Because only one person can end up with her, and for all others disappointment is inevitable.
Each drabble is about who you want it to be about, though the first three are pretty obvious. I didn't realize until after I posted it how ambiguous they are, but I like it better that way.
She was his perfect match in almost every way, but he did not love her.
It was curious, the way that happened. There had perhaps never been a girl who adored sweets more. Ice cream, candy floss, layer cakes, tiramisu - the cooks were always baking something, trying to please their mistress' unsatisfiable sweet tooth. She ate ample portions of all of them, and they made her rosy and fat. Her lips tasted like candy, and her curly blonde hair smelled like sweet apples.
It disgusted him. She was always eating, always chewing, always talking in that childish voice: "Don't you want some? Look, I saved a little piece for you. Or would you like some of this fudge?"
One night after dinner, he watched her tear into a sundae, her big brown eyes sparkling with puerile delight, and he felt sad. She looked just as he had five years ago, at age eighteen, and he wondered if he had been that annoying, that ridiculous. Maybe that was why...
"Darling, don't you want some? Here, I'll give you a bite right off the top." Grinning, she held out a spoonful of vanilla ice cream, smothered in chocolate and caramel sauce.
He looked at her seriously for the first time. Then he said, "You're going to get a cavity" and left in solemn silence.
She was always trying to get him to talk. It was the cruel running joke of their convenient engagement - "Why don't you say something? I'm sick of your one-word answers. Don't you have any opinions on the matter?"
He was voicing his opinions. He was voicing them loud and clear; she just wasn't looking. She did not see the gratitude in his eyes when she fixed his tie. She did not see the hysterical laughter in his smile when she told a funny joke. And when his mother died, she thought he wasn't grieving properly. She begged him to speak to her about it, to cry out his feelings. What she did not realize was that he was already doing this when he stared out the window at the moon, stony-faced.
"I don't think I want to marry you," she said one afternoon over tea. "I need someone I can communicate with, and you aren't even trying." There was irritation in her dark eyes; her pale face was pointed and serious.
He looked at her: I'm sorry. Please understand, this is neither of our faults. We were just meant for different people. But she did not hear him. She was pressing buttons on her phone, her long red nails clicking on the surface.
He felt no sadness when he watched her leave. There was only vague regret in his expression, and the overwhelming sense that he had lost something too long ago to retrieve it.
"I didn't know you had a twin!"
She picked up the picture on his nightstand and waved it in the air. The sheets fell away from her body, and he averted his gaze.
"Yeah. His name's Kaoru. Maybe you'll meet him someday."
The girl rolled over on to her stomach and grinned up at him. "Is that girl in the picture his girlfriend?"
He shook his head.
"Because my sister and I have always wanted to date twins. You know my sister, you met her-"
He scowled and continued to fix his hair in the mirror, wishing he had never invited this ditzy, obnoxious girl over in the first place. What was it with girls and twins, he wondered? Turning around, he gently took the picture out of the girl's hand and, trying to ignore the faces in the photo, placed it face-down on the dresser. That was a time past, and it didn't need to be brought back up.
"So, can you set them up?"
"Who?" he asked, frowning.
The girl giggled; the sound was piercing, like a witch's cackle in a child's storybook. "Your brother and my sister, silly. I think he would like her. Well, you would like her, which means he would prob-"
He shut her up by crouching down and pressing his lips against hers. "Since when was it about my brother, huh?" He kissed her again, and she looked frightened by his intensity. "Unless I'm mistaken you're dating me, am I right? My brother and I are two separate people, and you don't know him at all." And with that, he stood up and left the room, tears burning the back of his eyes as he remembered the gentle, thoughtful girl who had taught him that.
She was so fake, it drove him insane. Bright white teeth, auburn extensions, false eyelashes when they went out to dinner; she was half German, half Japanese, and her natural beauty was astounding. He would never understand a girl's desire to cover these things up, to go even farther until they were a caricature of themselves. This girl, this beauty, looked like a cardboard cutout sitting across from him, chattering about shallow things. Massages, snobby acquaintances, the decorations at her friend's wedding. He listened out of obligation, only half interested in what she had to say.
At one point during her youth, she had been interested in art. He had seen her paintings hanging in her family's home. Most of them were landscapes - the mountains around her family's summer home, a tiny butterfly garden. He asked her about it, and she just chuckled as though he had told an amusing joke.
"Me? Nature? Dear, the only flowers I liked are cut ones in vases. Marigolds, you remember? Those are my favorites."
And he was angry, angry that in the six months he had been dating this girl he had never once heard a completely honest statement coming from those glossy red lips.
There was a game they played every day.
He left one shoe on the floor of the closet. She gave him a stern look and shoved it back into its rightful place. He left the sheets down on the bed. She snapped at him and yanked them back up. He stayed in bed until nine, and she chastised him for making her lonely. And if, God forbid, he allowed their ten-year-old daughter to watch a TV program that came on at nine, his wife would smash the button on the remote and complain that the child needed a full eleven hours of sleep to keep her complexion clear.
It was not a fun game, but it was the closest he came to excitement in her world of white walls and silent evenings and scripted dinner conversations. Their children were not miserable because they did not know the world he did - a world of adventure, of laughter, of staying up until all hours, just talking or joking or drinking with his six best friends.
He was married to the love of his life, but he still worried sometimes. She always told him, "They're fine, their relationships aren't really our concern, are they?"
But he saw them unhappy, sad because things never worked out for them, even if they refused to talk to him about it. And sometimes, for just a moment, he would be haunted with the horrible idea that he was selfish. He had taken the heart that all of his friends desired, secretly or otherwise.
He could never quite get over that.