not over you

prompt: not over you - gavin degraw

It started last year. Do you remember? I hope you do so I don't feel silly for being the only one who does. It was pretty memorable, what we had. Damn tragic, but memorable nonetheless. I never paid any attention to anyone and everyone else did the same to me. But you weren't like everyone else. You saw right through me. I hated it at first. Your first attempt with a conversation with me, do you remember? It was during Calculus class and you asked me how I did with my exam. I didn't do pretty good, so I told you it was none of your business. Because who were you, really? Just a random classmate in a class I despise. You just laughed, not the laugh that made me think you knew I scored low in the exam, but the kind of laugh that sounded a tiny bit like fascination. I didn't want to admit it, but I knew I would give anything to hear that laugh again.

The second time was when you sat with me during lunch. My friends were having their own conversation about some guy one of them liked and I was left out, as usual. But I didn't mind. I had my book. So I read, the macaroni in front of me turning cold and soggy. From the corner of my eye, I saw someone sit in front of me, but I didn't know who it was until my friend squealed your name. I looked up and saw you were already looking at me. You smiled and I wanted to smile back. I really did. But I couldn't. Because who were you, really? Not exactly someone I would smile at.

But you didn't move out of our table. Instead, you fell into a conversation with one of my friends. Something moved inside me. I don't know what it was but I now have a feeling that it was jealousy. But why would I be jealous? Why should  I care if you talked to her?

"I like you," you whispered to me while I was doing the assigned problem sets our Calculus professor gave us. I jumped, surprised, and turned to look at you. Your face was so near that if I lean in just a half inch, the tips of our noses would be touching. That was when I noticed your blue eyes, and how striking they were. And your barely visible freckles. I wondered if anyone else in the room knew you had freckles, if anyone had gotten this close to you to actually notice them. You smiled and said it again. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears. I wasn't used to feeling noticed. I wasn't sure I liked it, but  I smiled back at you anyway. Maybe I could like you back.

"I like him," she told me during lunch. She, being one of my friends. She, being the one who you talked to that first time you sat lunch with me. She, who was referring to you. I didn't know what to say. I didn't want to ask if she meant who I thought she meant because I know she did. "I think he likes me too, because he always sits during lunch with us." I wanted to tell her that she wasn't the reason, but I couldn't. Because I realized something. They were talking about you. All the time I didn't bother to listen in on their conversations, about a guy one of them liked, I realized something. They were talking about you. Do you know how long they've been talking about that guy? Too long. Had I listened to them, I would have thought first about getting involved with you.

I told you I can't do it anymore, 3 months after you said you liked me too. A month after I finally admitted I liked you. 3 hours after my friend told me she likes you. I couldn't be in that mess. I should have given it more thought, but I acted on impulse. You asked me if I was going to explain. I told you that I just can't, but that I really liked you. I saw your jaw harden and for a second I thought you were going to scream at me. But you didn't. You closed your eyes for a few seconds before opening them again and asking me, "Do I not deserve an explanation?" I debated in my head. Should I tell you the real reason? That my friend likes you, and has liked you for a long time? That I feel like a bad friend for not knowing? For not paying attention? That wasn't what I told you, didn't I? Instead I told you the first thing that came to my mind: "I guess I just don't like you that much." Your eyes widened for a bit and then squinted as if you were trying to read me. I looked away then down on my shoes. You told me I was lying. I was, but I didn't let you read me further. Because I turned around and walked away, with nothing, not even a goodbye to you. 

You went to prom together, didn't you? It was 4 months after that fateful day. I saw your pictures and she looked really happy. You were smiling, but your blue eyes, your beautiful blue eyes, told a different story. It hurt to see you together. I don't care if that makes me a bad friend, because that was how I felt. I imagined going to prom with you, and how that would be like. Maybe your eyes would have smiled too.

There's a lot of things I regret, like not doing my Biology project earlier, and not eating dinner last night, but one of the things I regret the most was not fighting for you. For being a coward. For being so damn scared of a risk. 

It's been a year since you whispered in my ear how you felt about me. I still see you sometimes, in the hall, and it hurts when you look away, but  I guess that didn't match up to how I hurt you. I wish you just didn't know me at all, you know? That would hurt even less, you ignoring me because you don't know me. People ignore me all the time. But this, this hurts a hell of a lot, because you do know me, and you are deliberately ignoring me.

I know I should move on, but screw the protocols. No one said you should be over someone in a year.


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