The clicking of nails against smooth glass echoed in my brain. It was an endless loop of the same tap tap tap as boys and girls and everyone in between became consumed by the fantasy world. For, certainly, it was fantasy, wasn’t it? To be able to see anything you wanted, and talk to anyone you wanted, all with just the simple tap of a key. If such a thing wasn’t a fantasy, then what was?
I sighed as I took out my phone, my finger hovering over the enter key, hesitating a few seconds before putting it away. It had been days, weeks, months, since I started thinking about actually going through with it. Every time I decided to do it, however, a voice inside my head always ended up talking me out of it before I could press enter.
Maybe it was because I knew that he was out of my league. He barely knew my name as it was. But there was this nagging feeling inside of me going, “If not now, then when?”
He’s just another human being, my friends would say, rolling their eyes. He’s not a celebrity.
But in our school, he might as well be. Everyone knew him. Or of him, anyway.
So a few months ago, I got a friend to steal my phone and follow him on every app I could think of. Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. Twitter. It was the mode of communication nowadays. Everyone knew that that was how you got to know someone you didn’t really talk to in the real world, in the world of shyness and rejections.
The thing was, he followed back.
I did not grin like an idiot and blush for five minutes when this happened. And I definitely did not do a happy dance on the inside. No, of course not, that would be ridiculous. But I suppose I was ridiculous for letting him make me feel the way I did to begin with.
I loathed the effect he had on me. The effect he had no right to have. He was nobody to me, yet I always noticed him. I’d spoken less than a hundred words to him, and yet my attention was always on him and him only. I thought of him when I was awake; I dreamed of him when I slept.
I hated that. I really did. There were a million other things I could be doing, things that could actually potentially benefit my future. Yet here I was, sitting around in my house, doodling in my notebook like the lovesick child that I was, thinking about what it would be like if I pressed that blasted enter button. I really didn’t have anything to lose, anyway. I mean, it wasn’t like I had much pride, dignity or a reputation to begin with. No, for if I did have a reputation, things would probably be a lot easier.
We ran in different circles, had different friends, connected with different people. He was at the top of the food chain, while I was stuck somewhere in the middle. If anything, I supposed I was the type of person he would notice the least – someone that wasn’t bad enough to know to avoid, or good enough to pay any attention to – and that probably should’ve been reason enough for me to give up.
But the thing was, I couldn’t. I didn’t want to give up. Because that was the weird thing about feelings: it was that they had feelings too, and sometimes those feelings had a mind of their own. And I supposed that that was one of the reasons as to why I was still sitting here, contemplating whether or not I should really hit the enter key. There was a pile of homework sitting at my desk, taunting me, but those unwritten essays and unanswered review packets seemed inconsequential at the moment. Running a hand tiredly across my face, I picked up my phone again, staring blankly at the message I had long since typed in.
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately. I know you don’t know me at all, and I don’t blame you, but I wanted to get it off my chest-
Delete. Delete. Delete.
I furiously clicked the button until my message was nothing but a blank chat box staring up at me again.
It was a message from the subject of my recent thoughts. The words were harmless enough, but the small smile that lit up my face was evidence of how I really felt in that moment. I was about to click enter – for real this time – but a notification popped up before I could do so; I just received a text. When my brain registered just who exactly it was from, I felt my heart skip a beat and my feet turned into overcooked pasta beneath me.
It was from him.
And, as I read the message sitting patiently in my inbox, I couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled out of me when I replied.