Time passed and things continued as usual until next year. From the beginning, I could tell everything was different. Our club had grown significantly smaller and you weren't there anymore. Somehow, you seemingly disappeared without a trace. It was like you had transferred schools entirely. I can't remember the true story behind that dark time.
Another morning had played out like any other until something extraordinary happened. Miraculously, I had bumped into you in the hallway by the guidance office. I couldn't believe my eyes. You, a person I thought who had left our school was standing right before me. I was astonished, but relieved I got the chance to see you again. Except this time, things were going to be different. I asked if there was any way I could keep in touch with you. Fortunately, you had a messaging app I also used.
I was in for more surprises that year. I remember you had dropped your schedule the day I reunited with you and I went out of my way to return it. My best friend joked I could have kept it and memorized your classes so I could meet you there.
Maybe not. I was just fine with giving back your schedule.
But here's the highlight of that year: we now shared gym class together! I never would have thought this would happen, but I was glad it did. In those classes we would talk as we walked laps on the football track, share our art, and play video games with each other. One of my classmates even mistook you for my boyfriend. I guess the people around me were starting to notice that we spent a lot of time together.
Even though I was graced with a miracle, that year was also your last. You were a senior and I was just a sophomore. You were graduating that year. Sure I could keep in touch with you, but I believed that year was going to be the end of it all. After you graduated, I thought I would never see you again and we would eventually go our own ways. I couldn't ignore my feelings forever, but no time ever felt right to tell you.
I waited until that day... The last day for seniors.
I held those feelings in until the very end. Out of fear, I had to tell you. Fearing you wouldn't be in my life after that day... Fearing what would happen if I left my feelings unspoken, I embraced you and confessed.
"I love you."
That was all I wanted to say.
I didn't expect anything from you when I said those words, especially since I waited 'til the last day for seniors to tell you. I was even ready for rejection. I just wanted to get it off my chest. It wasn't just a fleeting crush this time. For the first time ever, both my heart and mind were telling me I had fallen in love. Perhaps it was even quite bold of me to declare "love" instead of saying "like." But I had to say exactly how I felt so I wouldn't have any regrets.
What you did went beyond my expectations. You held me even tighter in your arms. You held me so tightly I feared you just might break my bones. In that moment, you said to me four words that changed everything.
"I love you too."
Maybe it was just platonic words, but I accepted them for their worth. To my surprise, you really did feel the same way and we later confirmed what we said to each other that day. After that, we said our goodbyes. It would be 2 years before I would see you again in person. I guess life is like that sometimes, even when you often keep in touch.