I’ve finally reached equilibrium. No more fierce denial. No more obsessive fantasizing. Just existing and accepting.
I’ve accepted the current reality of our position as students, as maturing teenagers, and as two friends between whom a spark once flickered. It is what it is, and the sooner you acknowledge that, the sooner you can be at peace with yourself.
I’ve let down my defenses and let go of my awkwardness when his or my friends start teasing because both he and I intrinsically know where we stand and how we feel. There is no need to try so hard to convince others of what you already know to be true.
I’ve discovered that people and places come and go and that while we are still on this page of life, we should fully embrace the plot, the imagery, and the characters that are woven into that page and give life to the story. Because once you flip that page, there’s no telling if you will ever experience it again.
Spend time with him while you can.
Don’t think too much.
I applaud the American education system. Encouraging students to “think for themselves”, “take the path less traveled”, and “breakaway from the status quo” while simultaneously forcing them to think the way a standardized test maker would think and write the way an AP grader would grade– but what you write must be unique and original and fresh as well!! Well, here’s a word eleven years of quality English education has taught me: P a r a d o x. Writing is supposed to be freeing, a spontaneous romance between the pen and the paper, an outlet for the thoughts and emotions that do so much more when they are not bottled up, unspoken, unwritten. Why must its charisma be strangled by your rubrics and grading scales? Why do we feel the need to quantify every thing?
To my English teacher: Giving a prompt on the spot, expecting students to create an insightful, innovative piece every time, and then spitting on their work with zero compassion (Some essays literally have just had the word “Yuck” written on the paper. Yup.) if it fails to meet your pretentious, racist standards achieves nothing except the utter demolition of that student’s interest in writing and any motivation whatsoever to come to you, their “teacher”, for instruction or advice. Great leaders inspire greatness in others. (Ew, so cliche. There goes ten points and my opinion of you!) Having a “sarcastic sense of humor” is not an excuse for unkindness, and having a history with depression is not a license to throw your insecurities at the people you are paid to teach. Please stop pretending to be some highly intelligent, well read, social justice warrior free of any and all racial prejudice.
Dispose of your “better than thou” attitude and start being a better person.
You’ve moved on.
The evidence lies in how easily you finally deleted those screenshots. They weren’t that cute anyway.
You’re just friends.
Can’t you tell from the casual camaraderie and comfortable physical presence you finally seem to have achieved?
You’re best friends.
The pink double heart on Snapchat proves it, though neither of you really send that many snaps to anyone anymore.
The brief greetings and slightly turned backs achingly reveal the inevitable truth.
You begin to wonder: Did you ever really know each other…?
Yes. I believe you did.
You used to walk through the halls smiling like a fool. The music from your headphones made the colors surrounding you seem more vibrant, more filled with life. Now, the songs return to their original hues, with the tints of young love gently, reluctantly fading. After a short gust of whirling pheromones, life resumes its trodden rhythm, and the weeks begin to melt together with no spontaneous boba dates or awkward Skype sessions to punctuate them.
It’s chilly and dark outside, perfect for a night of obnoxious songs and laughter around a crackling campfire. Everyone starts on their way to the fire, and you see ahead of you that tall, dark silhouette walking at a relaxed, confident pace, shoulders broad and strong, swaying with each step.
You run up behind him, not caring who might see you, and playfully pull his hood over his face.
The next hour or so is a dreamlike experience. The two of you walk with adjacent arms pressed against each other, the biting cold as your excuse. You sit and talk by the fire as melodies drift toward the star-sprinkled sky. Shoulders touching, hearts skipping.
Any stray glances or teases from other people don’t seem to bother you tonight. The blazing red flames mix seamlessly into the cool night breeze. With the nudging of the light acoustic harmonies, they swirl around encapsulating you–melding together this moment of breathtaking nature and innocent friendship into a pristine memory that cannot be touched by time.
Songs like “We don’t talk anymore” make your heart ache like f*** . (Damn you, Charlie Puth.) You become nostalgic for things that never even happened. You constantly replay your favorite moments with him in your head, not unaware of the unhealthy obsession you are allowing yourself to develop. If you can’t have it in real life, you’re still entitled to your imagination right?
Discussing ideal types with Google, your mother, your best friends unfailingly leads you back to the question that can never truly be answered: What if he really was the one? Sure, he wasn’t perfect, and if you tried hard enough, you could find a thousand reasons why he wasn’t right for you… but it’s amazing what a little jealousy, PMS, and k-drama-entailed loneliness can do to a girl’s heart. Man, I can’t wait til college where, seemingly with the flip of a switch, meeting the man of your dreams, falling in love, and shamelessly expressing affection all suddenly become practical, acceptable, and expected occurrences.
You ended things just as they began out of responsibility and respect for God, yourself, and the other person’s future. Or so you thought.