My Secret Crush: Told In 11 Stages


We had been in class together for nearly three years before we spoke for the first time. Your friends seemed like jerks so I had always avoided your group, but you had a kind smile and it didn’t bother me how spoilt and immature you were at first. It did seem kind of ridiculous that you never did your own laundry and instead paid an obscene dry-cleaning bill every month.


You shaved your head a week after I met you and looked like what my mum would call a “football hooligan,” but you were 6’4” with piercing blue eyes and could probably have gotten away with anything. Including not mentioning you had a girlfriend back home. I don’t know if it makes me a horrible person that this didn’t bother me (At least not until I saw photos of her and decided I did not want to compete with a blonde gazelle).

You acted like you didn’t care about anything and would get drunk on weeknights and come into my room at three in the morning under the premise of looking for a pen. But you also managed to get near perfect grades. That annoyed and impressed me equally.


This whole year could have really been about you, but you were not interested in the slightest and I needed distractions instead of adding mental lemon juice to my wounds. (They haven’t worked in case you’re wondering. Nearly two years later it’s still all about you. I really need to delete you from facebook). I was so tempted to pick the same grad school as you, just so I’d have an excuse to spend time with you. I never thought I would be someone who would drop everything for a guy she barely knew and I probably never will, but, if you asked me to, I can’t imagine a time I wouldn’t do exactly what you wanted.


You called me even when you had nothing to say. That was new and nice, I’ve added it to my “musts” for future relationships. You seemed determined to one-up me with your brains and life stories. I don’t know if you ever managed.


I didn’t trust you at first, you were far too nice. You offered to help me with an area of research I was struggling with and it seemed like you really did want to help for nothing in return. That’s why I never took you up on it, I couldn’t have that open-ended feeling of owing you something. You walked past me the other day holding hands with a new girl and we smiled at each other, but didn’t say anything. That smile was genuine. She looked sweet and you deserve someone like that.


You were my senior thesis and I was smart enough to make you the focus on this month. In fact, I’m not even sure I spoke to another human being all month.


I saw your back disappearing into the boy’s locker room at the gym one day and spent the rest of the year avoiding the gym during the times I knew you went.


And we’re back to you. You spent the spring semester interning in D.C. I spent my spring semester going through your photos on Facebook and looking up every person you were with on LinkedIn, wondering if the reason you’re not with me is because I’m not intelligent enough. Maybe if I had known more about public policy and current events you would have been interested.


You grew up on a farm and talked about wanting to go back to it once you had “finished” with banking. There was something incredibly endearing about the combination of your sweet, gentlemanly charm and city-boy edge, even though you were probably full of shit.


You had just got back from a graphic design internship in Hong Kong and I talked to you for six hours straight the night we met, pretty much oblivious to everyone else attending that party. I didn’t realise the host was in love with you. Sorry about that. She never invited me to another party so don’t feel awkward that you might run into me when you’re hanging out with them.


The day we met you told me my dress looked like something your little sister would wear. Your hair was uncontrollably curly, like mine. You were so outgoing and friendly and kept taking pictures of everyone. Your chirpiness kind of made me want to lie down in a dark room with a damp cloth on my forehead.


You had a beautiful smile, but were so shy you didn’t introduce yourself to me first or look me in the eyes for days. You got terrible stage fright when we had to give that presentation. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to give someone a hug so much in my life, but I’m not an affectionate person and so I refrained. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Valentin.Ottone

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