Is there something I should learn from all this? I knew I would be getting myself into a less-than-ideal situation if I took too much interest in you. But I couldn’t help it. What would YOU have done? I tried so hard to convince myself that I just thought of you as a sweet friend who I loved to hug and tease. I tried, I really did. But then that day…you might remember when that was, and what happened. I tried one last time to convince myself that it was normal for my heart rate to increase like it did just then. It was a feeling I hadn’t experienced for so long, but I knew it meant trouble. Everything about this situation is unfavorable—you used to go out with one of my girl friends, not to mention that I’ve willingly been avoiding getting too involved with anyone. At any rate, you would never guess that I was in this dilemma from looking at me. …Would you? You couldn’t have guessed, could you? I’ve tried so hard not to give anyone reason to suspect I have feelings for you…even YOU would probably be astonished if I told you. So why should I think that you’d ever feel anything for me in return? I guess what I should have figured out ages ago is that if I had to try THAT hard to convince myself that I didn’t feel anything for you, it should have been obvious that I did. You shouldn’t have been able to charm me so thoroughly without even trying. Looking back, I think I recognized that feeling from the very beginning–the feeling that you were so strange and alien, and yet so familiar to me. I’ve had that feeling once before, but *he* went away without a warning and never came back. I still have this almost-subconscious fear that you’ll do the same; that you’ll just vanish and be gone forever. Please don’t make me go through that again. I guess what I learned from that time is that I can’t take you for granted ever again. So please don’t ever leave this place like you’ve talked about doing. By now, my situation feels like an “elephant in the room”– I’m dying for somebody to know, and I’m dying for nobody to know. Help me out a bit? No, you don’t need to do anything. Just give me some time to figure out what to do, and keep being my friend in the meantime.