I have loved you for a year. I was fiery and passionate and perfect for you.
You were perfect.
I first saw you in high school. I was a freshman, you were a junior. You played on the basketball team, although you weren’t that good. I didn’t mind–I know you’re much more talented at drawing, anyway. You always had a spare notebook that you brought around with you wherever you went–and you doodled just about everything: teachers, students, food from the cafeteria, messy school supplies strewn in empty classrooms. I knew then that you found beauty in the mundane, and I admired you for that.
I admired you for so many things. You were cute and funny, and you had great taste in music. You were nice, generous, and thoughtful, and I could see that just by looking at how you treated your friends. You were a nice guy when boys my age were still busy being immature. I, on the other hand, was a plain and insecure 14-year old who’s terrified of high school. I have seen Mean Girls, and it drilled one important point to my head: high school is horrifying.
I thought it was a passing crush. Summer vacation came and went, but I still can’t keep you off my head. Then, the first day of school happened. I was rushing off to class and tripped in the hallway–right in front of everyone! I felt my cheeks burn as everyone laughed at me, and you were the only one who came to my aid and helped me fetch my things. That was such a thoughtful gesture from a senior! I was a goner.
We became friends, sort of. You would smile and wave at me when we’d occasionally pass by each other at the hallways, and we sometimes talked during lunch breaks. We talked about Dashboard Confessional and Lifehouse, and we would later diss Fallout Boy for being an emo sellout. You introduced me to the wonderful world of fan fiction, and somehow, the movies and TV shows that we watched were never the same anymore. We spent more time together. I would watch your team practice, and you would stay after class to help me with my math homework. We talked a lot. You told me secrets and asked for my advice. You told me you want to be with someone, how good it it must be to be with someone who shares the same interests as you, how wonderful it is to be with someone who appreciates you for who you are. I asked you if you were in love with someone. You said you didn’t know.
I guess we didn’t know a lot of things.
One day, you told me that you really liked this girl. She’s funny and kind and pretty, and the two of you get along really well. You told me she’s someone whom you shared interests with, that she’s someone whom you can easily talk to. You even shared secrets with her!
My heart skipped a beat. We spent so much time together, and I never saw you become close to someone just like you were with me. I honestly thought you were referring to me.
I gulped. I asked you who she was.
You told me I’ll know soon enough. You told me you’ll ask her to be your partner for the senior prom. You gave me a little wink afterward, and my heart melted.
I felt like I was in cloud nine when I went home.
A new year passed, and prom season came. We never got to hung out that much, with finals, basketball games, and college applications getting in the way.
I didn’t mind. I waited patiently for an invitation that never came.
I soon found out that you asked the basketball team’s muse–the prettiest and most popular girl in school. She was beautiful and nice, and everybody loved her. I never saw it coming. Sure, she’s pretty. But does she like the same things that you do? Can you debate the merits of listening to indie music when you’re with her? Does she know what makes you happy? Does she know your secrets and insecurities? Does she appreciate you for who you really are?
I thought I actually had a chance with you. We made good friends, and we were so close. How can you talk to someone that easily if you don’t have chemistry, right?
I cried myself to sleep and avoided you for weeks. I heard the two of you became a couple. I didn’t care.
I never reached out to you pretty much after that, especially when you graduated. I was hurt for a time, but then, it didn’t really matter. I thought we had something special. And I thought that meant a lot to you. In the end, I guess, I never really knew you. In the end, you were just like all the other guys who wanted a trophy girlfriend.
Before then, I thought, if you loved someone hard enough, they will love you back. I thought that every special bond could lead to something romantic. Thanks for letting me know how wrong I was.
One day, I will meet someone who deserves me. I will experience how good it is to be someone whom I can talk to for hours, someone who will appreciate me for who I am. We will have a certain spark, we’ll both know it, and we’ll be madly in love. You broke my heart and you weren’t even probably aware of it. I will meet a boy who will be affected whenever he sees me well up.
So, I guess you were the first guy who broke my heart. I know you will not be the last one to do so. But thanks to you, I now have an idea what kind of love I deserve–and I will not settle for anything less than that.
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Becca Tan is a 30-something single lady, and she wouldn't have it any other way. She loves traveling and reading books. If she had all the time in the world, she'd read one book every day while traipsing in different places around the globe.