She is lovely. I see a girl, timid and shy, standing amongst a group of incoming students like myself. She does not speak. She looks at the high school senior guiding the tour and stares with a glazy look. It isn’t a look that is lost or inattentive; it is a look I know. The look holds a sense of feeling trapped from a distance. She is lovely.
The first week of high school has started. She is in my first period. I sometimes look at her when I am bored. I pay little attention to anything else but her in class. She still does not talk to anyone. Eventually I reason with my attention span to listen to the roll call so I can hear her name.
It is lovely. Anna, with her blonde hair running down just past her shoulders. Anna, with her quiet tendency and mild behavior. I want to get to know her, but I am shy and timid. I recruit a friend to talk to her about me. I think this is the best idea because I am shy.
She is afraid of me. I scare her. She thinks I am weird. I do not understand what I did. I only wanted to speak to her. I should have talked to her in person, but I do not know how to do so. I give up trying to “pursue” her, but I still admire her beauty.
Six months pass. I have actually managed to speak to her. We have had a few brief conversations. Half the time I became so nervous I didn’t know what to say. We have a possible friendship developing. I want to ask her for her number, but I don’t want to come off as someone hitting on her. I stand next to her while we wait for our rides to pick us up from school. I occasionally glance over at her. I want to say something, but I do not know what to say. The friendship needs more work.
The next school year starts. I see Anna again. She is still just as lovely. We have more classes together now. We talk more often. I got her number when we were joking around one time. We text often now.
We are nearly the same. We have the same likes and interests. And we are both lonely. She thinks that no one likes her. I haven’t had any real success with a relationship. We console each other. We try to make each other feel better. I still have feelings for her. She is like the kind of girl that love songs are written about. I tell her.
She feels awkward. She doesn’t feel the same about me. She just wants to be friends. She feels like it doesn’t seem right.
There is a brief period where we don’t talk because of this. Eventually, I try to pursue someone else and we begin our friendship once more. She tells me of how she wishes she could find someone. My insides writhe this way and that, wondering why she didn’t give me a chance. She tells me all of the people she finds attractive. She isn’t friends with some of them. I introduce her to one of my friends in particular, John. He has a girlfriend, but he still thinks Anna is beautiful. That’s because she is.
Suddenly, I don’t text her as much. She doesn’t talk to me as much. Our friendship seems to be depleting. Every now and then she sends me a text or talks to me. It isn’t much but it leads into a brief entertaining conversation. I notice she talks to John a lot more. John and Anna are very good friends.
I question why this doesn’t happen to me. I ask myself why I cannot be as good of friends with this beautiful girl. I ask myself why she chooses John over me. I feel sad. I do not show it though. I maintain my friendships.
Anna and I are slightly closer again. John has broken up with his girlfriend. He is trying to stay away from girls for awhile. I tell Anna I like her again. She has an honest moment with me. She tells me that despite how many times I like her, she will never have feelings for me. We have a friendship, and only that. She tells me I am a great guy and I’ll find someone. I am crushed. I don’t want to find someone. I’ve found her.
A month passes. It is summer. We talk. She tells me that she thinks she likes John. I sulk internally, spiting myself and everything I see around me.
John and I talk. He tells me that he thinks he is in love with Anna. I am exploding on the inside. I want to die. I am losing a battle I never had a chance of winning.
John and Anna spend some time together. I hear rumors that they kissed. I hear rumors that they both love each other. School starts again. John’s girlfriend wants to get back together with him. He agrees. Anna understands and he dates his girlfriend again. But he tells me he still loves Anna. He tells me he’d rather be with her.
This is killing me. I cannot stand what I believe to be my constant failure. My friendship with Anna grows, but I still love her. John eventually stops talking to Anna. He does this for his girlfriend, who has become incredibly jealous. Anna is upset. I am there for her. She tells me I am her best friend. I love her. She is my best friend.
Then she says it, she loves me. But not in the way I love her. The way best friends love one another. I love her that way too. She cares about me and she is happy to have me as a part of her life. I feel like I’ve never connected to anyone on any other level before. She is still depressed about John. She says she feels suicidal. She tells me she feels like the world is attacking her constantly. I tell her everything will be okay. I tell her that she will find someone and that it is impossible for someone not to like her because she is beautiful.
That’s when I notice the scars. I am talking to her in class one day and I look at her wrists. One of them is scarred with a fresh cut on it. She looks at me and I look at her. We say nothing. We are told by our teacher to go back to our desks. The teacher is playing Pandora. “Something” by the Beatles starts to play. Suddenly, I am experiencing the saddest moment of my life. Anna, beautiful Anna, who is happy, who is wonderful, who is timid but full of energy and humor and joy, is cutting herself.
The scars are not recent. They seem to go back at least five months. I feel that everything in the world has come falling down on me. I feel like I have failed as a friend. I tried to be there for her and I wanted to help her when she was down. She seemed to be picking herself up whenever she talked to me. I thought I could make her happy. Despite all that I did, I couldn’t do enough. I feel this and I am torn apart inside.
I find out that John knew before I did. I find out that several of my friends knew before I did. They knew and no one told me. Anna didn’t tell me. I am heart broken. I tell Anna that I love her. I tell her that she means the world to me and I love being near her. I tell her that she is the best person to talk to and that she is my best friend. I tell her that I’m not mad. I’m upset and scared. I’m afraid of her not being near me. I’m afraid that she won’t be there to talk to. I’m afraid I won’t have a best friend because she will be gone. She understands what I am saying and tries to explain.
I hear her words and she tries to soothe me, but it still hurts. I’m not actually listening. I just want her to be fixed. I hate seeing her broken when she needs to be completely happy. It eventually fades over time. I still think about it once a week, but I rarely see a recent cut on her. I am sad.
Everyday, I feel like I am on the verge of collapse when I think about it. I want to destroy myself. I have failed her as a friend. I continue to talk to her and continue to be her friend, but I continue to destroy myself thinking that I’ve failed her.
Years pass and we drift apart. We still talk often, usually through phone calls and texts. She’s still her quirky, quiet self. I long for a parallel universe where we are together.
It has been over five years now and I am now married. I love my wife and I am happy with her. But I still think about Anna. I talk to her once a week now.
I talk to her every Friday. I go to the cemetery and speak to her grave. I tell her how my week went. I tell her about my life. I tell her how much I love her. I tell her how much I miss her. I tell her how I miss her smile that used to lighten my mood. I tell her how much I miss her randomness and friendship. I tell her how I wish that I could have been there for her more than I was. I tell her how she is beautiful.
She was lovely.
Written by The Hooded Werewolf