The Beginning

This is the prequel to one of my previous stories, The Beginning of the End. I put this up at great risk of people getting the impression that I’m some emo kid who scribbles on his shoes and wears black because “that’s how I feel inside”, because there is a lot of emotion in this piece, as there is in all good writing. And yes, it is about a girl, but I bet you there isn’t a single teenage boy out there who doesn’t feel at least something like this. Just so everyone knows, the guy is me, and the girl is real, but this is exaggerated almost to the point of unrecognition, life is never interesting enough on its own, you need literature for that.

The Beginning

Every day he saw her. Every time his heart leapt into his throat. Sometimes she would come out from an adjacent hallway and he would stop in his tracks, unable to think for a moment, before shaking his head and walking on. He did a lot of walking on. He had a couple classes with her, high caliber ones at that, she wasn’t ditzy like so many others. She probably hurt his performance in those classes, but he didn’t give a damn. He didn’t give a damn about anything. Except her. He needed to do something. What the hell could he do? He was a nobody, a nothing, and she was an everything. And then there was the added complication of her boyfriend. The thought of it struck something inside of him every time.

In math class he gazed at her. He loved the way her hair shone in the bright fluorescent lighting. Sometimes she would run her hand through it, or tuck a strand away behind an ear, it would always fall back into line perfectly. She was quite adept at solving the math problems, maybe even better than he was, especially when he paid so much attention to her rather than his teacher. He sat next to his friend, and they would converse, but he would only ever be half interested in their conversation, and often as not he would talk while looking in the opposite direction, in her direction. She never noticed him, never turned around and met his gaze, which in a way was a relief. If she was to turn around and look at him he would probably glance sideways quickly and come off looking sketchy. He wished he could be calm and cool, he wished she would look at him and he could greet her with a cool confident smile. He wished he could smile like she could. Well, smile wasn’t really a strong enough word for it. More like beam, it lit up her entire face and radiated happiness throughout the whole room, especially through him. She was wonderfully liberal with that smile, and it never ceased to give him the sensation of being lifted by some invisible force, away from the classroom and the world. Just him, and her.

When it came down to hard facts though, he just couldn’t see it happening. He could imagine the two of them alone, on dates and scenes of intimacy, but in social situations he just didn’t see it working. There was no way, they were practically on opposite sides of the world, despite sitting only a few seats away from each other. His friends weren’t her friends and her friends weren’t his friends. Yet there were other times when he thought that all that wouldn’t matter, if only there were some way to first gain her affections. He imagined all sorts of scenarios that would cross their paths in a way that couldn’t be undone. Most of them were totally ridiculous, and none of them would ever happen. He should just talk to her, he told himself. That’s what people do, they talk to each other, so why can’t you talk to her? She’s nice, she’s not the type to discriminate based on social status or anything. Just talk to her. But he couldn’t, and wouldn’t. There was never the right occasion. No situation in which saying hello wouldn’t have been weird. Maybe that was all in his head, maybe he was the one who was discriminating.

He could write. He could write a letter, or a poem, or something. Maybe leave a series of such anonymous works to build her up before revealing his identity at the point where she was madly in love with whoever this mysterious admirer was. Yes, that was a good idea. He drafted such writings in his head, even wrote some of them down, but never made it to the stage of printing them out.

It hurt, to love someone and not have them love you back, not even know that you love them. But it was a good hurt, he enjoyed it really. He preferred it to not having any feelings at all. He knew that probably nothing would ever come of it, and eventually his crush would fade. But he didn’t want it to. He enjoyed it even if it never amounted to anything. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like not to love her. He tried thinking back to before he had known her, it was only a year or two, but it didn’t come to him.

It was silly, he told himself, he didn’t love her, he couldn’t love her, he hardly knew her. How could you love someone without knowing them? It was just a dumb crush. But these thoughts always felt forced, put in his head to protect him from getting too attached to something he didn’t have. He had to do something, he had to say something, anything, just anything. She wouldn’t mind. Who wouldn’t like being told that someone likes them? No, he couldn’t say something, he wouldn’t say something, he would never say anything.

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