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Dear straight boy in my English class,

It’s true I sat down next to you, but you spoke to me first; you asked what shampoo I used. When you missed class, you asked me for my notes. And when I invited you over to review you spent most of the afternoon relishing in memories of your escapades with previous girlfriends. When I ran into you at the weight room and just ‘let slip’ how much I weigh, you remarked how you could bench press me with one arm. It’s true I initiate hugs, but when I just wave goodbye you wrap your arms around me. When you refused to shave for Novembeard, I commented on the crimson hairs spread across your chin, out of the blue you said “Oh, but I’m all blonde downstairs”.

Are you flirting with me or is it all wishful thinking?

Either way I am mad at myself because of the mess I got myself in. I’m mad because I spent hours chewing up the words you spoke to me, trying to make any sense out of them. I grind each of your texts to dust hypnotized by changes in punctuation. And I remember the moment I chose to take the class where I met you, a class I didn’t even need and is now filling up my chest with bits of glass. I remember that I was happy before I met you, but the thought of losing you makes me clench my teeth. Maybe you are right when you say I overdramatize things, see things that aren’t there and recall things you never said. Maybe I am reading too much into the fact that you told me how conservative your family is, or that you text me smiley faces at random points of the day. Maybe you really pulled a muscle in your shoulder and it was only natural for your friend to give you a massage.

Now what keeps me up at night is a déjà vu from third grade. Because I feel we are a pair of schoolboys, best buds who rough house too gently and linger at doorways when they say goodbye. And the only thing greater than the love they feel for each other is the fear of speaking up. That is the desire of children, to hear that someone else loves them first. No one ever wants to be the first to say “I love you”. No one speaks up until he feels sure of the other person’s feelings; such is our selfishness as we wait uncomfortably for the other one to confess. The wait for that moment keeps my eyes wide open and my mouth sewn shut. Because I choose rather to lament the moments we will never spend together than stand before you with my guts exposed and the goopy insides out in the open.

Whenever I pause blaming you for my self-imposed torture I wonder how you must feel. But even then I turn selfish, because I wonder whether you are thinking about me. Idiot. We could be so happy together.

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