It is exactly 5:43 by my computer's clock, I'm very tired, and yet an unforeseen force is keeping me awake. I call this the ballad of unrequited love, but I'm not much of a poet. Ballad just sounds nice and musical. Ballads also tend to be mournful and melancholy, which is exactly how I'm feeling.

I never told him I loved him. I never told him I even liked him. Our relationship was one of strange coincidences mixed with rum and coke and a dash of irony. If we were friends or acquaintances, I'll never know. I'm too cowardly a soul to ever tell him how much he holds a place in my heart and how I yearn to hold a place in his. Why? I'm proud and stubborn and humbling myself to admit that to him would kill me.

So I will say it here, where I'm sure he'll never read it. He doesn't strike me as the type to look at fanfictions or published works, so I'm safe. I love you, Zack Johnson.

Seeing his name in print gives me more trepidation, but I am fully determined to post this. He will never know. No one will ever know but me. I could just delete this entire mess of prose and go to bed already. But my head is aching, it's early in the morning, and I'm thinking about him. It was about this time of the summer three years ago when someone close to him died, and I grieved for the pain it must've brought upon him. I sent him a cheesy condolences card—and then regretted it. But then so many years later he told me that I was the only one who had, and he had treasured that tacky Hallmark card. I couldn't believe it.

I don't know why I fell in love with you. By all accounts, it doesn't make sense. We're certainly not close friends—we never were in the same group in high school or in college. Our music tastes are only mildly similar—I prefer Kate Voegele, he'd rather listen to the Beastie Boys. He's athletic, outgoing, a veritable partier. I'm friendly, I don't touch sports with a ten foot pole (unless it's horses of course) and I prefer curling up with a book at a coffee shop rather than going to a party. He makes me laugh in ways I never knew I could, though. His smile makes my day, our conversations bring me to giddiness. I long for his happiness, be it with me or someone else. Every time I'm apart from him, I tell myself, I'm going to get over him this time—and then I run into him and the feelings just get ever more worse.

The only reasons I did go partying with my friends that year was in hopes of running into him. Which I did. It was also the only reason I drank. Another excuse to try and get close to him. He probably doesn't remember, but there is a certain porch swing where we sat together. His arm was around me, my head lay on his shoulder. I remember staring directly into his eyes thinking, 'I should kiss him, I really should. I'm quite drunk right now and neither of us will remember it, so I should just go for it.' I cannot recall if I followed through. But I clearly remember his warmth and how wonderful it was to be near him.

So there you have it. I am in love with Zack. I'd do anything for him. I will probably never see him again as I am going in a new direction in my life. I wish I had the courage to tell him. There's still time. The summer's not over yet. Perhaps in my own way, I'll be able to get over him by posting another chapter of this prose, maybe telling the world of how we met. Perhaps I'll reminisce about our conversations, the moments we shared that only I will remember.

But no one knows the future.