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      The Secret Admirer


It was the start of seventh grade, and everyone was excited about starting junior high school. I had a fairly large class, and not many of the people in it had come from my elementary school, but at the end of the first day, I had two people I could definitely call my friends; Alannah, one of my best friends from elementary school, who had made some new friends herself, and Gracie, who I had met that day and immediately clicked with. About a week later, Alannah came up to me and gave me a note, but wouldn't tell me who it was from. It was a love note, from my secret admirer. I showed it to Gracie and we happily began guessing who the messy writing of the note belonged to. I started paying rapt attention to everyone's handwriting, but I had a forty-person class, and I could barely remember everyone's names, let alone their handwriting. Two more notes followed, a couple weeks appart, and my curiosity was killing me. It had been only a week since the last note the day I came into English class late, because I had been at a dentist appointment, note in hand, determined that I would know who the notes were from by the end of the day. I sat down in the only remaining desk, and noticed the person sitting behind me was not in their seat, but had left their binder wide open. I pulled out the note to see if the handwriting matched, and, surprisingly, it did. I was ecstatic. I was moments away from my long-awaited answers. Just as soon as the mystery person came back and sat down, I would know. The next person to walk into the room was Faith, the shy girl with the curly hair who kept to herself. She sat in the desk with the handwriting that matched the note, and I did a double take. It couldn't have been right, not to my 12-year-old brain. I decided to say nothing. I'd wait for another note, and keep looking at different people's writing. Soon enough, I received one last note. The one I had been waiting for. The one that told me who my admirer was. The one that told me that it was, in fact, Faith. I told this to Gracie, and she was just as confused as I was. The next day at lunch, I went and sat next to her, and we said hello and sat there awkwardly. "I'm sorry," I told her "I got your notes but I don't like you like that." Then life continued, for another week or two. Then Fauth and Gracie started talking, because they were the two people who didn't have any other friends in their sewing class. Gracie was friends with her, so I was too. We started to talk, and Faith became one of the only people I could really talk to. If I was up late at night questioning the existence of the universe, or preparing to cry myself to sleep, she was the one I would call. We shared poetry, and Faith, Gracie and I were the best of friends. Then one day Faith called me with a new poem she had written. A cryptic message that she still loved me. I told her it was beautiful, and asked if it was about me, and she admitted that yes, it was. I told her I didn't love her. Not like that. I told her I respected her sexuality, but I didn't share it. Life continued. Half way through the school year, the whole school knew that Faith was a lesbian, and she fell into depression. She self-harmed and had to see the guidance counsellor twice a week. She always talked about suicide and death, and I blamed myself for not loving her. She stopped talking to me about it, and she stopped writing poetry, and we lost contact over the summer. At the start of the next year, she came out as transgender. He was now Jay, and he had a lot more self confidence. He had a girlfriend, and honestly, he got kind of arrogant. While I was studying, he'd steal my books and run down the hallway. He started picking fights with people, and one day he told this other boy in my grade that I was his girlfriend. That was the last straw. We haven't talked since, and I've heard tales of him falling further into depression, and I still blame myself for not loving him and not forgiving him.


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