Tell Me That You Love Me

April 25, 2012
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Lost in my own trance, I distinctly heard the light, musical sound of her laugh. God, I loved her laugh.

In truth, there wasn't much that I didn't love about her. Every single quirky trait she possessed was just another reason for me to love her. Unfortunately, it was doubtful that she would feel the same.

Tessa was crazy. She wasn't psychotic or mentally ill; I just mean that she was such a dynamic person. She was very smart, but it wasn't her intelligence that drew people in. In fact, I'm not really sure what it was that drew people in. It was just... her. She was Tessa; she was perfect.

She was without a doubt the most vivacious person I had ever known. She was so loud; so fun. From her huge, dazzling smile to her sparkly personality, life itself seemed to sprout from her very being. I loved her for that. I loved her for being perpetually happy, scintillating, and upbeat. I loved her for showing her beautiful smile to everyone, not just people whom high school politics would declare worthy. I loved her for being my best friend. I loved her for being Tessa.

She was a short girl with a curvy although petite body. With her curly chestnut hair and vibrant green eyes, she was a beauty. I don't see how it was that guys weren't beating down her door for the opportunity to be with her.

We'd been best friends our entire lives, really. I was the guy she could depend on to be there through our tree climbing days of elementary school and the heartbreaks and pressure that arrived with our teen years. I'm not really sure when the security and understanding that came from our friendship turned into such a deep love for me. I do know, however, that it terrified me. I wasn't always the greatest friend. I often made a show of the girls I was dating or hooking up with. Little did she know she was the only one on my mind. I first admired her, and later realized that I loved her.

I mean, everyone loved her. She was sweet; that could not be denied. She cared for everyone, often putting every other before herself. Her eternal selflessness never failed to amaze and to swoon me.

I needed to tell her, I decided. I needed to tell her how I felt, and so I would. I would tell her I loved her.

I called her. I told her we needed to talk; that I had something important to tell her; asked her if she could meet me in the park. She apologized, saying she couldn't at that moment. She was going shopping with her friend Amy, but would be glad to meet at my house later.

I didn't like Amy. She was irresponsible and rude. A spoiled brat, she wanted for nothing other than her parents' attention. She spent most of her time driving through town in her shiny Beemer and making people feel inadequate. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why Tessa hung out with her.

I was too nervous and excited to say anything, though. I'd kept my feelings for Tessa a secret for years, and I was wondering how she would react. Pure, sweet Tessa surely deserved better than me.

She once, during a fight, referred to me as a “popular jerk.” She said the way I treated girls was disgusting and that I should really be more considerate. Maybe she'd feel that way when I told her.

The hours ticked by. I wasn't receiving her call. Certainly she hadn't stood me up, right?

I drove around aimlessly, waiting for her to tell me we could talk. God, I needed to tell her before I lost courage!

I never got the chance, though. Absentminded Amy had been texting away, failing to notice the semi truck coming at them head on. Mean, selfish Amy survived only because of Tessa's selflessness. Amy had dropped her oh so important lip gloss and Tessa had unbuckled momentarily to retrieve it.

Tessa was ejected from the car. Tessa didn't make it. Tessa was killed instantly. All of these phrases ran through my head much too quickly to process.

Not her. Not my Tessa. I loved her. God d*mnit, I loved her!

And she never knew. That's what kills me. I never told her. I never told her how incredible she truly was.

A few days after her funeral, her mom approaches me. She thanks me for being there for Tessa; thanks me for being such a good friend. I'm about to explain how I am not a good friend at all, when she hands me a note. I open it up, and find a letter Tessa had written me the night we got into a fight.
Dear Zachary,

I'm sorry I blew up on you tonight. I don't really think you're a jerk. I do get upset sometimes when you talk about the things you do with other girls, especially in front of me. In case I haven't already made it obvious, I really care about you. Actually, I think that I'm falling in love with you. I know you probably would never want to be with me, but I thought you should know.
Love always,
Your Best Friend Tessa





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