain fires bursts of electrical impulses from nowhere to nowhere, secretions spit out of every gland and the muscles tense and spasm like you’re lifting three times your body weight. Sex is a hell of a lot more dangerous than rangering will ever be.
So why do we do it? Why do we go through all of this, risking our hearts and our lives for an infatuation? Love fades nearly as much as it grows. People drift apart, infidelity is an epidemic, and marriage has become a fallacy. What makes us risk it all, even though we know that in the end we will be worse off?
If I knew, I’d be the richest man alive.
But unrequited love… that’s the one that can really do it. It can drive you crazy while you try to figure out what it is that makes you so enamored with an ass, and why you are so terrified of letting that secret out and at the same time absolutely horrified that you will never get over it and end up alone anyway-
“Ahhhh!” I have recently begun taking my time in Ninja Ops alone for granted. I still let out the frustrated groans and yelps I always have, but I keep forgetting to check who might be listening.
“Cam?” Shane is asking from behind me. “You alright?”
With a sigh, and clenched fists, I stand and try not to catch their eyes. “I’m fine. Thanks.”
Sometimes my brain works too fast. I’ll be thinking about him, and suddenly all of it will spiral in on me like there’s no way out and before I know it I’m drowning in my own misery.
It’s a problem. A problem I can’t (or won’t?) fix.
I need to get away. Leave the academy’s, and go back to college like I’d planned all that time ago. Finish my masters, live in an environment that is so completely different from the stiff upper lips of the academy, and forget about him. I can’t do that until we defeat Lothor, though, and to be honest that life feels like one I have no right to lead anymore.
I’ll be expected to stay, fix up the academy’s after Lothor’s defeat, probably teach. Hunter will leave, though. Nothing is holding him here. He’ll hit the road before Lothor’s body is cold, and I don’t blame him. Why should I stay for the miniscule possibility that he might?
“You need a hobby,” he tells me one morning when I’ve been up all night.
He’s sweaty, wearing a thin tank top and shorts, and downing a water bottle. He must have been running. It’s still an hour until training. I want to tell him that he is my hobby, that I live, breath and dream him, and that he’s more of an obsession at this point than a hobby but he can call it what he wants. Instead, I give him a calculating look and ask, “Excuse me?”
“You’ve been up all night.” He tells me. “Dark circles under your eyes again.” He notices that? “You need something to do that isn’t work, something that’ll tire you out. Get you away from the computer, at least. Something to do with your hands, maybe.”
The last thing I need is something to do with my hands, Hunter. I think it, but don’t say it, continually censoring myself and pushing him away.
I’d never been one for fantasies, but no one stirs them in me like him.
I realized I was in trouble when I wrote him a letter to tell him I thought I loved him… in binary.
I contemplated giving it to him, because he wouldn’t know what to do with it. The odds that he’d figure out what it said were infinitesimal. Still… Hunter was the type who wouldn’t stop until he’d figured it out, exhausting every possible option to find the answer. That’s part of what I like about him. Sooner or later, he’d get the translation and nothing good would come of that.
I stashed it in my drawer and forgot about it until Lothor wrecked Ops 3 weeks later.
My desk was in shambles. The rangers were picking things up, helping with the debris. Papers were everywhere. I had no idea what they’d find.
“Cam? Is this important?” Hunter was holding up a paper, filled with 0’s and 1’s and scratch marks and I can read it instantly but he has no idea what he is holding.
The love letter I wrote him is finally in his hands, and he’s looking at me like he is confused. To him, it is just a bunch of meaningless code on a paper.
To me, it’s a bit like watching my heart break.
“No. Go ahead and throw it away.” I tell him, and I watch as he shrugs, crumples the note into a ball and tosses it into the trashcan.
And instead of getting angry or crying and yelling at him or telling him how much I worship the ground he walks on or how much I desperately want him to understand binary or how much I want him to love me back… I look at him, smile, and say, “Thanks Hunter.”
And he smiles back, slaps me on the shoulder and replies, “Anytime, Cam.”