You consume my thoughts a lot; something I don't know if I'm proud to admit. I won't be foolish and think that I know you better than I do. I won't be foolish and say that you could like me back. I won't be foolish and pretend we are more than we are. Sometimes, I wonder if we could even count as friends. Friends seems to indicate that we are something.

I know we're not.

How could we be something when I can't even speak in front of you?

I find words hard to come by when I'm in your presence. And even when I find those words, they always seem to be the wrong ones. I always feel stupid, young, incredibly inexperienced. I feel as though I can't ever speak in front of you because I will only embarrass myself in the end. And, well, you take my breath away to the point where I couldn't speak even if my life depended on it.

If we're being perfectly honest, I think you're beautiful. I know that word isn't something that's usually said about a boy – and I keep it perfectly hidden in my thoughts because I can't imagine what you would say if you found out I had called you beautiful – but it's a word that fits you. Most people probably wouldn't think so; might even say you're average at best. I disagree completely.

I think your freckles are beautiful. I think your hair looks best right now not too long and not too short but in a way that just fits you (and, while we're at it, while it's not the looks that matter, please don't ever shave your head again? I've seen your driver's lisence and it's really not you). I find the way your jaw opens while you think adorable. And I think your hands are captivating. I think your eyes have depth and I think the colour is inexplicable.

But it's not just how you look. It's how you laugh – loud and true – every single time and that's how I know you think something is really funny. It's the way you snicker and give yourself away when you try to be sneaky. It's the way you make me feel so small next to you. It's the way you hold hands strangely – something I'm still thrilled to know, just imagine I know how you like to hold hands! It's how I think that, if you gave me a chance, you'd understand me completely.

I already know that neither are what we seemed to be.

I think you'd tell me crazy stories and kiss my scars while I laughed at your jokes and confessed all my sins.

And even if we don't work that way, I still think I want to find out. Even if I was destined for heartbreak, it would be an honor to have my heart broken by you (said before but no less true for me). You are someone I want to discover. I want to see how your mind works. I want to hold your heart. I want to breathe in your scent. I want to see how you love and how you hate; I want to catch your tears and make you smile. I want you to hold me because I know it would be magical – you're oh so warm and warm just happens to be one of my favourite things.

I think about being in love a lot. Not with you, per se. I just like to think about love: the idea of love always does make one happy (except for when it has been stolen away but this is neither here nor there). But I do think about love because it's such a powerful world that has somehow evolved to mean nothing. I think about it when I look at you but like I said, I'm nowhere near in love with you; love doesn't happen the moment you look at someone and I know that.

(In actuality, I didn't know your name or, really, paid any attention to you, until September when you had been exposed to me since there was snow on the ground.)

I look at you and I think love because there are things that I love about you without being in love with you (it's a tricky business, I'll admit). For example, I love your sense of humor. I love your taste in music. I love how loyal you are to your friends. I love when I glance over at you and you are looking back at me and then we both look away so quickly. I love how sometimes, when you do something completely ordinary, I get butterflies.

On the flip side of this, I hate you sometimes too. Perhaps hate is a strong word but I can't really think of another one right now and that's okay. Why do I hate you, you may ask, if I've already confessed to loving the way you smile and how you make me feel without knowing you make me feel like that? Keep in mind that my hatred of you has a lot to do with how I act, not just how you do.

The matter is simple really.

I hate you because you're such a teenage boy and I'm such a teenage girl. Neither of us knows how to talk to one another (if you even want to talk to me at all). I hate you because you're so oblivious even though you know how I feel about you (did you know that I know? Because I know; I do). I hate you because I can't remember the last time I really felt anything for a boy that was beyond physical attraction (though there's loads of that with you). I hate you because I know that nothing will ever come of us and it gets me to the core sometimes.

I fantasize of kissing you. It's not a straight-out-of-a-romance-book-happily-ever-after moment. It's more of a grab-his-face-and-kiss-him-before-running-away-like-you're-on-fire. Both scenarios are preposterous. The latter becomes more and more tempting. If there were less people, I think. If I had a clean escape route. I think I might do it when we go to London. It may be the last time we spend any real time together and, if it tanks, then I would never have to look at you with longing in my eyes in law class or something (though your best friend is in my law class and I fantasize of demanding the truth from him – surely he knows if you feel for me or not).

I get this overwhelming feeling, sometimes, that if I don't kiss you, if I don't find out what we could be, I'll always regret it. Most likely this is a result of my overreacting imagination: in twenty years I probably won't remember your name and that makes me sad. Still, imagine what a story I'd cause: kissing you in the hallway and running away and then avoiding you for the rest of eternity. Of course, if we were in London it wouldn't be in the school hallway. And the closest I came to kissing you is when we were tucked onstage against the alter of a church when all I was doing was staring at your best friend's bare feet (is it odd that I find myself wondering what your feet look like? It must be but, then again, I also want to know every little detail about you).

Because, you see, I think I have the potential to love you.

Realistically, I think everyone has the potential to love anyone.

I think I could love you a lot.

And I hope, all the time, that you could love me a lot.

No, would be your answer, if I ever asked.

So I won't ask and I'll pretend I'm brave enough to kiss you (I wonder, dear, how many girls you've kissed and if you've ever been in love but I really don't think so; there's something pure about you that makes me think that love has never broken your heart) even though I'm really not brave at all. I'll think about you in my dreams even though I try not to do that because it always makes me sad when you're not there when I wake up.

I'll look at you out of the corner of my eye and you'll make me smile without realizing you're the reason. I'll wonder if other people feel like this – if you ever feel like this . . . toward me. I know I'm crazy and I know I'm odd and that nothing will ever come of us – a bitter truth as you make my heart skip a beat and even though I've been broken before I've never gotten that skipping heartbeat before – but it doesn't keep me from dreaming my insane dreams (even though I do try to keep a leash on them, it only hurts me in the end).

I'll think of what I love about you: how big your palms are next to mine; how you look like a cartoon character; how you laugh; how your hair feels so coarse; how you hold hands. And mum's the word because I'll never be brave enough to say anything and, as heartbreaking as it is, you aren't either.

Somehow, I hope you realize that I have the potential to love you a lot.

Somehow, I hope you realize that you have the potential to love me a lot.

It could happen if only I could tell you all of the things I keep locked in my desperate head.

© The Last Letter

Thanks to my beta: noble6 over on