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Did you know that I sit across from you in Spanish?

I don't suppose you did. But for a while there you had me going. Because you look up at me almost as much as I look up at you, and I thought that I was being smooth and looking casual as I sat and did my work. The work that of course you were already done with. I don't really look casual either. I look nervous, which I suppose is exactly how I feel every time I can see through the corner of my eye that you're watching me, not that I want you to see that. But I enjoy to be under your eye, if that isn't weird. You're one of the people I think about impressing when I get dressed in the morning, and since most of the other people I want to look nice for are teachers, that is a pretty unusual spot to be in.

I don't know why I would even try and catch your eye, really. Because I've known you for, what, ten years now and we've exchanged maybe three words. I never really cared until you showed up across the isle in my Spanish class. I thought this was the same for you, maybe, but now I'm wondering if you ever cared at all. To tell the truth, I wasn't completely oblivious when we were young. I used to hate you. Because I hated that you were smarter than me. And I hated that everyone knew how smart you were and you could afford to be totally modest, yet they never would guess that I was just as smart as you and twice as modest. This may be because it wasn't true; I had never been even in your academic shadow but I sure wanted people to think I was. It didn't work.

But when I went to high school I really stepped up my game. I am in all the highest classes I could be in and I am officially nineteenth in the class. That is pretty good. That is really good actually. And I wish that though you sit all the way across the room you could read it on my face and be impressed that I'm finally actually smart. And I wish that as I try and put all of this onto my face while I know you are looking after you finished your gosh-darn Spanish work and I still am working on mine that the teacher wouldn't commend you for getting the highest grade in the class. At least not so loud. And she could at least commend me for getting the second highest.

When I walked into Spanish the first day of tenth grade and saw you there I was not as mad as I should have been for all of the malice I felt for you the last time I saw you, when you were top of the class graduating eighth grade. I was peeved I wouldn't be top of my Spanish class but I knew that it was pointless to hate you because you were smart. I didn't realize that I could ever admire you for it. And that stupid modesty that I used to hate suddenly seems so endearing. And you got a haircut over break, did you know that I got one too? No, probably not, I don't suppose it was very noticeable.

That really started to freak me out, how I noticed these things about you and hoped you would notice things about me and wanted the teacher to sit me closer to you so that it might happen that we fall into some conversation better than those three words in the last ten years. How even though I never succeeded I still got jitters when I walked past your desk and jumped when I heard someone say your name at any other interval throughout the day. Did you know you are my first crush? No, I suppose you wouldn't, I would absolutely die if you did. But if I were yours...that would be okay.

Like I said, I am nineteenth in the class right now. That is pretty awesome, but I suppose you did much better. You are probably fifth, if I'm being hopeful that you aren't too far ahead of me. Everyone is so obsessed with their rank, everyone is talking about it. And I wasn't thinking about it when I heard your name in English and jumped. It was just a little leap, nothing too out of place. No one was looking at me anyway. You're the only one who ever looks at me in class. It was the girls behind me, though, who mention you. And they wee talking about ranks, telling a story.

One of them was saying how it was revealed to them that you were almost at the top, top five definitely. You were too modest to tell them straight out. Dang it! If someone would have asked me I wouldn't have missed a beat in telling them I was top twenty. But then they catch my attention again, with another magic word.

"Yay, he's so smart- he has to be up there. But his GIRLFRIEND is a genius. She's like, top of the class..." I tuned out half way through her sentence. Girlfriend. Well that one's a blow. I knew you had friends who were girls because I saw you walk through the hall talking to girls. And I know who they're talking about because I've seen her walking with you in the halls. Also I was in her gym class over the summer. She's a Harry Potter nerd-not even as big of one as me. And she's athletic-okay, she's got me there. And top of the class-nice, probably biggest blow of all. It's kind of funny because you never struck me as the boyfriend type, or at least not somebody else's.

I want to think it isn't true because I have Spanish next period. Because I have to sit in my seat across from yours and pretend like I don't feel a little betrayed. Very betrayed. I know that we've never actually spoken really, but out of everyone I see and don't speak to in my whole day you are the only one who actually notices me. My entire day and no one really knows that I'm there unless my hand is in the air answering a question. The only relief is Spanish when I get the satisfaction of looking up and seeing that you are looking up too. And tomorrow I will probably still think about you when I choose my outfit in the morning. Like it's done anything in the past though, right? I still feel nervous when you watch me, but I guess now I have to wonder if you really know what it does to me. I've mastered by now the passive facial expression, but I'm sure that I'm frowning. It's my fault really. I suppose that I can't blame you if you never really knew.




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