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When I was 16 there was a boy that I was, to put it frankly, obsessed with. We had been in the same high school since the age of 11, but it wasn’t until Year 10 that we started having lessons together and my longing for him began.
We became good friends, speaking every day either in person or online (or both), and my affection for him grew and grew with every message.
I thought I was being so slick, timing my replies, waiting just long enough not to look too eager but not so long that he might have thought I’d died.
Despite constantly checking whether he was active on Facebook Messenger, I really believed I was playing it so cool. I would chuck my phone across the room and my heart would start pounding in my chest when the little green symbol came up on his profile picture and I could see the three little dots telling me he was typing.
I would come up with excuses to justify why he hadn’t replied to me after I messaged him two hours ago – even though he had been active five minutes ago, and 10 minutes before that. ‘He’s just busy’, I told myself, ‘he must be with family’. ‘He’s probably just not closed the app properly so he’s not really online’, I’d think, even though I’d seen he just changed his profile picture.
If he’d read my message but not responded I knew he must have just accidentally sat on his phone and opened the chat.
The two days a week where I had no classes with him couldn’t go quick enough. And for those extraordinary three days, I would make sure I looked extra nice – whipping out the strawberry BabyLips and a pigment blush that made it look like I’d been slapped in the face.
I would laugh at his jokes, like Joey Tribbiani’s crazy fan in that one episode of Friends.
I was so subtle. How could he possibly know?
We would be perfect together. We had the perfect height difference, the same sense of humour. I wanted – no – I needed to tell him. I was convinced my feelings were reciprocated. I was already envisioning us holding hands in the playground and going for dates at Frankie & Benny’s. It was time.
So, one fateful Wednesday night, I told him.
My pulse quickened as I gripped my phone (an HTC Cha Cha) in my hands. I waited for the perfect moment. I didn’t want him to be active online, but I couldn’t risk sending it whilst he was busy. I kept checking his status. “Active 10 minutes ago.” Perfect.
I had already drafted the message in my notes and copied it, ready to paste onto our chat.
“Look, this is going to sound really random, but there’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you for a little while. I fancy you. I have for a little while, I think you’re great.”
The green symbol next to his profile picture flicked on instantly. A bubble with three dots appeared. He was replying already. I threw my phone (I’m surprised it wasn’t completely broken from the number of times I did this), and waited.
I didn’t have to wait long. My phone buzzed 10 seconds later indicating he had replied. That seemed quick. He must have just been super eager to confess his love for me.
His response? Three words: “Yeah I know:)”
That was it. It was the smiley face that did it.
What followed was the usual jargon; he “likes me as a friend”… blah blah blah.
Turns out he’d known about my ‘secret’ crush on him from the moment I started writing our names in love hearts together in my school notebooks. So I lay in bed crying into my Groovy Chick pillow and (for the first time ever) dreading having to sit next to him in Maths the next day. Naturally, I then began to over-analyse each of our conversations and interactions from the past year.
I realised most of his kindness, which I had horrifically mistaken for flirting, was actually pity. He pitied me because he knew the entire time that I was crushing hard and could see right through my ‘flirty, but not too risky’ messages. He knew exactly why my friendship group would always seem to be having lunch right next to his.
To make it worse, all his friends knew too. Suddenly I realised when they would push him and point towards me when I walked past them in the corridor, it wasn’t because he was in love with me and was too shy to do anything about it. His mates weren’t taunting him and trying to get him to confess either. They were, in fact, teasing him about the fact that I liked him and was so disgustingly obvious about it.
He was annoyingly nice to me the next day. Laughing extra hard at my jokes, asking me more questions about the work than usual, and he even came with me to a Geography revision session after school. This just increased my desire, and gave me a painful insight into how cute we would be as a couple, knowing now that it would never happen. His loss.
Enjoyed this article? Read more here: My worst one-night stand