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Your amber eyes burned with fiery passion. I wanted to desperately reach out and say that the passion in your eyes was passion for me. But I couldn’t be so sure about that, and there was no hope for getting my hopes up.
The sad truth was that if my eyes burned with the same fiery passion, they would burn for you. I had been in your class every year since pre-k. I saw you when you wet your pants in kindergarten. In 3rd grade when you broke your arms by jumping off the swing. In 6th grade, when some kid said something nasty to you, and you punched him in the nose and got sent to the principal’s office. In 8th grade, when you forgot your algebra book and had to come to my house and copy the assignment.
I had seen every milestone in your school life, in your whole life. I was the house next to yours, the best friend that was always there, and you were the same for me. We were like brother and sister, as tight as the pants you wore to 60’s night. Over the last few years, I started to like you, not just as a brother. It was so weird, so different for me. All my life I had seen you as a sibling, but never as anything more than that. But now I did; now I felt something unfamiliar with you. Something weird and awkward; I know I can’t tell you of this revelation; it would wreck the close friendship we’ve established.
I grip my pencil tighter, and try to rip my eyes away from yours. You finish the debate you had to give, and head back my way. You sit in the desk next to me. I know you’re going to whisper to me, or pass notes, but I’m nervous to write back or talk in fear I’ll let something slip out.
You turn to the side in your seat and smile at me. I smile a small, feeble smile, then turn towards the window and pretend to stare at. You nudge me with the edge of your pencil and look. You have a folded piece of notebook paper in your soft hands, your arm outstretched toward me. I’m scared to pick it up, but I must. I know that if I act abnormal, then you’ll wonder what’s wrong and won’t stop bugging me until you find out, I can’t let that happen. So I grab the note when the teacher isn’t looking and open it up in my lap.
Hey, meet me at the bench, at the park by our house.
He wants to meet me at the park bench. Does he know I like him? Does he like me? What does he want to talk about? I feel like running out of the room and hiding in a bathroom stall all day, but instead, I force a smile at him and nod. He mouths the words, 4:30, and I nod.
I checked my watch, right on time. I’m arriving at the bench in the middle of the wildlife park that runs behind our houses. There’s a bunch of trees, and a lake, and 5 miles worth of biking, running, jogging, and walking trails. I sit down on the hard, wooden bench and lean forward. You’re nowhere to be seen. I start to worry that you backed out. But then I squint and see you in the distance. You have your hoodie zipped up and your hands are shoved deep into your pockets, it looks like any minute your hands will break the fabric of your hoodie. You approach fast, and when you see me you start running. I pretend to be looking the other way as you come.
“Hey,” you said sitting on the bench next to me. I turn around and pretend to just notice you.
“Hey,” I tried to say normally, but it comes out in more of a whisper.
You smile and look at me, those eyes staring into mine. You grab my hands in yours, and I start to get nervous. “Look, Tawni. I like you, I really do a lot, I always have…” my stomach jumps, “But I’ve liked you as a sister.” You say, my stomach drops back down, and I feel like running away, but my legs are too weak. “But over the past, few years… something weird has happened.” I hear the effort to make this conversation go smoothly, but it sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. “I’ve started to like like you, as more than just a sister.” Before I have a chance to tell you something, you burst into talking again. “ I know that this might wreck our whole, entire friendship, but I have to let you know.” You sound nervous, just like I am.
“I… I ... I… like you…” I fall back; my whole world turned completely black.