It might help to listen to the song "Too Late" by No Doubt before you read this. Gwen, Tom, and Tony say these emotions better than I probably can... although I will admit that I'm a little less possessive. But not that much.

When I started my junior year of high school, I finally really met someone who I had known for the past two years. Then I fell slightly in love with him. Oddly enough, this happened when he was reading a poem he wrote in front of our English class. I remember distinctly that his hands were shaking. For some reason unknowable to me, this was incredibly, secretly wonderful. I soon discovered that he was brilliant and funny and sweet. Our personalities seemed destined to compliment each other. And so I completely discounted the rumors that he had a girlfriend. I plotted to ask him to Homecoming.

Of course, in a bit of tragic irony, the rumored girlfriend had a locker right below mine. One day I looked up from my books to see him coming down the hall towards me! only to have her jump up and throw her arms around him. They looked so happy, and I felt like my heart had just been fractured into thousands of tiny glass shards that were immediately crushed beneath his feet.

So the months passed. Where most would have given up and moved on, I fasted, surviving on phone calls and group projects. I loved the Saturday we spent in the library researching Anglo-Saxon England. One day in September, he got into a car accident; I waited all day, trapped in worry, until he finally showed up at lunch. When he walked up to my table I felt almost deliriously happy, like someone had just saved my life. In December, I invited him to my birthday party (a bad idea, especially when I realized he was the only guy coming) and got him a Christmas present. I watched him star in the school play and I called him at least once a week with some sort of excuse like chemistry homework. I felt like I could tell him anything and he would understand me perfectly. For the first time in my life I wanted to go to school; I knew I would see him there.

I began to hear rumors that he had broken up with his girlfriend. I didn't see them together for a long time. On Valentine's Day I called him and she was there, at his house. I was hurt and confused. I hung up and felt like crying, but I decided to take action instead. After all, I'd heard her tell her friends that they'd broken up. At that moment, everything I had ever felt for him came to a point and boiled over. I grabbed a pencil and let the emotions spill from me onto paper.

It wasn't the first time I'd tried to write him a note, but it was the only time that I was brave enough to finish it, sign it, and give it to him. It was full of me bitching about our English class, quotes from Ellison, and then, at the end, those fateful words..."If you ever get over her, let's try being more than friends." I handed it to him and was on edge for the rest of the day. That was a Thursday.

On Saturday I went to my best friend's birthday party. I played phone tag with him all day, and he said he would try to come see me. At midnight, my best friend and I came back from dropping someone off, and there he was. He came inside and we talked until her mom opened the door to her room, saw a strange guy, and looked exceptionally confused. At this point it was about 1:30 am, and we decided that maybe he should depart. Still no mention of the note.

On Tuesday night, we finally talked. The whole story came out-- pretty much everything I've told you here-- and the oddest thing happened. Instead of rejecting me totally, he confessed that maybe he felt something for me too. Thus started this confusing and harrowing and somehow thrilling spiral of events.

He was perfect-- there was hardly ever an awkward moment. I had been so terrified that I was going to fuck up our friendship that I had dreaded the moment when he realized how I felt, but slowly I began to regret nothing.

Now this account has gone on far too long. In the end, he broke up with his girlfriend and asked me to prom. And while this might sound like every teenage girl's fantasy, it really was perfect. And now, things are different, better. My feelings for him have only deepened, taking on new meaning in our redefined relationship. I don't know where this is all going and I keep feeling like one day I am going to wake up and he is going to realize that he made a mistake and I will be alone again. I survived so long on those tidbits of sentiment that I'm slightly overwhelmed right now... but wonderfully, almost ecstatically happy. I only hope that it's true, that it really can last... for a little while at least.

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