I’m a coward, I’ve always known that.
Maybe it’s because I’m so shy around people I don’t know that well, or maybe it’s because I live a sheltered life by my parents, or maybe I am just a coward. Maybe it’s because of all of that combined. I don’t even know myself, but it doesn’t really matter anymore. You’re gone and you probably don’t even remember me.
I remember when I saw you during Freshman year and remembered thinking that I was so lucky to have a last name start with the letter S just because I got to sit next you for that one class we had together. I thought you were adorable. I didn’t know any one because I’d just moved and I wasn’t a social person so I was always quiet in class and because I didn’t have anything to say. I told myself that I didn’t need to talk to anyone—just do my work until the period ends, then I could leave. But I then you talked to me, and I remember being rude to you because I thought it was because I was the only person sitting next to you and all your friends were across the room.
And I’m sorry for thinking that. But whenever you tried to talk to me and I’d just nod and smile back, I always thought it was cute how you ran your hand through your hair awkwardly. And I guess that was when my crush started, because whenever I was around you or whenever I looked at you or you looked at me, I was always smiling. I was never good at hiding my emotions, so whenever I start smiling around someone for no reason it means that I like them. And I liked you.
We got closer since then, not close friends—but the kind of friend you go to when you need someone to listen and not laugh like your other friends. I was always smiling around you because you were always a happy person and when you were down I tried my best to cheer you up. I wasn’t very good at it, but you smiled at my attempt to and said thanks.
Then halfway through the year, during final exams, you told me you liked someone and I was smiling so much my cheeks hurt, then I pestered you to tell me and when you said my friend’s name the smile dropped from my face and I felt a pressure in my chest that made it hard to breathe. I can still remember the way you looked at me when I told you “Oh. That’s great.”, and I thought you had a feeling that I liked you so I didn’t say anything to you for the rest of the period. That was the same day I was going to tell you I liked you.
Then you got a girlfriend, a sophmore, and I tried to get over you and just be friends because I knew you really liked that girl. The sophmore year came, you were still with her, and I was still in love with you. And we had one class together again, and I was seated next to you because of our last names. My friends told me to tell you but it didn’t feel right to me because you had a girlfriend and I knew you didn’t feel the same, so what was the point in doing that?
…Remember how I told you I loved to write? I let you read my poems, some of them were about you but I don’t think you knew that. Then you asked if you could use one of my poems—one I wrote for you—in your note to your girlfriend, and I stupidly said yes. Halfway through the year, I finally was going to tell you (again) but then you told me something that made me get that same feeling I did in Freshman year when you told me you liked Ciara, but it was much worse this time.
You said you were moving.
I stopped writing after that for a while, I didn’t know you became my Muse and inspiration for writing until that moment. You said that you were leaving after finals and I pulled another “Oh? That’s great.” smile again. Things got awkward from there on. We didn’t talk as much as we did, and it hurts to say we weren’t close friends but we weren’t—I only saw you three times a day, maybe even less, and my writing completely stopped.
Then came finals again and I was so ready to tell you, I wasn’t going to mess up or miss my chance that time. I was fed up with always losing my chances of telling you, but I instead of saying it since we rarely saw each other I wrote it in a note. I was going to stick in your locker and hope for the best.
But you already left.
And now you’re gone for good and I missed all my chances.
I’m a Junior, almost a Senior, now and I can’t believe I still feel this way towards you. I guess it’s because you’re my first love—my first unrequited love, my little secret because I doubt you remember shy little me and because my friends think I’ve gotten over you. It’s pathetic isn’t it? Here I am two years later still stuck on you while you probably forgot I ever existed. You won’t see this, I know you won’t but if you happen to stumble upon this somehow, then hear it goes:
I love you Anthony. Even if you don’t remember me, even if you don’t feel any romantic feelings towards me, I want you to know that I love you because I needed to tell you that. You can call it a confession, a lost love, unrequited love, a desperate teenager thinking she is in love, but I want you know another secret, one that I haven’t told a soul to.
I have never felt this way about any one else, and you should know that.
A Cowardly Mouse