Eighth grade: I have a crush on you. I stare at you like a creeper, but you never look back.

Sophomore year: my crush has long faded. You ignore me because you think I'm annoying. You chase after a girl I know will break your heart.

Junior year: You ask her to homecoming. She breaks your heart soon after. I ask for your number in December, though my crush is still in the grave. I just want to be your friend. I spam you with texts about mistletoe, bourbon, and strange Asian vegetables. You get used to it, and start enjoying my company.

You ask me to prom, because you need a date. I say no. I'm glad I say no, because then you tell me you have a crush on someone else. I'd be lying if I say I'm not bummed. I resign myself to letting you go because you're my friend, and I want you to be happy. I want you to be happy even if it's with her. I tell you she's gonna break your heart like the first girl. Because in my mind, no one deserves you. You deserve the world.

She tells me I'm selfish, rude, and cagey. I'm hurt. It doesn't hurt as much as when I tell you and you don't believe me. You tell me you hope to be dating her by the end of senior year. I'm still in denial. I can't like you. Not again. I laugh bitterly at how cliche this all is. Love is not a triangle.

You tell me it would make sense to marry me. That I'm your love and she's your lust. I'm confused. I tell you I feel like a second choice. You feel like an asshole. We pretend it never happened.

Senior year: I tell myself I have closure. I tell myself I'll let you go, because you deserve to be happy. Whenever I see you with her I'm jealous but I don't want to be. I hate myself for it. I feel like I'm impeding on your happiness.

You start hanging out with me a lot. People notice. They come up with a ship name. I laugh, because really? We're not going to happen when you still like her. You'd never like me.

Well I'm wrong. You tell me I'm cute, and beautiful, and that you've thought so since the end of junior year. I hesitate. I can't fall for words. You tell me you don't like her anymore, that it was just visual attraction. I realize why I was so hurt by her. Because once upon a time, you chose her over me, and I like you. I like you a lot. I admit it to myself and content myself with your friendship.

Over Thanksgiving break, you ask me if I see you as more than a friend. I almost want to say, yes, you fucking idiot, but I just say yes. The feeling is reciprocated. We share our first kiss in the backseat of my car, four days before my birthday. Our glasses bump and I open my mouth too much, but you tell me you want to kiss me again. We laugh. We kiss again on my birthday.

You're my boyfriend. It's taken five years, but here we are. It's funny how things work out. Yesterday you told me you saw me driving and legit stared. And melted.

It's only been two weeks, but...I asked you where you saw us in a year, when we're in different colleges. You said, pursuing a LDR. Honestly? Me too. I can't imagine life without you.

My dodo, I love you. We have a lot to learn, and I'm scared of fucking up, but I can't help but hope that our story means something. I can't wait to kiss you again.

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