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I don't know

I don't know what to say. That's the only thing I can think about. I just don't know. How did I get here anyways? Seemed just funny when I heard others say this could happen but, now, it's HORRIBLE! I just can't look up, instead I look at my hands but that's worse.

Let me start at the very beginning. I'm Samantha. No, actually, I'm not but I've always wanted my name to be that. I have what I used to call a "girly name". It's a name you can't make sound like a boy's no matter how hard you try, but I guess that's part of me and the reason I'm in this mess.

So, anyways, I'm Sam. I grew up as an only child and first grandchild so, I was mostly allowed to "run wild" as other girls would say. Case to point, I can cut down trees, dig ditches, fight, swear and do pretty much everything that's standard for boys and thanks mostly to my paternal grandfather. Growing up like a boy in a girl's body is not all that hard like some would say, and most of my friends were boys until a while ago (well all of them). What I mean to say is that as long as you're not a drama queen and not dressed/acting like a doll, you can be friends with most boys.

I was one of them. I played with them, fought with them, yelled at them, bossed them around and was on their side of every argument. I moved a few times but, that never changed anything, I always made new friends who were boys. And, to be honest, I like their way of dealing with some things: fighting it out, being there for each other not backstabbing like many girls I know.

When seventh grade came around, something started to change but, not that much. We'd talk about soccer, hard math problems, how Mr. Something-or-other was strict and gave too much homework, how there was no way that Canada's flag had green in it and how they needed my help to fix their project. But then, there were times when they talked about girlfriends, flirting, and sex. I handled the last part way better than the rest ( just blood, arteries, muscles, fat and all sorts of other tissues), it was when they started talking about girlfriend that I felt weird. It wasn't because I'm not attracted by girls or because it was gross, it was just...Well, I said I'm telling the story so I'll be honest: It was because they seemed to be moving forward in relationships of that kind while I was stuck, not in Doll-Land but somewhere close to it and Childhood-Land. I was all right with the fact that I had never had a boyfriend and didn't want one at all but, still, it felt weird to be discussing that.

There was one guy with which I had discussions the most that year and the few years after it (until now), I'll call him C in case he can see in the way I look what I'm thinking. He is my best friend and we spend so much time together in the library talking about anything, nothing and everything. I know he knows me best and I know him best so, I SHOULD have known, but I didn't.

The first time I met him was in third grade. God, I feel a knife slicing and dicing my heart as I think about all this time! I didn't like him at all at first but then we became very good friends and, this year, even best friends. He's awesome, he gets me better than anyone and knows how to stick close to me even when I feel like I want the Earth to swallow me up and never see sunlight again. I'm always there for him and he's always there for me but, what about now?

I'm trying to put off the moment of truth, the moment I get to the present because, I don't want to have to face it. But, the truth is: Caleb (no use in hiding his name anymore), my best friend, is the one standing in front of me, the one in whose eyes I can't look, the one holding my right hand and my books, the one who just told me he...he...I can't say it or even think it but...He just told me he LOVES me. Not that he likes me, not that he has a crush on me but, that he LOVES me. And, I, the stupid girl that I am, I say nothing. I don't know what to say, what to do.

I have to be honest with myself: I knew. I knew those times he spied on me, the times he helped me, the times we talked and even the times when he just looked at me. But, I didn't want to spoil our friendship.

"No." I finally whisper. "No, you don't"

"Yes, I mean it" he answers and I can tell he does but, so do I and I've made a decision.

I pull my hand out of his and take my books back. Our eyes meet.

"Thanks" I say to break the silence and suggest that he should leave.

"For what?" God, I really hate him right now, why does he have to be so stubborn when he thinks he's right? Of course, I can't help but think that whenever he's been stubborn with me he was right...but, not this time!

"Look, I said "no" so, that is that!" I say angrily. "You can always count on my friendship," I say this time gently.

He says nothing. I've finished sorting through my books and filling my backpack so, I looked around the empty hallway and prepare to leave.

"What about that night?"

I wanted to answer "What night?" but I knew what he meant. It had been the night of the Christmas Dance, the first dance I've ever attended and where we'd gone together as friends but, towards the end, I did a stupid thing. I still can't believe it and, since then, I've been pretending it never happened. But, it did and, I... I ... Oh how stupid I could have been, I've been leading him on...I can't believe this but, I actually KISSED him! On the CHEEK I mean! But still...and...I HUGGED him too! And, if things could get any worse: I LIKED it!

I cannot be in love with him!

"That night? What about it?"

"I could see it, feel it and I heard you whisper it."

"It?"

"You said you love me. But, then the next day, nothing," he sighed,"I love you Jane, I really do and I know you love me too"

"What?" I blurted.

"I just want you to know that whenever you're ready to think about your true feelings I'll be here." he said quietly. "Shh, I need to finish," he told me when I tried to interrupt," I love you, but, until you can accept that, we'll just be friends".

I wanted to yell at him and ask him who he thought he was to tell me what I felt but, instead, I started crying, tears just slipped out of my eyes in spite of my efforts to stop them.

"I can't" I sobbed.

And then he did the one thing he should have done: he hugged me. How could he know me so well? But, his hug was what made me realize how much I loved him too.

"I love you" I whispered into his chest and somehow, he managed to hear me and his lips gently brushed mine.

It wasn't a kiss like those in movies or books and it didn't last long either but it felt so real, I guess I can't explain it.
My head spun around but I wasn't dizzy. I was scared before that I wouldn't know what to do if a boy kissed me, and, truthfully, I didn't have a clue but, I didn't need one. It's an indescribable situation and it sounds cliche but, it just happened, naturally.

We aren't "more than just friends" like some people snigger or "friends with benefits" either, we are just two people whose love has a solid friendship at its base.

I DO love him, and I knew it since I met him for the very first time but, I can say that only now that I am older and somehow wiser and more foolish at the same time. I know I was just afraid of growing up and possibly getting hurt and maybe I still am but leaving Kid-Land with him (well maybe not completely leaving, it's still the safest place to be for me) sounds like one of the greatest journeys of my life.



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