She was beautiful. She remains beautiful.
He adored her.
But she had never asked for adoration and never wanted it. He understood that.
(Although inevitably there were elements she liked. To be so desired is good for the ego if not the soul).
Still adoring her, he offered his friendship instead. A romantic, yearning, mischievous, intimate friendship that he thought would play the warm strings of their apparent connection like a wild and exciting symphony.
She was uncertain – she wanted something much safer and cleaner – and decided to keep it in a box.
Treating it as toxic and dangerous, she constructed strong walls around it. She devised careful constraints of time and circumstance.
She cleverly made it without windows so that he could not see into her heart.
His adoration pushed desperately against the sides and pined in the darkness.
Now, during weekdays, if ever she opens the lid, she will always find him. He is sincere and fair, good-humoured but professional. He looks after her welfare.
She has her wish.
There is nothing else in the box.