What I thought about that four year denial was this -- why wasn't I honest with my feelings for her? I was having my painful high school crush rejection who wasn't really pretty compared to her. If anything, I thought about how I used to tease her a lot to throw my frustrations at her yet she always repaid most of it with kindness -- except if she's had enough and decided to yell like Belle did to Beast. Yup, it was really something that got me to like her aside from her good looks.
Years later, the romantic feeling just died down. I met her several times and we ended up just having friendly interactions. I still had lingering feeling towards her until the day she was finally taken. It was sad to finally let her go -- but it was better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.