You had a dream last night. It was about him and you woke up at four thirty in the morning, your heartbeat racing at 120 bpm. You couldn’t go back to sleep from the adrenaline coursing through your veins, from the lovesickness that had already taken over your body. You sit on the edge of your bed, your toes tentatively brushing the ground, still dreaming while awake, and waiting for the morning to come. Morning is good because it means you can see him again. Never had you been so happy for a morning to come.

            You take every little gesture of his, every little smile and word as a token of love. He waves back (you waved to him first). He makes a joke to his friends and you laugh. His hand brushes across your waist as he makes his way through the crowd in the hallway. You feel his eyes constantly on you, but when you turn, his pupils have somehow diverted their gaze. A book, a friend, something else now holds his attention. You chalk this up to shyness and keep hoping for the day he opens up.

            You never talk to him. But the secret relationship you both hold is too strong for words. You know his name, but does he know yours? He must. He sees you raise your hand for roll call. He hears your friends call you from the other end of the hallway. He studies you just the way you study him since the day you saw him.

            But in the depths of your heart, the thing that keeps your heart from exploding at the mention of his name is the truth. The truth is he doesn’t know your name. The truth is you are an unknown entity to him, a forgotten candy wrapper in the lining of his coat pocket that sometimes reminds him of its existence by showing itself. The truth is that he was not staring at you, but at the pretty popular girl sitting in the table next to you. The truth is that they are now a couple, and everyone is happy except for you. From this sadness, the truth is finally heard, and you finally realize how you have given up restful nights and precious time in pursuit of a lie.

            The truth, like thinking you finally arrived at a beautiful oasis in the desert, makes all the mirages disappear.

            You feel beneath your feet and it’s nothing but hot, sinking sand.

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