MidReal Story

Unspoken Hearts: A High School Love Story

May 20
Scenario: I have a beloved girl, who is my classmate, but she didn't know that I love her.
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I have a beloved girl, who is my classmate, but she didn't know that I love her.
I’m in love with Mia Thompson.
I’ve been in love with her for years now, but I’ve never told her.
I’ve never told anyone.
It’s not that I’m afraid of rejection, or that I think she’ll laugh at me.
It’s just that I don’t want to ruin what we have.
Mia and I are friends, good friends, and if I tell her how I feel, it might change everything between us.
And that’s a risk I’m not willing to take.
So instead, I keep my feelings to myself and watch from the sidelines as she dates other guys, completely oblivious to the fact that her best friend is in love with her.
I know what you’re thinking: “Just tell her already!”
But it’s not that easy.
Mia is the kind of girl who deserves a grand gesture, a big confession on a grand stage, and I’m just not that kind of guy.
I’d rather keep my feelings to myself than tell her in a way that doesn’t do her justice.
So I sit silently on her bed, watching as she flips through her yearbook, pointing out the people she’ll miss the most.
I’m one of them, she tells me, but it’s not the same.
I’m not going anywhere.
I’m always going to be right here, pining for the girl who’s had my heart since we were kids.
The girl who’ll never know how I feel.
Mia’s room is warm and cozy, filled with fairy lights and photos of our friends.
We spent so much time in here growing up, doing homework and talking about our crushes.
But now that I’m older, I can’t help but look around and wonder if she knows how I feel.
If she has any idea that every time I’m in here with her, it’s all I can think about.
She doesn’t even have to try to be beautiful, but she does anyway.
Her blonde hair is a wild mess of curls, and when she gets nervous or excited, she tucks a piece behind her ear.
She’s taller than most girls our age, with long legs that she always tries to hide.
But even when she’s wearing oversized sweatpants and an old t-shirt, Mia is the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen, with bright blue eyes that always seem to sparkle.
She catches me staring at her—she always does—and smiles, nudging my foot with hers.
“Stop looking at me like that,” she says, flipping through the pages of her yearbook again.
“Like what?”
I ask, even though we both know exactly what she means.
Mia has known about my crush on her for years now.
It was easy to tell her when we were kids, easier still as we got older and I realized that everyone loved Mia just as much as I did.
I told her about my feelings one lazy summer afternoon, the two of us stretched out on her back porch.
It was the first time I’d ever said it out loud, and when I looked over at her to see if she felt the same way, I was shocked to find her smiling.
Because Mia loved me too.
She’d never been in love with me the way I was with her—she’d never thought of me like that at all—but Mia had always loved me.
And I’d always loved her.
We were best friends, after all.
I couldn’t help it.
I just wanted more.
And so here we are, years later.
Mia is about to graduate high school, and I still can’t find the courage to tell her how I feel.
To show her how much I love her.
I want to be with Mia.
I want to hold her hand and kiss her in public, but I can’t.
The thought of revealing my feelings petrifies me.
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I eventually have all my bravety. I decide to tell her my feeling.
I’ve been there for Mia through all of her relationships.
I’ve listened to her talk about the boys she’s crushing on and watched as they break her heart.
She’s dated a lot since we were kids, each one different from the last in every way but one: they were never me.
Mia has never looked at me the way she looks at them, with wide eyes and flushed cheeks that make my heart ache inside my chest.
She’s always been open and honest with me about everything—even when it hurts—but not this.
Not when it comes to my feelings for her.
We don’t talk about them anymore, not when it’s clear that Mia will never feel the same way about me.
Her taste in guys couldn’t be more different from mine; she likes them loud and confident, athletic and outgoing.
Guys who can make her laugh and sweep her off her feet.
Guys who aren’t afraid of taking what they want.
Guys who have more in common with each other than they do me.
Mia has always been strong and independent.
She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it.
But when it comes to boys, Mia lets them come to her.
She doesn’t try and chase them down or make the first move.
Instead, she makes herself known and waits for someone to notice.
And they always do.
It’s not hard when you’re as pretty as Mia is.
It’s not hard when you’re as special as she is.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I wish I could be the one to make her happy.
So I listen when Mia talks about her crushes and how much she likes this guy or that one.
I listen when they ask her out and when things start getting serious.
And I listen when they break her heart and leave her crying in her room.
Mia has never dated anyone for more than a few months.
She gets bored easily and hasn’t found anyone who captures her heart quite like I have mine.
But that doesn’t stop her from trying—or from breaking mine in the process.
Because every time a boy leaves her in tears, I’m there to help put her back together again.
Every time a boy breaks her heart, I’m there to offer my shoulder for her to cry on.
And every time a boy makes her feel like less than what she is, I’m there to remind her of how special she is to me.
Mia has been with her newest boyfriend for a few weeks now.
He’s a senior and a football player with an ego bigger than his muscles.
He’s cute enough, I guess, but he’s not right for her.
Not like I am.
He’s too loud and too aggressive and too focused on himself to notice what he has right in front of him.
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But Mia’s birthday is only a few months away, and she says she doesn’t want to be single when it finally arrives.
She says she wants someone to take her out on dates and buy her flowers and give her sweet kisses goodnight.
She says she wants someone to hold her hand in the hallway and leave her notes in her locker and plan elaborate prom-posals for the entire school to see.
But more than anything, Mia says she wants someone to see her.
Not just the blonde hair and blue eyes or the pretty face and perfect body, but the girl beneath the surface who has been my best friend for as long as I can remember.
The girl who is fun and funny and kind and sweet, with a heart as big as the sun and a soul as bright as a star.
The girl who is sensitive and shy and selfless and caring, with a smile that lights up a room and a laugh that fills it with joy.
The girl who is smart and strong and sassy and sexy, with a spirit that can’t be tamed and a spirit that can’t be broken.
Mia says she wants to be more than just another girl these boys date for a few months at a time.
She says she deserves more than just another boy who gets bored of her or thinks he’s better than her or only wants to use her for her popularity or her body or her family’s money.
She says she deserves more than just another boy who pretends to be something he’s not or leads her on or breaks her heart in the process.
But Mia’s newest boyfriend doesn’t seem interested in giving it to her.
He doesn’t seem interested in seeing her for who she truly is or treating her in the way that she deserves.
So Mia says she’s thinking of breaking up with him before school starts again in the fall.
And I say good riddance when she does because it’s not like he was right for her anyway.
“Maybe I’ll just become a nun,” Mia jokes as we walk to the cafeteria for lunch.
“Or an old maid,” I add, reaching around her to open the door.
“I bet you’re a great cook.”
She rolls her eyes at me when I follow her inside, then stops when she sees how long the line is.
“I should’ve brought my own lunch today,” she grumbles.
“You can have some of mine if you want,” I remind her, holding out my hand for her tray.
“Thanks, Ethan,” she says sweetly as I carry her tray for her.
“You’re always so good to me.”
I shrug as we grab a fruit cup and a bottle of water on our way through the line.
“Someone has to be,” I say softly.
And then I follow her to her usual table in the corner, where she sits with her friends Lily and Jasper, while I sit at the table behind them with my friends Wyatt, Easton, and Gabe, like we always do.
This way, Mia can talk to them and me at the same time, while I can still keep an eye on her from my usual spot.
It also means we’re close enough to share space if we need to, like when I hold Mia’s backpack for her or put my arm around her shoulders or kiss her goodnight like I do every night.
But it also means I have to listen to Mia talk about Jasper, one of my closest friends whom she has been dating for the past few months now, which can be hard for me at times.
Because even though Jasper loves her in his own special way, he doesn’t see her like I do.
And even though Jasper makes her happy for now, he won’t make her happy forever.
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