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The upbringing of our relationship was like a newborn baby: messy for years and took way too much time to mature. We briefly "dated" in the sixth grade to halt the rumor going around that he liked a girl in the midst of a two-year relationship. It was the kind of dating that is reserved only for middle school. He likes you (or so I thought), you like him, you hold hands in the hallway, but nothing ever comes of it. We never went on a date. Our "relationship" lasted five days; until I found out the reason he was "dating" me. I cried in front of everyone in the quad.

Then in our freshman year of high school, something started to start up again. He liked me; I kind of liked him, maybe. He went all in, I tested the waters. We lasted three weeks. Three weeks of awkward conversations, sloppy hugs, and catcalls from all his friends and I was done. He tried to kiss me the day before I broke up with him. I came to school the next day and in front of everyone in the quad, I did it. Someone told me he cried. We still never went on a date.

It took us two months to be friends again. Another three for him to look me in the eye for more than five minutes at a time. For him it must have been pure agony, for me it was pure bliss.

Sophomore year. Liking him came out of nowhere and was about as confusing as a sucker punch from a ninja. Suddenly I was feeling something I had only ever felt for people like Noah Turner, the captain of the basketball team and senior class president.

For the first time in four years, the roles were reversed. I liked him; he definitely didn't like me. I had to chase after him. For a while I was content with just admiring him from afar and secretly dreaming about him.

Finally, I mustered up all the courage I could and did something.

/ /

"Shreyas!" I yelled down the hall. He turned around to give me a wave, and then continued his conversation.

I marched down the hallway, while I had still had some drive left in me. All in I kept telling myself, all in.

"Shreyas." I said again, I had fought through his circle of friends to stand right in front of him.

"Shreyas!" One of the guys said mocking me in a much too high-pitched voice.

"Shut up, Jason," I exclaimed.

"Shut up, Jason!" I pretended to ignore him, but in reality I almost hit him.

"Shreyas, could I please talk to you alone?" I heard a couple catcalls from his friends as I dragged him by the arm to the other side of the hallway.

"Scarlett, I have practice in ten minutes." No emotion. It was cold. He was cold. This conversation was cold. I almost shivered it was so cold.

All in. All in. All in. It was my mantra. All in.

"I like you, Shreyas. I like you a lot, and I want us," I softly touch his arm, "to be us again." He cringed away with a look of disgust and hurt. I couldn't help but cower away from the look.

I couldn't bear to look him in the eye.

"Maybe you should have thought about that last year when you broke up with me."

"But this isn't last year," I pleaded.

"You're right it's not. It's not last year, I'm not completely infatuated with you. I don't worship the ground you walk on. I know now that I wasted all my love on you," he sighed. "I'm trying to move on, Scarlett. The sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you can stop trying to make this work."


I cried in the bathroom for three hours.

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