I went home that night, exhausted and depressed. It had been a really crappy day. I was grateful I didn’t have much homework because it meant I could spend the night discussing the events of the day with Maggie and Yuuki. It was definitely a night for best friend intervention and thankfully, they knew it. They both pulled into my driveway minutes after I did, ready to offer consolation and sympathy.
“Oh Lyla,” Yuuki cried as she threw her arms around my neck.
“Hey guys,” I sighed as Yuuki let go and the three of us made our way to my room and immediately dove into the events of the day.
“I can’t believe you actually had your letter read to the entire class,” Yuuki began.
“I can’t believe you actually wrote a letter,” Maggie chuckled.
“Yeah, well, I did and look what happened.”
“Well look at the bright side, at least now Ian knows you exist.”
“That’s swell and all, but I really would have liked for him to know me as something other than a psychotically obsessed, masochistic freak.”
“What do you mean?” Maggie asked.
“I mean that he thinks I handed the letter in on purpose.”
“No he doesn’t,” Yuuki insisted.
“Yes, he does. Jack told me so.”
“Jack?” Yuuki asked, her voice slightly raised in interest, as it always did whenever Jack’s name was brought up. “When did you talk to him?”
“He and Ian came to the shop this afternoon.”
“Really? Well then things can’t be that bad.”
“Oh, no, they are. Ian saw that I was there and practically ran out the door.”
“Oh,” Maggie sighed, “then I guess things really are that bad.”
“Yeah, they are,” I groaned. “I guess the good news is that Jack’s going to tell Ian that I didn’t mean for that letter to be read. Not that that will do any good.”
“It might,” Yuuki offered.
“It may make Ian stop glaring at me, but he’s never going to stop hating me.”
“How can a guy hate you when up until today, he didn’t know who you were?” Maggie asked.
“I don’t know,” I sighed, “but if you’d seen the looks he gave me at school and again at the shop, you’d have no doubt…he really hates me.”
“That was a pretty cold stare he gave you,” Yuuki sighed.
“So I guess that kinda puts an end to all your dreams,” Maggie sighed.
“Well, it certainly doesn’t make things any better,” I groaned.
“You mean you’re still gonna hold out for this guy?”
“Yeah, why? Wouldn’t you?”
“No way,” Maggie insisted.
“What about you?” I asked Yuuki.
“I don’t know. If the guy I liked looked at me the way Ian looked at you today, I wouldn’t be holding my breath.”
“So you’re saying I should just give him up? After all these years?”
“I think it’s for the best,” Maggie offered. “I mean, you’ve wasted your entire high school life waiting for this guy and now that he hates you, it seems pretty stupid to hold out for him. I think it’d be better if you just let him go. Besides there are plenty of other guys at school, surely one of them has to like you.”
“No problem,” Maggie grinned.
“Yuuki, what do you think?”
“I think Maggie’s right. You’ve let this crush go on long enough. I think it’s time to just let him go. He’s completely ignored you for the past five years and I really doubt he’s going to show any interest now that you’ve made him the laughing-stock of the entire school.”
“Oh man!” I cried as I suddenly realized that I was not the only one to be affected by the public reading of my love letter. “He really should hate me, shouldn’t he?”
“I think making the entire school laugh at him justifies hating you for all of eternity.”
“Great,” I groaned as I pulled a pillow over my head.
“Oh cheer up,” Maggie cried, “I’m sure you’ll find another Ian someday.”
“No I won’t,” I pouted as I thought about everything that made Ian great.
In my opinion, Ian Wallace was the coolest guy in the world. Not only was he the best looking guy in school, what with his shaggy brown hair, his bright blue eyes, his tall, lean, muscular frame and his killer smile, he was also one of the smartest. Everyone suspected him to become valedictorian at the end of the year and it was rumored that he had perfect scores on both the ACT and the SAT, not to mention his outrageous IQ score. The man was literally a genius and yet he was anything but a nerd. He was captain of the men’s varsity soccer team, senior class president and every year he managed to land the lead male role in the school play. Practically every guy at school secretly wished they were him and every girl in school wished they could date him; he was the epitome of cool and had been since I first fell in love with him, that fateful winter day in seventh grade.
Oh, what a day that had been. It had been the last day before winter break and school had been let out early due to the snow. Yuuki and Maggie had both ridden the bus home so I was left to wait in the snow for my mom. Some of the guys that had been waiting for their parents were a little too excited by the snow and the early out and ended up venting their excitement with a huge snowball fight, with me stuck in the middle. Snowballs were flying in every direction around me and one ended up hitting me right in the eye. Shocked by the sudden combination of a face full of snow and a searing pain in my eye, I stumbled backwards and fell into a gigantic snow drift. Blinded by the snow and the pain, I scrambled to get myself upright, only to find that my snow-covered shoes were too slick and I couldn’t plant my feet firmly enough to actually stand. Writhing like a turtle on its back, I remembering wondering if I would have to stay there until spring and then, at the exact moment I had decided to give up, a hand reached out of nowhere and pulled me to my feet.
I must have looked pretty awful, because without a word the boy took my hand and helped me to the nurse’s office, throwing his coat over my shoulders as we walked. Once we were inside, he explained to the nurse what had happened and then stayed with me until my mom came to pick me up. He apologized for the snowball fight and for the dark ring that had started to form around my eye and I thanked him for rescuing me. We didn’t really say anything more than that before my mom showed up but that was all it took for me to fall in love with Ian Wallace.
“You know what I think?” Maggie asked, pulling me back to reality.
“I think you should just try to forget about this whole thing. I mean, you can’t undo what’s been done so you should just forget about it and move on.”
“But the entire school knows about it. How am I ever going to live this down?”
“Just ignore them. I’m sure in a day or two everyone will have more important things to talk about.”
“I sure hope you’re right,” I sighed.
Maggie and Yuuki spent the rest of the evening trying to help me forget about Ian and the letter. They did a pretty good job of it and by the time they went home, I was almost able to bear the thought of going back to school. Almost.