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Ethan and I
Samantha, Age 15, White Bear Lake, MN

There was something about those deep brown eyes that made you forget everything. They always carried so much emotion that it felt as if they truly were looking into your soul. Of course it only made it better that they belonged to the man I loved.

It was love at first sight with Ethan. We were in the sixth grade at the time. Well, we were sophomores now, and I still hadn't told him. He may have know, but I didn't say anything. We were the kind of friends that are laughing non-stop one day and then won’t talk the next. But when we got along, it was really nice. We were probably the biggest flirts in the school. This was either a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it, because it means that either he liked me back, or he was leading me on. But I’d never be the one to ask him which.
 
One night, during one of our famous all-night phone calls, he said that he had no clue what love is. That he wasn’t sure if he loved his girlfriend, which was good news for me. I went for the obvious advice that when he is in love, he’ll know. You’re never sure how you know, but you always do. The conversation ventured on to my boyfriend, and if I really loved him. I said yes, but I was lying. There was only one person I loved, but I could never tell him that. I’d just live with the fact that we were never meant to be.

The next morning, I walked around to the back of the school like I do every morning. Out back, there’s a creek with a bridge. There’s a place under that bridge that sticks out just far enough for two or three people to stand there. Well, ever since I found it, I come back here to smoke. But that day of all days, I found something that I just couldn’t believe. There, out of every person and place in the world, was my boyfriend, with Ethan’s girlfriend. I stood there dumbfounded for a minute. He tried to apologize, but I wouldn’t have it. I didn’t cry or scream, I just calmly said we needed to break up and that they needed to get the hell out of there or else. As I stood there smoking my cigarette, I wondered what would happen next.

I stepped out of what was once my safe place and it immediately started raining. That’s how I knew things would be okay. Rain was usually a good sign for me. I went to my first mod class and knew from the way he looked, that she told Ethan. I didn’t talk to him until lunch, when I just couldn’t take it anymore. He said that he was fine with it, but it only made him more confused about love. I reached out my hand to grab his and focused myself directly on the warm chocolate eyes that just about melted me. I told him that things happen for a reason, and it will work itself out. As I said it, he had this look in his eye, like what I was saying was the last puzzle piece that he just found under the table.

I spent the rest of the day wishing I could read his mind, but then worrying about his thoughts about me. Does he like me as more than friend? Does he find me too clingy? Does he think about me at all?

It continued to rain for the next few days, as it often does in Ohio. As the days progressed, I saw less and less of Ethan, almost like he was avoiding me. Finally, three days after the incident, he called me late one night. We talked aimlessly for a while, until we could no longer avoid the elephant in the room. He said he’s over it; he has something more important on his mind. I tried to get him to say what it was but he wouldn’t. He said it wasn’t something you could say on the phone. By that point I was worried something was wrong, so I told him that he could come over. He told me it was nothing to worry about, but nonetheless important. If it was that important, my mother wouldn’t mind. He said it’d be hard to sneak out but he’d try. He only lived a few blocks away, so if he wasn’t here in thirty minutes, he couldn’t get out. I told him I’d be downstairs waiting, and then we said our goodbyes and hung up. I snuck downstairs and stared out the living room windows for an hour.

The next time I saw Ethan was the worst moment of my life. He was just there. There was nothing to him. I didn’t even know what to do. All I could think of was regrets. That I never did hear what was so important that he had to run over to my house in the pouring rain and get himself hit by a car. That he’d never know how I truly felt about him. And most importantly, those perfect brown eyes, closed forever.

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