There, I was. Sitting in sweatpants, my heart racing. He, the kid I was sure I was over, just emailed me. Me, the girl I was sure he didn't freaking care about. He wrote (I still have it saved to my computer)
Hey, this is a crazy what-if, but do you think you and Jeremy could hang out next Thursday? I'll be in town and am getting together a bunch of kids to go to the park. Tell me if you can come.
Of course, I said yes.
So we scheduled to meet up at the park that day and hang out. On top of me and my brother, a few others came. It was the first time we were all together after Will had left for college. I remember my heart racing to the same degree it used to.
Seriously. You need to stop that! I kept telling myself over and over.
I didn't know it at the time, but Will began to fall for me that. I noticed him talking to me a lot that day and I noticed he seemed to be nearby wherever I went.
When I went to find rocks on the stream, he followed.
When I fell in the lake, he helped me up and laughed (so did I).
When I went and sat under a tree, so did I.
When I did stupid things and played my guitar, sparks flew for him.
But the whole time I tried to ignore him. I didn't want to fall back in love.
(Lesson to every girl ever: don't ignore a guy who goes out of his way to give you attention).
That night I went to bed, my heart happy from our time spent together, but trying not to be too happy. My friend kept texting me with things like "I think he likes you!" and I was like "Yeah, right."
I saw Will again the next Sunday, but we didn't talk. I did catch hi starring at me across the way. He went back to college, and I found myself feeling lonely and broken again. I found myself crying over every love song and spending way too much time looking at the heart-shaped rock he'd found up at the stream and casually handed to me.
The next day, there was a new Facebook message from him. I didn't open it. I did school. But I thought of that message all day. Finally, I went to look at it around three before I died of being curious.
Hey, Maya. I was just thinking about the great time we had at the park the other day. The thing is, I really miss you guys. We need to catch up more. What if we tried to stay better friends? I'd really like that. Getting emails from you would be the best thing to this homesick boy.
I broke down. I knew I liked him deep inside, but inside I was so afraid. Was I loving someone who would turn away and get a college girlfriend in an instant? Was I loving someone who'd forget my name?
No. This one email was him saying, "Hey. I know you exist. And I want to continue to know you exist."
So I sent back an email and said something to the degree of, "I'd love to keep in touch more often."
I took that what-if.
So we emailed back and forth about once a week. We talked about his college classes. We talked about my high school experience. We talked about his dog. We talked about my cat. I learned his favorite color was red. He found out my favorite colors were blue, coral, and grey--the colors of the sea. I sent him guitar tabs. He sent me rap songs. After a while, we started to talk more about ourselves. More about our dreams. The emails become more often.
I started to suspect he really did like me back.
And I felt like I was right on taking the craziest what-if of my love life so far.
But one question pressed on my mind. Did he like me or was this just a friend thing?