Written By: Julie Swei
July 4, 2015
Tears abstructed my vision and I didn't even try to blink them away. Let them fall, I told myself. My back pressed against the school's cold brick wall and my knees drawn up to chest level. I dropped my head down, between my knees, and observed the dark patterns my teardrops made on the dry, white cement. I was numb. It was cold, despite it being 12:04 PM, but no skin-deep frostiness could compare to my heart, which was gray and shriveling like the last leaf on a tree. I was tired. Tired of keeping up with you. Why do I even like you? Childish, childish puppy love. Some asked me if I was alright, but I just nodded and buried my head deeper into myself. Let my dark blue jeans be my comfort now.
Just a few months ago, under the tarp of my cabin, I had awoken to lift the blinds gingerly to reveal to me a blanket of white on the ground. Other students from our grade were frolicking in the snow, which floated down in small portions, as if the sky was reluctant to let everything go. My cabin-mates stirred, but none of them got up. Under the light of a small bulb hung exactly at the center of the rectangular cabin, I fipped open my field journal, in which every student had to fill in by the end of our week in Yosemite. I picked up my pencil to write about my "early-morning discovery of a peculiar white substance floating down from the sky", as I now quote from my dated journal. I had been writing for a while until I noticed that the words on my page were blurring up. I'm crying? I wiped my nose and eyes, and realized that I had been thinking about you. I had always thought about you from the moment our names were placed in the same hiking group on that faithful white paper pasted on the school office window. Muching pushing and squeezing was involved to get through the ocean of eager students to that piece of white paper mounted on a throne in our list of priorities. My face fell as I saw that none of my friends were in the same group as me, while other students squealed and hugged their friends. But your name lit up on that list. My only hope. That one morning as I cried into my journal, I thought "How could you? You were so nice to me in the beginning, almost flirtatious. I trusted you!" We started talking on the first day there, both of us getting to know each other, and talking about our mutual friends, past teachers, passions and hobbies. But I soon realized that I had started to like you more and more. I had given you my only poncho on that rainy day while we were hiking up that steep and rocky trail, and risked catching a cold as I hiked soaking in the rain for you. True, it was because my snow jacket was partially waterproof and yours was 100% cotton. True, I had volunteered my poncho for you. You could have at least hiked next to me and made sure I was alright. True, if you had asked if I was alright I would have said yes since saying no would be weakness in your eyes, and I would not shine brighter than the other girls you look at. When you had complained of soaking gloves, I wrung them for you with my own hands. On our descent from the mountain, it was still raining and you slipped twice in front of me and I caught you both times. I remember you said Thanks. Here, have a gummy bear. It's a thanks for catching me, and walked off, leaving me standing there with a green gummy bear in my left palm. A bird flew past my head cawing, as if taunting me. Did a gummy bear really just pay for me lending you my only poncho, wringing your wet gloves, and getting soaked for two hours in the rain? A knot twisted inside my stomach and I resisted the urge to cut off the gummy bear's head and throw both pieces into a trash can. But that night at dinner, I thought long and hard and I finally mustered up the courage to pull out the carefully wrapped gummy bear from my pocket and prepared to give it back to you. I stood up and looked over at your table, but immedietly regretted it, since I saw you debating passionately with Amelia, one of your close girl friends, who also happend to be one of my cabin-mates. You both laughed and she slapped you playfully on the shoulder, but even from this distance I could tell that you were more intrigued by her than me. For some reason, that action sent a tsunami through me. I had seen you with many girls and talking and laughing with them, ignoring me completely. Even pushing past me to talk to someone else, which made me wonder if you really thought I was that boring. But this one broke the dam. I promised myself that that was the end. That I would stop liking you. That late night after dinner, I secretly took the green gummy bear out of its protective wrap, threw it on the ground, and pulverized it under my hiking boot heel. I think my heart went with it.
After our graduation, we parted ways. You were going to a private high school, while the rest of us were sprinkled across public high schools in our area. I started my freshman year full of life, made new friends, and every face was filled with hope. Up until homecoming. It was when the full blow of high school finally sneaked its way into our grade. Drama was already starting and homework steadily increased. My close guy friend, Ethan, was part of marching band, and I've been close with him since the beginning of middle school. Marching band had to perform in the Homecoming football game, which was immedietly followed by the homecoming dance. I was supposed to wait for him at the dance after I paid to get in. Finally, I got wind that you were coming, along with our old group of friends to the dance, but couldn't get in since you didn't have the student ID here. I decided to leave the door open just a crack and give you one last chance. I snuck out with your group of friends, including Amelia, to a nearby cafe. Observing you, I walked behing the group, with no one to talk to. You swore every two sentence you spoke, and tore the group apart upon the decision of which cafe to go to. You stared at me but you never talked to me. You had told your friends you didn't like me, and that you knew I liked you all along since it was so "obvious". You didn't change at all. I turned on my heel and left. That's when I found out that the dance was a one way entrance, and I couldn't get back in. I had to hold back tears and phone Ethan and tell him that I was sorry that I couldn't spend the time at the dance with him. All because I was weak-hearted and left my door open just a crack, hoping you would open it wide and come back in. Now it is too late for you, because you will never get to obtain me. I am truimphant. I have grown too much for you to chase down while you were away. I feel sorry for you now, because that door is now slammed shut and locked. And you don't have the key.