I always thought you were cute. But the word “crush” didn’t hit me until someone said you were my “fate.”
As cliche as it is, and I know it’s as cliche as cliches come, but we were lab partners.
Not one year. Not two, not three, and not even four. But for five years. FIVE.
It was random at first.
Our eighth grade science teacher just happened to sit us next to each other and, a year later, it happened again with our ninth grade teacher.
The third year, I found a seat in the back, and, for some reason I have yet to understand, you decided to sit next to me.
I tried not to mind, but I couldn't help but notice you there. I didn't hate you for it. I just became... preoccupied by you.
No one's ever consciously made that decision in a practically vacant room before. I appreciated it more than you could know.
The fourth year, you chose someone else to partner up with. Some dork who preferred that you think for him than to think for himself.
That was fine. I didn't need a partner; I was used to it.
When cat dissection time came around, for some godforsaken reason, despite not interacting and already having a usual partner, you asked me to be your partner.
You two were getting along fine. So why me?
By the time dissection came around, the teacher assumed I had no partner, and you said "Actually, she's with me."
That made me really happy.
The fifth year, the teacher starting drawing partners. I thought it was going to be you; in fact, I knew it.
As she called my name, I changed my mind, thinking, "There's no way. It can't happen a fifth time."
Then she called your name. You and I were lab partners. Again.
I've avoided you often.
I could never work up the nerve to sit next to you, even though, sometimes, I felt like you wanted me to.
Was that just my imagination? I thought I was delusional.
I couldn't steal that seat. It wasn't mine to take.
Or was it?
I'm sorry I had to feign disinterest so you wouldn't discover my secret: I like you. I couldn't get attached. You have put up with me for so many years and given me too much credit. I can't explain it.
It makes me happy but sad that I can't give you what you want: friendship.
I'll admit it: you're cute and smart as hell.
You always compliment my intelligence, but the truth is that I should have been complimenting yours.
You are the extrovert to my introvert.
But you're an outlier, prone to trouble.
If I were smart like you, I wouldn't be pushing for a suspension just to impress the cronies.
I wouldn't be laughing at inappropriate times.
I wouldn't be getting drunk every weekend.
I thought it over though, and I realized that you're just lonely like me.
The second you're not with your friends, I have a friend in you.
However, you can't have a friend in me because I like you too much, but you'll never like someone like me.