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Alyssa Jones: Why are we stopping ?
Holden McNeil: Because I can 't take this.
Alyssa: Can't take what ?
Holden: I love you,
Alyssa: You love me ?
Holden : t love you. And not in a frienaVy way, although think we 're great friends. And not in a misplaced aection, puppy—dog way, although l'm sure that's what you'II 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. l've ever looked for in another person. I know you think of me as just a friend, and crossing that line is the furthest thing from an option you'd ever consider. But l had to say it. l can 't take this 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 ontY 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, but I had to say it, because l'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 l'II 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 laast fcv ten seconds and oy to dweN in it. Alyssa, there isn't anothar soul on this fucking planet who' s ever made me half the person I am when l'm with you, and I would risk this friendship for the chance to take it to the next platsau. Because it's there between you and me. You can't deny that. And even if we never speak agarn after tonight, please know that l'm forever changed because you are and what you've meant t。 me which... while I doappreciate it-l'd never need a painting of birds bought at a diner remind me 。