Alyssa: Why are we stopping?
Holden : Because I can't take this.
Alyssa : Can't take what?
Holden : I love you.
Alyssa: You love me?
Holden : I love you. And not in a friendly way, although I think we're great friends. And not in a
misplaced affection, puppy-dog way, although I'm sure that's what you'll call it. And it's not because you're
unattainable. I love you. Very simple, very truly. You're the epitome of every attribute and quality I've ever
looked for in another person. I know you think of me as just a friend, and that crossing that line is the furthest
thing from an option you'd ever consider. But I had to say it. I can't take it anymore. I can't stand next to you
without wanting to hold you. I can't look into your eyes without feeling that longing you only read about in trashy
romance novels. I can't talk to you without wanting to express my love for everything you are. I know this will
probably queer our friendship - no pun intended - but I had to say it, because I've never felt this before, and I
like who I am because of it. And if bringing it to light means we can't hang out anymore, then that hurts me. But I
couldn't allow another day to go by without getting it out there, regardless of the outcome, which by the look on
your face is to be the inevitable shoot-down. And I'll accept that. But I know some part of you is hesitating for a
moment, and if there is a moment of hesitation, that means you feel something too. All I ask is that you not
dismiss that - at least for ten seconds - and try to dwell in it. Alyssa, there isn't another soul on this fucking
planet who's ever made me half the person I am when I'm with you, and I would risk this friendship for the
chance to take it to the next plateau. Because it's there between you and me. You can't deny that. And even if
we never speak again after tonight, please know that I'm forever changed because of who you are and what
you've meant to me, which - while I do appreciate it - I'd never need a painting of birds bought at a diner to
remind me of.
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