*sigh* Been sitting on this for a while, wondering if I should bring it here, but I feel like I really should let it out or my head will pop. Have you ever been in a situation where you've ever loved someone, but were unable to tell them because you didn't know how they would react? Or have you ever been in love with someone that others deemed "unattainable" because they were above you? Well, that's two strikes against me I guess. I known this person for quite some time--we worked together for close to 4 years at the same bookstore, but it wasn't until after she left that I began to feel something for her. See, in the last couple years she worked there, her and I began to talk and I felt like we connected. It wasn't like we had a bunch of the same interests or stuff like that, but you know how it feels when you're talking to someone and all of a sudden you feel like you can tell them just about anything? That was what happened. Well, she left to pursue her degree while I stayed behind at the bookstore (I already have a degree but was "in transition" at the time). We talked on and off for the better part of the year after she left, but around the 4th she didn't return any of my calls. I figured that I had worn out my welcome and that was that. Fast-forward to October of last year. "Nightmare Before Christmas" had come out in 3D--one of her favorite movies. I found myself thinking about this and decided to take a chance and call her up. To my surprise, she agreed and we took her daughter to see the movie. Thus began the renewal of one of my most treasured friendships. Now, about a year ago was when all this started. It started as just something I thought I could pass but I began to pick up on little things that made me scratch my head a little. Little gestures, voice messages, stuff like that--it wasn't blatant or anything, but sometimes I'd catch her staring with this little smile on her face before she turned away. I know this is her personality, very joyful and soulful, but to me those seemed a bit more... planned, if you know what I mean. Now for the monkey wrench. She's been divorce--from what I've been told, the dad loves his daughter but refuses to help her out--and currently has a boyfriend, but the thing is she's dumped him before because he's stopped just short of saying, "We could have a better life if you didn't have a kid." He's asked her to drop everything and just travel the globe with him and leave her daughter behind, but she's told him no over and over. Now, for some reason even she doesn't want to say, they've been back together for 4 months. He's leaving for South America to do social work or something like that down there in September, and he's told her in no uncertain terms, "I won't wait for you while I'm down there, but I want you to wait for me." She's pretty much had it with him, but they're still together and I get the feeling that she will end up waiting for him. On top of that, so many of her coworkers propositioned her--some not too subtley--the entire time she worked there, and one manager in particular took it upon himself to try and turn the entire store against her when she threatened to reveal his (unsolicited) racy texts to his girlfriend. As a result, she has a reputation that's completely untrue because of him. She still has many friends there, but the backlash he put out there still hangs over just about everyone. Now, for monkey wrench #2--myself. As long as I've had these feelings, this little voice just creeps up in the back of my head and keeps telling me that I don't deserve to even have her as a friend much less something more. I'm about 10 pounds overweight, make $9.25/hr, had to move back home and I haven't done anything with my degree. She's gorgeous, the type who wears skirts and open-toed heels in the summer, and has one of the most beautiful personalities I've ever met. She's currently a nurse in her first year and pursuing her dream. She's also 5 years older than me, but that doesn't bother me in the least. I've started exercising and looking at options for my criminology degree but then everytime I start getting some leeway (in my own mind at least) I feel that doubt creep in and down I come crashing. I had another relationship with a girl that was closer to my age, but I fucked that one up badly and I will take responsibility for that. But the aftermath, the little games we ended up playing on each other and the fallout from it, made me "gunshy" in this situation because I don't want another friendship bottoming out over something like this. I love having her as a friend, but I know I could never live with myself if I never asked her. I also couldn't stand the thought of losing her as a friend if this goes sideways on me. I'm sorry if I sound emo or something, but that's where I stand right now--too afraid to ask, too afraid of the consequences. But there are so many things that just feel right between us--I mean, Optimus Prime was her first crush for crying out loud (this is 100% true, btw)! I know her pretty well and she thinks I'm one of the greatest friends she's ever had, but like I said I could never live with myself if I never asked her. I also don't want her thinking I'm just like everyone else at the bookstore, but I can swear before God and whoever listens that what I'm feeling isn't just sexual--I feel like this is someone who I could comfortably spend a life with if they'll let me. I have no problem with her having a daughter and I would like to meet her friends, but because of her new schedule we don't get to meet up as often as before. I'm sorry to bring my troubles to this place, but like I said--I really felt I needed to say this somewhere before I burst. I just wish I could suck it all up and tell her here and now, but I don't want to scare off a great friend like her in one quick statement. So, pray for me, give me advice, do whatever you want with this thread, I've finally said my peace. But please, just hope I come out on the other side in better spirits than I am now. Thanks.