To a hopeless romantic again

January 10, 2017


To a hopeless romantic again,

I envy you.

Why? Well, when I was young, I was full of ideas about love at first sight, true love, and so many other things that I was blind. For years, I thought, yes, he must be the one.

Yes, it has to be him. He took me to the nurse in second grade when I fell and scraped my knee but tried to hide it under my skirt. Yes, it has to be him because even in elementary, girls would spread rumors about him liking me, and he would glance back at me. Me. The quiet girl.

My heart would explode in some sort of frenzy. I was never noticed by anyone, but this boy, whose eyes I instantly fell in love with, who was the object of attention by every girl, looked at me. No words were exchanged, but no words were needed.

In junior high, in sixth grade, my heart hardened. “Puppy love” was a new term in my vocabulary. In my mind, I knew that it would end badly. The boy I knew was just that. An ending. I shut myself from the world, unaccepting of love. It was something I wouldn’t take.

The boy who looked at me, the first person to pay attention to the transfer student no longer paid attention to me anyway.

So I question love, because the instant I love would never take control of me, love took control of him and brought him to me. He wanted to know about me. Wanted to get close to me. Wanted to be the one and only boy I ever cared about, to be the only one I spoke to, to be the only one I confided in.

He wanted me to look at him. To hug him. Look at him directly in those eyes I fell in love with when I was still even younger, now shining in the light from the window, a certain sparkle in them I had not seen before and a sort of depth that told me he –

I shrugged him off and left.

Three times he confessed.

Three times I left.

I didn’t believe in falling in love anymore. To me, it was all a hopeless dream. I thought, maybe. Maybe when I’m older, I’ll fall in love. For real.

But I still can’t forget the look in his eyes that haunt me to this very day. His face still burns in my mind. It was his face when I rejected him and when he finally understood I would never love him at all.

It was a look of despair and sadness that yes, I would leave him and not return. It was brokenness. I could almost hear his heart shatter.

It was a dream. It had to be. But every girl was hopeful. They wanted to see a fairy tale ending where the nerdy quiet honor student ends up with the school’s favorite athlete.

But I crushed that by giving them reality.

Yet I still haven’t learned how to fall in love again. Everything to me is placid – plain. I could not feel love towards another person when all I see is the image of his eyes saying, “I love you.”

Of course, a jaded teenager,

R. A.

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