September 14th, 2015. 15:20. Musical rehearsal. That’s when I first met you. I didn’t think much of it at the time, and I thought you were just another guy who I’d know for two seconds, then never talk to again. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Tech week rolled around, and when I saw you in the dressing room that day… everything changed. Something clicked in my head and I suddenly realized how attractive you actually were. And it wasn’t just a matter of what you looked like shirtless, but everything: the way your jaw framed your face perfectly, the way your your eyes shined in the most beautiful way, and how everything about you seemed to fall exactly as it should. I realized I was staring, and I looked away as quickly as possible; I didn’t want you to notice, nor did I want anyone else to. From then on, I started to pay more attention to you. And I came to realize how adorable you are every moment of every day. Every time I saw you, I would get this insane sensation like a wave of cold and heat would pass over me all at once. My heart would skip beat after beat and flutter inside my chest, and as soon as I saw your face it was as if time had stopped. Nothing else mattered or existed except for you. Whatever had happened earlier that day didn’t matter anymore; whatever was going on around me was irrelevant; whatever might happen the rest of the day could never compare to seeing you smile even once. And whenever you smiled, regardless of who it was directed at, the whole rooms would light up all at once. Everything would get 100° warmer, and I would feel so light, and happy, and excited that I could hardly contain myself. Whenever I passed you in the hall, I physically couldn’t bear to not say hi. You would say hi back and be so goofy and adorable that it would put a smile on my face the entire day. Whenever I looked into your eyes, I would get lost in how deep, beautiful, and blue they are. Before I knew it, everything around me melted into you. I could think of nothing except the way the blue and green and grey in them came together in what seemed like the perfect storm: cascading into each other until they made a sea of colors that I could never hope to describe. But then, I would snap back into myself again, and remind myself, “He’s straight. Stop dreaming.” And it would hurt so much to know that despite everything I feel for you, and every bit I love you, you neither could ever nor would ever feel the same way. I wake up, and you’re the first thing on my mind. I take a second during the day, and you’re all I can think about. I go to bed, and the last thing I think about is you. I love everything about you: your hair, your cheeks, your jaw, the jewels that must make up your eyes, the way you’re adorably skinny yet still so built, the way you laugh where your entire face becomes a huge canvas and it seems like Michelangelo or Da Vinci himself had just painted the most perfect and beautiful thing in the world, and I love the way you get excited about everything that interests you, and that you could rant for hours without me ever getting bored. It got to a point where I almost told you how I felt. But then I realized how selfish of me that would be. The second I told you, everything would change. You would be horrified, and you would have to live with how much it hurts me to know that I might as well be in love with a brick wall. So I kept quiet. I kept quiet for months, and it tore me up inside. I had to convince myself again and again that it was for the best, and that I was doing the right thing by letting you live your life without weighing you down with something you could never change. I told myself that as long as you were happy, I would be happy too. And you were. But I wasn’t. I tried so hard to suppress the way I feel about you that I almost thought I was over you. But then I would see you again from time to time and I felt everything all over again. Except it didn’t make me feel warm and light anymore. It made me feel guilty. It made me feel dark. It made me feel dead. Because out of the millions upon millions of guys on planet Earth, something inside of me had chosen you: a sweet, adorable, intelligent, hilarious, kind, caring, wonderful, amazing, magnificent, yet tragically straight boy. This went on for months. And then I gave up. Nothing would ever happen. Nothing could ever happen. But just like before, it didn’t last long. Every time I saw you, I remembered how you used to make me feel, and I couldn’t breathe for thinking that I took all of those feelings, bottled them up, and buried that godforsaken bottle as deep down as I could. It was like looking up to heaven from the depths of hell and seeing an angel swoop down to pick me up. But as quickly as it came, the angel would drop me back down into the fire from whence I came, and leave me to burn. I wanted so much to be mad at you. I wanted so much to have somebody to blame. But I knew that I couldn’t do that; there was nobody to blame but me. Me, myself, and I. I let that thought fester in me, become the cork in me, and I choked on it. I didn’t know what I might do if this went on any longer, so I talked to any of my other friends that would listen. They all told me the same thing: “I’m so sorry, you’ll get over it. Why don’t you just tell him and get it off of your chest?” But I couldn’t do that. Not in a thousand years. I spent week after week avoiding you in the halls, never saying anything if I happened to see you, and slowly falling apart inside. Until last week, when I finally took the advice to heart. I couldn’t tell you in person; I knew I would break into tears long before I manged to. So I decided to text you instead. And after restricting myself to a single paragraph, and having spent a solid twenty minutes with my finger over the send button, I told you. I didn’t expect an immediate response. And I didn’t get one. I didn’t get one period. All this week I’ve been dying for not knowing why you haven’t responded. I know you’ve read it; there’s read receipts for that. And I understand how shocking this must be, so I respect that. But for every day you remain silent, I get a little more silent too. Soon, I won’t be anything except silence: void, and empty.