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Just your typical Tuesday when she first notices him, I mean really notices him. She’s always known he was there, the goofy kid who sits in the back of the class, smiled even said hi a few times. Never realized though.
Until they, in typical school fashion, are assigned as partners in their art class. Still she barely acknowledges him, except for when the times that she smiles because of his antics becomes more and more often, and the times he pisses her off become less and less. But still it’s just not like that, she has a boyfriend. She sets him up with her best friend, even though they don’t really like each other.
She’s the only one who’s too blind to see it, even her boyfriend notices, asks why she’s always laughing and talking with him.
A few months later when the boyfriend dumps her, she’s so grateful to know he’s there for her. And he’s sweet, alternating with just enough callousness to make her smile even through her tears, but still she doesn’t see.
It’s raining and he gives her his sweatshirt, his favorite one, gets her number so he can text her and remind her not to put any of that smelly crap on it. Even through her fog of desertion it makes her laugh. And they like the same songs, as obscure as they are, and it’s a sign, but she’s just blind.
And the year ends like that, with them being the best of friends and him always there for her. They hug goodbye, and she sees something in his eyes, but no it couldn’t be. They leave for the summer.
Come back in the fall, tan and happy, she’s still sad and alone spent all summer mourning what could have been. Too immersed to see the truth. And she wears his jersey, and sometimes they hold hands. When they’re around little kids they’re made fun of, she’s confused, but he’s not. He’s always known. And if she’s being truthful it’s easy to see the attraction, but she won’t let herself fall, just dangles pointlessly. And he grows tired of the games one night, tells her to figure it out that it’s up to her always has been. She starts to cry realizes he’s right, but still somehow can’t say the words. Was she just not ready then? Scared? Maybe, most likely that was just her excuse.
Maybe she really did just want to feel wanted, liked, to know he was there for her. And they had so many great times, her cheering him on from the stands, warm in his letterman’s, dancing in the flashing lights, laughing, but loving every second, meeting his dad, seeing how alike they are. Those few minutes when he’d just be himself. But she blew it.
His attention span wasn’t as limitless as she thought, and he moved on. Who could blame him? Really anyone else would’ve been gone way before then. And so she moved on too, or tried to, occupied herself with other guys. A lot of other guys, but if she was being honest with herself it was never the same. And they still talked, but it wasn’t like before and she didn’t know how to fix it. Well maybe she knew how, just didn’t have the courage. She convinced herself it was for the best, but that was just a lie she told herself so she could sleep at night.
And that’s where they stood, until one day she came back to him, they started talking again for real. He didn’t try so hard, and she realized she preferred it that way, but there were more distractions, more boyfriends and once again he was pushed away.
Just to make room for more and more heartbreak, to separate the possibility of them.
Please though, keep this in mind, the point of this story isn’t for you to feel bad for her, it’s for you to realize the mistake she made. Really she doesn’t deserve your sympathy, but instead your criticism. Because she messed up...big time.
And once again the year came to an end with her still not learning from her mistakes, in the exact same situation as the year before. And he’s still there, but he’s leaving, already not as present as he once was. And she can see this and she finally realizes the opportunity she lost.
Everyone speaks of it in knowing voices, how much he wanted and liked her and how oblivious she was. And so he throws his cap in the air and leaves her behind, to start his own life. Leaving her with just a scrawled message to look at and wonder over. She almost cries when she finally says goodbye, and he’s so kind.
They talk sometimes over the hot summer months, she laughs at his crazy adventures, they make her dull life seem brighter. And he confesses how much he always wanted her, and she says she regrets not being with him while she could have, but it’s too late. The last time they see each other, he’s so full of life excited and eager for the next chapter, while she’s still stuck in the same un-ending tracks, but this time he’s not there to make it better. And then he leaves and it doesn’t even matter because he’s with some other girl. And when he steps on that plane she’s the one who kisses him goodbye, the kiss they never even had.
And she writes him a letter, full of silly nonsense, but hoping he can read the invisible message. And he doesn’t write back, but calls instead and when she hears his voice she almost cries, despite the boy whose arm she’s hanging on. And they talk and it’s just like before, his voice at last, familiar and warm. Different, but still the same.
And they stay in touch through it all, he still cares in his own way. And when she just needs someone to talk to, to tell her it’ll be okay and to just suck it up. He’s the one. Always has been. He says he wishes he could see her, she says the same, he says he’ll fly her there, she wants to so bad. Hopes someday it’ll come true. He’s not coming home anytime soon, and she needs him by her side. Only one she really wants, but she just replaces him with meaningless guys, nothing to her. She just wishes it could be him.
And that’s how we leave her, the only time she really smiles is when her phone lights up with a message from him. And she constantly re-reads the letter he once sent, until it’s nearly in tatters. Laughs every time, smiles so hard she cries. And he promises to call from a pay phone, and she can’t wait to hear his voice, across the ocean. When she dreams, it’s him she sees, with her in his arms, finally together. And right before she wakes up their lips touch, at last.