She thought it was a phase. They called him her crush. Feeling warm by his side, giggling to his quips, feeling alive. Others may have branded it flirting, she didn't care about brands for that matter.
She knew his travel would put them in inevitable positions they are not gonna talk with each other every other day, his voice would become distant and faint eventually, his warmth would dip a few degrees - perhaps the cold shoulder would start showing in and so forth. But none of it happened. Of course their togetherness was halved or quartered, the calls became less, but when they spoke receivers dripped affection - trickle, trickle, trickle.
He wasn't her crush. There was no "rush" of hormones, just a soft soothing phantom hand to run through her hair, a pillow in the place of his warm hug.
Distance didn't matter, time didn't matter, their inhibitions towards opening up as neither could own each other did. Their story didn't need a villain - they were enough to hold it down and sweep it under the rugs. The said 'no' before they could think 'yes'.
He wasnt her crush. He was her love. He was more than her love in fact, as he could never be one in the first place.