I’ve never been this jealous before. Never. The only other guy I liked throughout my high school years was promptly pushed to the back of my mind when I went home from school. I would think of him briefly, in snippets, maybe mid-chew during dinner or during a commercial break, but the thoughts never lingered. The primary focus of my attentions was my studies. But with him, any female near him is a susceptible candidate for a girlfriend I don’t know about or a secret fling buried under the layers of time.
While being a Facebook creeper (see: Facebook Creeper), I stumbled upon a picture where he was standing outside of Penn Station with a tall brunette and a middle aged woman. I assumed the woman was his mother, but the young, lithe female remained a mystery. She was fairly attractive, but the more aggravating point was that she had her arm around his shoulder. I felt a surge of anger—absolutely unjustified anger since we weren’t even dating (nor are we now. Sigh.)—fill my very core, the most hideous feeling in the world wrapping around my heart.
It immediately disappeared as I clicked the link to her name to discover that she was his sister.
I was jealous of his sister.
I sat down on my bed, phone in hand, wondering, “Am I going insane?”
3. I must be
Or, the modern stalker
It’s a sure sign you like someone when their Facebook page appears on your Most Visited sites.
Facebook has become one of the most efficient ways to get to know someone without ever making contact with them in real life. The very idea of Facebook is, in a sense, rather unsettling. Strangers (or teenage girls with crushes and stalkerish tendencies) can essentially look up your information and browse through your profile to see what kind of person you are. With my previous crush, I had browsed his page perhaps one or two times. I exerted more self control back then. With him, it has become a ritual to visit his page everyday, or sometimes even twice. Or thrice.
I tried not to be a Facebook creeper, because I didn’t want to end up looking like the desperate girl, pining away as she clicked on her crush’s profile photos or read through his wall posts. I think I’ve looked through his entire album about four times. I could tell you the order of the photos. I could also tell you all of his likes (see: Summer Plans), his “family” that consists mostly of close friends, and the various wall posts he’s received for the past two weeks. Pathetic, I know.
Or really, if you want me to be honest, things he’s interested in that I plan on doing so we can be that much closer :
reading Les Misérables
watching Les Misérables
keeping up with the Mets
possibly going to watch a game
finishing every season of Game of Thrones and True Blood
adopting a more vegetarian diet
listening to Eminem and old school rock
straining to understand what Bob Dylan is saying
brushing up on Montesquieu and Machiavelli (and other philosophers I can’t pronounce)
He’s not photogenic.
All my friends don’t find him attractive.
His nose is too large, swooping out like an eggplant ready to be picked. His head, apparently, is much too small for his body. His cheeks are always blotchy and red, stricken with a permanent blush or rash. His forehead takes up half of his face, and his curly blonde hair just sticks to the top of his scalp, lifelessly. Occasionally, it looks wet. (To this day, the reasons why remain a mystery to me.)
But his eyes are the most beautiful shade of blue. Like arctic ice blue. Trapped in Antarctica and hold me in your arms blue.
And his smile is perfect: the open mouth grin, the sheepish curve of his lips…
Sing in me
The only muse in literature that I can distinctly recall is Dante Alighieri’s muse, Beatrice, who was eight years old when he met her as a child. And while the fact that this love for his prepubescent Beatrice carried on throughout Alighieri’s adulthood is somewhat disturbing, the idea itself is invariably romantic.
Taylor Swift is also famously known for writing about her past/current loves. I personally find her corny and lame.
Of course, since I’ve written six poems/songs about him, I guess I really can’t judge.
Or rather, the lack of it
I find myself unable to study. Unfortunately, I’m not even joking on this matter. I was trying, trying so very hard, to get through my AP and SAT II US History prep books with little avail. I didn’t quite recognize how often I ended up either:
daydreaming about him asking me to our Junior Prom (Nope, didn’t happen.)
going through his Facebook wall and photos for the billionth time
going through various implausible scenarios where he or I confess to each other (Nor did this)
wondering what was wrong with me and if I actually needed help
I ended up tallying the number of times I did a-c last Friday, whilst attempting to study for the SAT II test. It ended up being six times an hour. That’s an average of once every ten minutes.
I’m blaming him for any bad grades I get.
Mine is terrible
Except concerning school related topics.
I remember most things when it’s about him.
and fake ones
After I stopped liking my previous crush, I assessed it because I like clinically psychoanalyzing myself. I came to the rather unsettling conclusion that it didn’t count as a “real” crush. I realized that simply liking someone does not constitute as having a crush on them. Because there is always the possibility that what you really enjoy is the idea of them. Or rather, in my case, the attention they flourished upon you.
My previous crush was a huge flirt and charmed the panties off of any decent looking Asian girl.
But he’s an ass.
He’s a terrible student, has little consideration for others, lazy, manipulative, disrespectful in class, and honestly, not that good looking. (What was I thinking?) A bad boy on some level, I suppose.
So I promised myself that my next crush would be something more meaningful, that I would like the guy for who he was and not the flattering attention he bestowed upon me.
How it all came to be
I met him the first term of my sophomore year. We were both placed in the same regular chemistry class and sat directly a row apart from each other. I don’t remember how we started talking, but we did.
I have issues with guys. (See: Vulnerability) Interacting with them on a casual basis is perfectly fine—the occasional conversation on general topics or the mocking, teasing banter every once in a while. But when a guy starts talking to me everyday, consistently seeking my company, I get scared. Terrified. (Strangely, I did not feel the same way with my previous crush, but it might be because our relationship was purely based on flirting.)
In better terms, when a guy seems genuinely interested in me and I don’t feel the same way, I run in the other direction. It’s an instinctive reaction.
So, when he started walking with me down the elevator after the end bell rang, talking to me in gym, or sitting next to me in class whenever our chemistry teacher was absent, I felt cornered. I remember cutting him out of my life by ignoring him in ways that seemed accidental, such as not seeing him greet me or being “unaware” of his presence. And he complied by responding the same way. Hypocritically, I was disappointed he didn’t pursue me further. But at the same time, I was relieved.
I didn’t see him at all after that until this term in two of my classes. It was a surprise he started talking to me again, considering the cold shoulder I gave him. As the days slowly melted into weeks, I sensed the cycle repeating again, him slowly creeping into all corners of my life, but this time I wasn’t as repulsed. And then one day, I accidentally (like actually accidentally) brushed him off by talking to my friend when he was trying to get my attention. After that incident, he decided to return the favor and didn’t talk to me again.
I wasn’t offended. I could see where he was coming from. It was just amusingly ironic that I honestly didn’t mean to ignore him that time.
Since I didn’t like him then (or maybe I subconsciously did, as my friend suggested to me), I went with the flow and didn’t make an effort to interact with him. All was fine with my life until that stupid article came out.
Or as I like to call it, “love at first read”
It was a sudden thing. There was no build up, no crescendo, or foreshadowing. There was no dotted trail from A to B I could follow because it didn’t seem to exist. It was just an explosion.
On the morning of May 19th, after a peaceful slumber, little, unsuspecting me woke up and browsed through my Facebook newsfeed as I usually did every morning. Normally, I don’t make a habit of reading Spectator articles online, but since the website and Facebook became interlocked, it became much more convenient to do so. He had briefly told me before the article was released that he worked with the invisible students during lunch. While the topic of the article wasn’t surprising, the contents were.
I remember being incredibly impressed. I had worked with mentally ill students for the past two summers at a summer camp, but it was brief since it lasted for three days. Reading his article let me see my experiences in a new light as well as my attitude and treatment of these students. I realized I had been slightly condescending the whole time, treating students who were my age and older as though they were much younger than me. I was also neglectful of these students at times, choosing to dump my responsibilities onto my other partners so I could hang out with my friends. It made me realize how selfish I had been, and I was ashamed at myself for not putting in my utmost effort in just helping them have a fun time in the summer. Inspired by all these thoughts, I decided to send him a text, saying that I loved his article. (I’m not a big texter. Ask my friends.)
Some point after that, things got weird. I couldn’t stop thinking about him.
My first reaction was blatant confusion.
My next reaction was pure, unadulterated rage. Why? Because I had learned from my previous crush that I hated, hated, hated the feeling of liking somebody.
Don’t go breakin’ my heart
I had liked my previous crush for about two months, but I was able to get over him in about a week.
But looking at it now, the biggest reason why I got over him so quickly was probably because I didn’t really like him.
Another reason might be because my fear of vulnerability was greater than my feelings for my previous crush. I don’t like people getting too close to me. And that includes my best friends. Although that has lessened over time, I used to keep a lot of things to myself. In fact, I was debating on keeping this crush a secret until I got over it (didn’t happen) but everything kind of spilled out of my mouth.
The worst possible thing a person with trust issues could do is like someone. That is the ultimate form of vulnerability. Whether or not he knows of my feelings, every time I interact with him from now on, I’ll be throwing my poor heart into his hands, pleading silently, “Don’t crush it, don’t crush it, I only have one.”
And So I Introduce to You: Worst Possible Scenarios
Or, products of my wild imagination
He’s secretly gay.
He’s openly gay, and I don’t know about it.
He’s a party animal.
He’s a flirt and hits on any thing with a vagina.
He’s an alcoholic.
He’s a slut machine who hooks up with random girls whenever possible.
He hooked up with someone after JProm.
He hooked up with more than one girl after JProm.
He hooked up with a guy after JProm
I’ll stop now. This isn’t helping me at the moment.
The not so funny thing about this though is that I seriously considered all these possibilities.
A dead medium? Or no?
While love letters are a classic symbol of the emotion they represent, they are rarely used anymore nowadays, unless you’re still an elementary or middle school student.
My parents wrote love letters to each other during their first year of marriage, while they were separated by an ocean. They’re collecting dust in my attic, tucked away in an unassuming shoe box until I learn how to read Korean.
Ironically, the same night, I created a love letter for him. It’s beautiful, actually. I still have it in my locker, buried underneath my books. It’s a piece of folded burnt paper, with the words “To: Mitchell” on the front and inside, “I like you” in stenciled letters, because I was afraid he might recognize my handwriting. Plus, my penmanship is atrocious.
But then again, the fact that it’s so artistic is a dead giveaway it’s from me, which is one of the reasons why it’s still in my locker.
And Then There is Nothing Else to Say
(I’m sure this essay has gone on long enough)
Because sometimes words cannot express the tingling sensation in my heart, the way my throat clenches up when he passes in the halls, and for a moment I wonder if I’ll remember how to breathe again, but I don’t mind forgetting; the way my heart slows to the lull of a lullaby and I want nothing more to put my head on his shoulder and listen to the rise and fall of his chest, to close my eyes and simply be with him and listen to the rhythm of his heart.
Or imagining placing a gentle swooping kiss on his forehead, or being close enough to count his eyelashes; or staring, simply staring to memorize the contour of his face, staring because there is no sight more satisfying than seeing him stare back with the same sparkle in his eye;
Because this is something quite like love, but not really, and the word isn’t enough, the English language isn’t enough to explain what goes through my heart.
Because there is no definition long enough, right enough, or fitting enough, nothing that could ever be created or exists that could describe so perfectly what this is.
Because it is simply this:
And everything else that follows.
Christine Lee, Age 17, Grade 12, Stuyvesant High School, Gold Key