To my recollection, we met in the first year of middle school.
Separated into corners, I looked at you across the room to see you looking back. We smiled. Eventually we became fast friends, automatically as if a switch was turned on and we knew. You friend. Me friend. You admitted to me that we actually met in grade school; apparently I “allegedly” punched you in the face during a heating game of lava monster. It’s a very funny story, which might be even funnier if it were true, but when concerning you I have excellent memory and am positively certain you created it. You are very silly you know. I think that’s why I liked you; your silliness and humor complimented my humorous spazzy-ness. After much trepidation on my side, finally I told you I liked you. As I recall, it happened like this: I was passing notes in class, you were the subject, and you intercepted it. I can never forget the face you made, nor can I describe it; it’s ineffable. So after class I told you officially, I like you. Well, you may not know it but it’s a possibility that you scarred me right then by removing yourself from my life for a couple weeks. We stopped talking. Then when we started talking again, you professed your love to my friend who half- heartedly returned it. So began the middle school relationship, and so we started speaking again. I was hurt, but I have no claims to you, so I let it slide. You kept asking me, “Why do I always have to make the first move? Why can’t she come talk to me at lunch first!?” With which I replied, “You’re the boy, come on now! If you like her you’ll do it!”
The conversations were always like that, or close anyway. Obviously I still liked you, how could I not, we were close as ever with our little handshake. Then in 7th grade, you sat next to me in our crazy English class where you asked me, “I’m your best friend right?” I thought about it…Well we never hung out after school, we never really talk outside of school at all. “No,” I said, “I already have a best friend, you can be my substitute, just in case.” And thus it was labeled. In 8th grade my fondest memory of you was at our school’s joke of a dance.
First I must explain our relationship so it will make sense. In sixth grade I liked his handsome features and exuberant personality that I shared as well. At that point we only had the eccentric personality in common. Over time I grew to love him, truly and deeply, from the bottom of the ocean to the end of outer space, but, but, I knew I couldn’t have him. So sometimes I developed small crushes to distract myself from what I couldn’t have. The sun will always shine, and she knows it, but if you look at the sky on a cloudy day, you’ll forget the sun had ever shined and be happy in the shade. So at this dance I wanted to dance with a boy that I thought was very cute. Unfortunately that same kid came up to me during the dance to say, “I heard you wanted to dance with me, but I’m going to dance with this other girl instead.” But before I had the chance to look down in shame for being publicly denied, the clouds disappeared to reveal the sun that shone.
“He may not dance with you, but I will,” you said as you looked me in the eye. So we awkwardly placed our hands in position, and rocked back in forth, we slow danced. I wish I could say I remember the song, but truthfully, all I remember thinking was ‘maybe he likes me and told people he wanted to dance with me’ and again my hopes were raised. We continued this sort of friendship because I always thought that one-day, maybe.
Freshman year rolled around and we were the furthest apart. I don’t know why, but we were, then sophomore year we had math together. We passed notes every day, and I swear, when I looked at you, you were looking right back at me. But only for a second. But only a split second. I could have imagined it.
We talked about your ex-girlfriends, last kisses, it was an open discussion. But somehow I always felt that what I felt for you was returned. It was just the way you looked at me. We would sit together sometimes in that type of awkwardness, but we were just friends you know. Just…friends. I have to classify sophomore year as the most platonic between us because I almost had a boyfriend. He liked me a lot, and I could tell because I once told him he looks great in a white button down shirt and he wore it as often as he could, well without being gross. Whether or not I had a boyfriend didn’t matter because you fell in love with this girl, and she became your girlfriend for a couple months. But in the back of my mind I always thought that in the end it would be just us. Junior year had to be the most frustrating for me and oddly enough it wasn’t because you and I were lost because you were always with her. On the contrary it was the opposite. You and I were the closest we ever were because you were with her; she was your perfect alibi. In truth it didn’t bother me because I always called you my substitute, and I wanted you to be happy. So that’s not the reason you infuriated me, it was because once again you made me fall for you. Every single day in class together you led me on and I know, this time, it is not an imagination. My friends would always say, “Wow you two are very close…very, very close.” So I knew it was no imagination. In Math every day, without fail, we passed notes. One time you said the most memorable thing to me. Well, second actually, the first was when you told a girl that was being mean to me, “You Bitch.” But what you told me on this day went something like this, “Jaime, you’re an amazing person; anybody would be crazy not to like you.” To which I replied, “Well, should I draw up the list that haven’t liked me?” He said sorry, he didn’t mean to hurt me.
I really got upset with you, why would you tell me that? I don’t understand you, you kept leading me on and somehow for some reason I follow on. I really really wish I knew why. So here we are, our senior trip and we’re both single. I have strayed a little only because I thought I would feel better to move on. It doesn’t and It won’t. Here we are riding a seesaw where only one is high at a time, we can’t be at the same place. But I always wondered, back in 6th grade, when you didn’t like me in the same way I like you, when I wasn’t pretty. I thought, even if you liked me now, would it be just because I’m pretty? Yet here I am, much changed and I feel something between us.
But I’m done. I don’t want to hear you tell me that you and your ex had finally done it, don’t want to see you smile anymore, don’t want to hear you laugh to get my attention, I don’t want to hear you ask me what’s wrong, I don’t want to talk to you, I don’t want to stay in this same place, this purgatory. But most of all, I don’t want to know the truth. Because the truth is that I still love you and you may never know. After all here I am, writing, professing; admitting loudly and clearly and explicitly that I love you. Yet, just in case you ever see this letter, I penned it all anonymously so that you may never know.