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I'm just a teenager, so my story will seem silly to some of you who forget what it was like to be young and enthusiastic.

When I was fourteen, I got a huge crush on a guy we'll call "J." He was my friend from band and I didn't know him that well, but I had lunch with him and his best friend "L." Everyone kind of made fun of J because he wasn't loud and outspoken. He made really bad puns. But he had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen and one day I realized I liked him.

No, no, I didn't tell anyone. Not even my close friends. I thought they'd laugh at me. One day L asked me if I thought of J as more than a friend, and I admitted it. He kept my secret well, and promised to put in a good word for me.

At the time, J was absolutely gaga over a girl named Alex. I didn't think she was that pretty, but he did. He was ecstatic when Alex broke up with her boyfriend, David. Then Alex said to L, "I think he's openly gay." Needless to say, J was crushed, and who did he run to for comfort? Me. So there I was, comforting him on the outside and cursing him on the inside.

Then, a breakthrough. L began dropping hints that J returned my feelings, but it wasn't until a month later that the guy got up the nerve to ask me on a date. A date we never went on. We were both gone at different times (it was summertime) throughout the season, and when we were together, our friends teased us mercilessly. He was very easily embarrassed.

The week school went back into session, he pulled me aside in the hallway and told me he didn't think we were "going anywhere." It was completely out of left field. I didn't know what to do. I skipped band practice and went home to cry for an hour. My friends offered no sympathy. At all. They said they didn't want to "get involved," since J was their friend, too, and they didn't want him to be angry with them. So I cried myself to sleep nights, and mourned my lost chance at happiness.

It's almost a year later, and I still love him. I can't seem to let go, and I think this is how I can tell it was love, and not just "like." I have to see him all the time, since as I said, he's part of my circle of friends. It hurts to look at him, and I always want to just run up and hug him like I never got to do. But I can't tell a soul. They talk about me behind my back because I can't let go. Oh, Fate, why have you been so cruel to me? I can only think of a line I read once, "[Guy's Name], you jerk. She was wasted on you."


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