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He Said, She Said
I stumbled over a log that was partially covered by wet leaves, but I caught myself. I walked ahead of him, leading the way, through the forests I had become so used to. I had a surprise for him.
I was following her through the woods, unsure of where we were going or why. I saw her almost trip but catch herself. She said she had a surprise for me earlier, before we started walking through the woods.
Finally, we had reached the bench that my father had built. I sat down on it and motioned for him to, also. He did. I looked at him, taking in every part of him -- his clothes, his eyes, his crazy smile, but most of all, his bewildered expression.
When we reached a clearing in the woods, a bench came into view. It overlooked the water, and there was a really nice view for the sunset. She sat down and motioned for me to sit down, so I did.
After a few quiet moments, I grabbed my bag, searching through it to find the card I had made him. It was homemade, and inside I had written a poem, which was about wanting to be more than just friends. He had hinted at that, too. For example, we were dancing together at Homecoming, and he held me for a few minutes after the song, just looking into my eyes.
We stared at each other for a few moments, until she began searching through her bag for something. I had no idea what it was, but I knew she had to make this quick. I had a date later.
I continued searching through my bag, the card on my lap, just out of his view, for his present. His present had cost me quite a bit, but I didn't care. I knew he would love it, and if we were going to be together, I was willing to buy him as many gifts as I could.
She had placed something on her lap, and then continued searching for something else. I really hoped that her "surprise" for me was the view and a card. I really didn't want an expensive gift. I hadn't gotten her anything. I didn't even know what the occasion was.
I finally got my hands on his present. "Close your eyes," I whispered, "and hold out your hands." He did. I placed the present in his hands and the card on top of the present.
She must have found what she was searching for because she told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands. I obeyed. She placed something in my hands -- a box? -- and then something -- a card? -- on top of that.
I stared at the water and the sun setting beautifully, as I said, "We met exactly two years ago." I paused, letting that sink in, unsure of what else I should say. "Well, um, open."
With my eyes still closed and my hands still out, she said something about meeting each other exactly two years ago. My arms were getting really tired. Finally, she said, "Open."
He opened his eyes, looking down at what I had placed in his hands. Something -- a strange emotion I hadn't expected -- washed throughout his face. I wasn't sure what to do or say. Maybe he didn't feel the same way about me.
When I opened my eyes and I saw that homemade card, I knew I was in trouble. Suddenly, it all made sense. It all fit together like a puzzle. She wanted to be more than friends. I had no idea what to do.
My insides began to churn as I realized something. I had misinterpreted him. All this timr I had thought he wanted to be mote than just friends. I thought he had wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend, when he hadn't.
I felt guilty as I watched her take this all in. She had gotten the message, I realized, and figured out the truth. I suppose I should have felt relieved, but I felt guilty, and something felt strangely wrong.
I wasn't sure what to do, what to say, so I sat there, silent and still, staring at the water. I knew he was looking at me. I knew he knew I had figured it out. I knew I had made a mistake, a mistake that could cost us our friendship.
Finally, I worked up the courage to look at her. There were things I had never noticed about her until now. I had to do something. I had to tell her it was okay or leave. I couldn't stay here watching her suffer.
He looked at his watch, and the tears began to fall down my cheeks. I couldn't stop them, and I had no desire to.
I looked at my watch. I could still make it to my date on time. But when I looked up and saw her crying, I stopped dead in my tracks. Something had been sparked. I felt some sort of connection, seeing her that way.
I put my knees to my chest and closed my eyes. I was startled when I felt something rub against me, but it was him putting his arm around me, which only made me cry harded.
She had put her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them, still sobbing. I put my arm around her, but that only made her cry harder. Man, could I do anything right?
I didn't move a muscle, didn't say a word, as I continued to cry. He started to say things to me, but I couldn't concentrate.
She kept crying. Finally, I said, "Calm down. I know that you thought I felt like that too," I paused, "but I don't. I mean I didn't, at least not until today, not until I saw you crying because of me. I knew that wasn't right. Something inside sparked, and I suddenly wanted you to be more than just my friend."
Finally, it clicked. I understood what he was saying. He was saying he felt the same way. My tears began to slow, then stopping altogether. I let out a weak smile.
I watched her, her tears stopping. She finally understood what I had said. She understood that I told her I felt the same way.
I rested my head on his chest, just listening to his heart beat. "I love you," I said. I watched him as he processed this. Had I said too much too soon. I said it again, softer, slower, this time. "I love you."
She leaned her head on my chest, not saying anything, until she said, "I love you." I paused for a moment, caught off guard, then said, "I love you, too."