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“Soft you now, the fair Ophelia…Ophelia, Ophelia! Wherefore art thou, Ophelia?”
I thwacked Morgan over the head with my copy of Hamlet.
“Ow,” he said. “That hurt. I think you rattled my brain.”
“Your skull is quite thick,” I said. “I’m sure your brain is fine. Now, cut the nonsense and keep reading.”
Morgan sighed and returned to Hamlet’s soliloquy. “Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered.”
“Good my lord,” I said, speaking for Ophelia. “How does your Honor for this many a day?”
Our assignment for the night was to read the first scene of the third act of Hamlet. This was really not all that complicated, but Morgan hated Shakespeare, and insisted on making our very easy homework difficult.
The problem was that he didn’t understand it, or at least that’s what he told me. You see, Morgan has never been the kind of person who enjoys the classics. His favorite section in the bookstore is the manga – Japanese comics – wall. Not that I don’t enjoy manga myself; I just like reading the classics as well, especially Shakespeare.
Except for Dickens. I hate Charles Dickens, which is something that Morgan finds really funny, because the only classic he actually likes is A Tale of Two Cities. I think it’s because of all the gore.
Anyway, Morgan’s favorite class is shop, which is understandable, I guess, for a boy. I’m really proud of him though, because he’s never gotten anything less than an A minus in that class.
Morgan and I have been friends since the very beginning of high school, when I was the new girl and he was the outcast with bright red hair and a quick temper. We’ve both done a little growing up since then, though, and now I’m quite popular with my fellow artists and he’s, well, he’s got a bunch of tattoos for which he’s incredibly famous. Even so, he’s learned to control his temper better and his grades have skyrocketed from what they once were. The latter of the two successes Morgan contributes to me, seeing as I am “an over-achieving, but very supportive, brainiac,” in his words.
I’ll admit that I did do a bit of coaxing and a lot of tutoring, and that may have helped him get where he is today. But it is mostly his tremendous amount of determination that got him so far. He was tired of having everyone, teachers especially, look down on him because of his temper. We both figured that the best way to fix this was by improving his grades, and this he did, successfully amazing all who thought it was impossible.
So, I am not worried that Morgan won’t get accepted to the college of his choice, although he is. He has brought himself so far; it’s impossible not to be so proud. I am worried about us growing apart, though. While we applied to colleges in the same cities, I am still afraid, mostly for my sake. I’m not so conceited that I think Morgan wouldn’t do just fine without me; no, I’m scared to be anywhere without him.
All this time, I kept thinking that I only thought of Morgan as my best friend. It seemed like such a cliché when I realized that I was starting to have different feelings for him.
This probably wouldn’t bother me so much, except that I’ve been so afraid that he doesn’t feel the same way. If I knew for certain that he did, I’d up and tell him everything I’ve been feeling.
But like I said, I’m scared.
As far as I know, Morgan really does see me only as a friend. I’m practically his sister. And this is why I haven’t said a word about it. I don’t want to make things awkward between us. I couldn’t stand to lose his friendship, not ever.
What Morgan doesn’t realize, and maybe he never will, is that he has helped me so much more than I’ve helped him. Yes, his grades went up after we became friends, and yes, he’s more sociable than before. But he was the first real friend I ever had, and he has been a constant support throughout the past four years. As an artist, I know what it’s like to feel different and incredibly unsupported. And to have one true friend who’s always believed in me, I am so very lucky.
So, it’s because of this that I haven’t told Morgan how I feel, even though I’ve probably told him every other thing that’s ever gone through my head.
As Morgan and I went through that scene in the play, I started to feel a certain understanding for how Ophelia must’ve felt when Hamlet told her, “Get thee to a nunnery.” Just imagining how it would feel to be shunned by the person I held so dear made me want to crawl into a hole and stay there for the rest of eternity.
And here it is, this poor woman was told by the man she loved that she’d been deceived all along, that he’d never loved her and that she should lead a life of celibacy because all marriage should be forbidden. She did nothing to deserve any of that.
Talk about unrequited love.