Have you ever had a crush that felt monumental?
Not like puppy love or that giggly-girl crush but something that made your skin tingle? He was beautiful multi-colored eyes and a mischievous smile. He was that boy that makes you glad you're a girl. He was tall and kind and, for a moment, he was mine. I could feel it when he walked into a room. I'd never felt physical desire like that. Like a punch to the gut, if a punch to the gut could be pleasant. This wasn't butterflies in your stomach this was a stampede of horses in your chest. It was horrible and glorious, all at once.
Because I was that girl, the girl that guys were friends with, the tom boy, the one that all the guys liked, but didn't LIKE, if you get my drift. And there were moments when I though he felt the same. Conversations between the two of us had an edge. Not like flirting but more like meaning. That our words were loaded with more than just consonants and vowels.
I remember that night, there was a storm. The power went out and all the teenagers were down in my sister and I's room talking and waiting for the power to come back on. The conversation turned to guy/girl dynamics, as they are wont to when you have young people of the opposite sex together. He said, 'A guy always knows when a girl likes him.' While saying this he was looking directly at me. I felt emboldened so I grinned and said, 'Is that right?' He smiled back and said yes.
I remember thinking that this was finally it, he was going to say something, anything, and what had been wishing and dreaming and insubstantial but so incredibly there, would become an actual reality. I would no longer be that girl, I would be a girl someone liked, heck, a girl someone would maybe one day love.
But the conversation continued and he made another statement: That if the guy liked a girl back, he acted on it.
He never acted on it. Never.
You know that feeling when hope dies? The sinking, slow death that makes your stomach hurt and your eyes ache? That dagger to your chest when you realize that maybe it was just in your head all along and maybe you'll always be that girl?