If I Could Lead a Life of Fiction

She slowly peeled the clothes off her body and stood naked in the steam-filled bathroom. Her hands trembled as she ran them across her face, her chest, her stomach. She’d never considered herself pretty, quite the opposite in fact. In her mind, she knew this was why he would not love her.
 
As she stepped into the shower, her thoughts began to wonder aimlessly. She thought of his effortless beauty that clearly ran deeper than appearances. The boiling beads of water washed over her skin, leaving it red with irritation. The searing pain suddenly felt reassuring; it was something that could be controlled unlike the rejection that was spreading through her veins.
 
She turned the nozzle and the scorching water beat down on her imperfect body. She was alone with her thoughts.
 
Remembering the words he had spoken brought tears to her eyes. Though the hot stream pouring down quickly washed them away.

I’m not normal, Emily. I’m not capable of loving another soul. It isn’t my nature.

She replayed the scene in her head, reliving every moment. How she wanted to forget it all, including the fact that he was right — normal was a word that could never describe him.
 
She pictured how he looked earlier, in the midst of another Friday evening stroll. His coarse brown hair, in dire need of a haircut, still looked flawlessly messy. His green eyes wide with a child-like excitement. How many nights she had dreamed about being safe in his strong arms, gazing into his alluring eyes. He had swept her off her feet without even knowing it. Then again, the root of their problem was probably his utter obliviousness.
 
The water slowly began losing its numbing heat as she yawned. She quickly turned off the shower and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around herself. A cool breeze caught her skin and sent shivers up her spine. Her stomach sank at the familiarity of such a feeling — the one she got when he smiled at her.
 
It was hard for her to imagine life continuing after his blunt disapproval of her feelings. Like she had chosen to fall for him, a man of such intelligence and grace. But sadly lacking the ability to emotionally connect with a human being. She knew that from the beginning.

I cut my heart out and replaced it with a second brain.

That is what he had told her. Though it was meant metaphorically, it was undoubtedly the truth. 
 
But love makes you blind to the truth. Then you find yourself living in a life of fiction, one created in your very own head. That is what she had become. A mere character in the novel of her life. An image of who she could only dream of becoming — the girl who would change his mind.

Reality had a much different plan for her.