I always rolled my eyes at the girls who acted like zombies when their boyfriends left for a few hours and they didn't answer their texts or calls. I called them desperate and weak. I told them to suck it up and act like a grown woman instead of a love infested teenage girl.
I laughed at the girl in my cooking class last semester who was skipping all over the room, weaving in and out of desks, with her hair bouncing at every step after she got her first kiss before class. I told her it was no big deal. I acted disgusted at the thought of lip locking a boy's germ infused mouth that had been only heaven knows where.
I mocked the junior high couples who held hands walking on the sidewalk while I drove by. I made kissy faces at them if I was in a good mood to embarrass them. I honked if I thought the girl was pass out at the loss of oxygen because the boy was sucking the life out of her.
I slapped my face during the romantic scene in a good movie if I was watching it at home and pressed fast forward. At the theater, I would mumble something about getting some more butter soaked and salt covered popcorn and make a bee line to the neatest exit while all the hormonal girls sighed and sniffled.
Then I really fell for you.
I always though you were attractive. Mostly just eye candy. I watched from a distance, totally not the 'I watch you sleep' stalker kind of way. The way where I would position myself across the room from you so I could look at you without being obvious in seventh grade life science. You had glasses with thin brown frames that completed your face, back then. I had glasses also. Thick black frames that were slightly crocked because I had stepped on them and my parents couldn't afford new ones. They didn't complement my facial features. Your hair was always spiked up with the messy on purpose look. My hair was frizzed up and curly with the 'I lost my battle with the hair straightener this morning' look. I had braces, adding to the mix of disaster I was.
I liked to check up on you on Facebook, often. I made sure to say hi the second you became online and asked questions that gave you a chance to talk about yourself. I liked to think you thought of me as a friend, because sometimes you talked to me first.
I like to think that eighth grade home room left a much better impression on you. You got contacts, which let me find out your eye color-a beautiful green-without being creepy. You got braces sometime over the summer I got new glasses. Granny looking glasses, but better than the thick black frames. I learned how to master the skill if using a straightener and used the art makeup.
We talked sometimes in home room. You cracked jokes while I laughed. I attempted jokes. Then I cringed when I realized how stupid I acted in the middle of my jumping jacks in first period PE.
We mostly talked over Facebook. Thank my lucky stars for computers. They gave me the chance to type out what I want to say then make changes. Instead if me walking away, after words flew out of my mouth, shaking my head.
You got your braces off near the end of the school year. I was jealous, but I got over that as soon as you smiled.
The last three days of the school year was the first days we walked home together. I will always remember those days. Those were the days that I saw the real you, not the toned down you that is at school or church.
We became great friends-best friends, in fact. I shared my deepest secrets, dreams and fears. You did the same. I opened up to you like a book. I let you read each and every chapter of my life without shame. I knew you wouldn't judge me by who I was and help me get better.
I got contacts and my braces finally came off freshmen year. We went to different high schools, but you would be outside the doors of my high school everyday, waiting to walk home with me. My classmates would always mistaken you as my boyfriend. And whenever your friends saw us, they thought I was your girlfriend. I remember us telling them over and over again, "Nope, just friends."
I started to fall for you while I was watching the NCAA college men's basketball championship game, cheering for my team while I was painting my toenails. You were texting me, telling me you made a huge mistake. I told you it was okay, everyone makes mistakes. I also asked what it was. You told me it was the biggest mistake you have made in your life. You told me you lied to your best friend, me.
You told me what you lied about and asked for forgiveness. To be honest, I wanted to hurt you. You had lied about, almost mocked, something I struggled greatly with. But the pain if losing you was greater. You showed me how honest you were and how willing you were to hurt your pride to admit something you did wrong. I was so impressed.
I remember seeing you the next day. Your eyes were full of forgiveness as you again told me how sorry you were. I saw your eyes start to tear up. You touched my heart by how sincere you were about this. I really fell for you that day.
I think I love you. Wait, I know I love you. Maybe not a romantic love, but a kind of love that you would do anything for the person. A kind of love that makes my heart ache with pain when you are gone. The kind of love I have for you is whenever I have good news, I dial your number. That is the kind of love I have for you.
Matt, I really do love you.