No one saw this one coming, least of all me. It wasn’t supposed to go like this, I promise.
My best friend, she makes infinite more sense. She goes through crushes faster than Halloween candy, so of course she fell for you and all of your teasing in a matter of minutes.
When I was little, I joined her in her romantic fantasies. The two of us would play Barbie and Ken for hours, the dramatic stories always climaxing in a grand double-wedding between our Barbies and their corresponding boyfriends.
But by the time I had met you, at age fifteen, the playtime fantasies had vanished. I had seen enough crazy ex-boyfriends and “it’s complicated” relationship statuses to know I didn’t want one. I decided the single life was for me, and instead filled my dreams with tiny, one bedroom apartements, multiple dogs, and a well-paying, self-sufficient job.
I was the strong one. The Girl Like No One Else. I didn’t have silly little crushes. I thought the occasional guy was cute, but beyond that? No, Guy Drama wasn’t for me. I was the Self Proclaimed Special Snowflake, and my best friend knew it.
I wasn’t supposed to be watching from afar during camp as she stole your sunglasses and you threatened her with a water balloon. I wasn’t supposed to feel a spark of unwanted and unwarrented jealousy.
And when the two of you sat on the bench in what seemed to be an Intense Conversation, I wasn’t supposed to allow my feet to wander over and say hi. She wasn’t supposed to flaunt her Kona Ice in my face, and you certainly weren’t supposed to muffle a giggle.
From that day on, I became a member of the Extended Friend Group. When I joined the conversation a day later, hyper and full of corny anecdotes, you weren’t supposed to genuinely laugh. My head wasn’t supposed to feel like it was full of clouds.
Over time, you and my best friend fell out of touch, and you got too busy to council at camp anymore. You began high school and she began AP Courses, and her crush on you faded with her memories of stolen sunglasses and water balloon threats.
Mine should have done the same.
When I joined a new church that September, you weren’t supposed to have gone there since you were young enough to be a camper yourself. You weren’t supposed to have mutual friends with my friends. You and I weren’t supposed to reconnect on that retreat, twenty words exchanged by two barely-friends in the heat of a sleep-deprived haze.
And you absolutely, positively were not under any circumstances supposed to remember my name.
Another year of camp has come and passed, two years since I first saw the little red-headed boy cling onto you like his life depended on it.
My best friend and I were sitting on the swings earlier today, exhaused from the grand finale at camp, rocking back and forth beneath the late afternoon sky and talking about, well, life. Life turned into boys, and boys into reminiscing about you before we even knew it.
I asked her, you know. About the Incredibly Serious conversation you two were having on the bench when I interrupted. She barely remembers sitting on the bench with you in the first place.
And I guess that’s when I realized the thing which Wasn’t Supposed to Happen, the thing I Was Immune To, had happened even worse than I suspected.
Despite my adament love of Singleness, I’ve thought guys were cute before, okay? But I could not tell you what Adam said to me the last time we talked, or if Hunter ever held the door for me.
I remember every single word we’ve ever exchanged. I remember when you held the door for me that one time, and the awkward eye contact we shared in the cafeteria at the retreat. I remember the way your laughter sounded when I told you the story about Sparkles the Disappointing Car, and that you liked the photo I posted on August twentieth last summer.
And then I started to think about it more as my best friend teased me, triumphant in the fact that I finally have my first proper crush. I rolled my eyes and said nothing in return.
Mainly because, as much as I hate to admit it, she’s not wrong.
All of this is to say, if we were to ever enter into a conversation for longer than a few moments, if you were to ever become my friend, if you were to ever catch some sort of feelings for me…I wouldn’t mind it.
Actually, I just might be willing to risk my One Bedroom Room Apartment and Five Dog Dream if it meant I could be with you.
I know you have a girlfriend (you guys are hella cute, by the way, as jealous as I am). I know that if you were ever to read this letter, you would be beyond weirded out. Don’t worry, I’m kinda weirding myself out too; this is really unlike me.
And I guess I wanna say I’m sorry, if you ever do mistakingly come around to reading this. You were just trying to be nice, remembering my name and laughing at my joke, and I blew things out of proportion.
But please, if you take at least one thing away, let it be this:
It wasn’t supposed to go like this. I promise.