Where to start? I suppose the beginning is as good a place as any...
To the one who was my best friend for the first few years of elementary school, my first crush:
I met you in first grade. So young, so innocent. You were the first boy that showed interest in me as more than a friend. We were best friends! I was close to all of the guys during those times (the girls just weren't interested in the same things I was). We'd play football, tag, you name it. Just the boys and I. Those were the golden days.
If I had to name one point where my crush on you began, I would not be able to recall; thinking back to first through sixth grade, I can only recall multiple moments where my feelings for you would intensify. Of course, during those times the girls all had crushes on all the same boys and would like more than one boy at one time. That's just how things were back then. If you didn't have a crush on the same boys that the other girls were swooning after, you were weird.
That's how I was able to become friends with all of them. Every single boy the girls chose to swoon after, I was already best buds with him. How? I kept my feelings to myself. I was their friend first and foremost. Besides, I never thought I would ever have a chance with any of them (yes, I thought about these things at that young age).
To me, you were the most handsome and funny guy in my class. We always had our classes together and we always got to sit near each other since our last names were close to each other alphabetically. It went beyond that. We hung out at recess, we wrote notes to each other, we sat across from each other at lunch, and we would trade our food with each other. Even with crushes on other boys in our class, you were always the one I would run to when I needed help. I would always make sure you were okay if you were in trouble.
I remember one time in first grade, we both got sent to the classroom to work on our computer exercises while everyone else was in the computer lab (back then, the computers were really slow and we didn't have a lot of them—around 2001). We were alone and horsing around in the classroom instead of doing what we were supposed to be doing and you got this serious look on your face. You told me you wanted to kiss me! I remember feeling my face heat up and I panicked. I said we couldn't do that and you didn't push it. I immediately regretted not letting you kiss me. I would've loved for you to be my first kiss, even if it was in first grade. My first mistake in this series.
This one time in the winter at recess, I got hurt pretty badly. The school rule was, if you had a snowsuit, you could play in the snow. If you only had a coat, hat, and gloves, you could play on the pavement. If you didn't have a coat, your parents got a call and you had to stay inside for recess. This particular day, I did not have a snow suit. I don't know if you know this, but pavement gets really slippery in the winter. Shocker I know... so what better game to play than tag? We were playing tag with our usual crew and one of our friends was "it." I ran behind this big metal thing that was near the side of the school and you were hiding in the little nook of the door. I saw our friend coming for you, but he didn't see me. I still ran... well, tried to... adrenaline pumping hard, and I slipped on the ice, smashing my leg against this metal box. Tears stung my eyes, but I didn't cry. I just looked at you. Immediately you called timeout and came over to see if I was okay. Seeing I wasn't, you put my arm around you and you put your arm around me, helping me hobble first to the teacher, then inside the school to the nurse. You didn't leave my side the entire time, constantly asking if I was okay. I appreciated you so much. I felt like a lucky girl to have a friend like you.
A few years later—I want to say fourth grade—we went on a field trip to the Tom Ridge Center in Erie, PA. Of course our crew hung out together the entire time. Throwing water bottles to/at each other, making each other laugh, taking pictures together... I think that was the last full school year we were close. On the bus, I sat in the seat behind yours so I could still talk to you on the drive (we weren't allowed to sit boy-girl). You had bought this weird wooden flute at the Center and I bought a wooden snake and rock candy. We shared the candy and you would play your flute for me, driving our friends nuts with your inability to actually play the instrument, which of course made me laugh. We had such good times together, but it never progressed to anything else. The end of fourth grade is also when I got in my first "relationship" (which you all can read in the next segment).
Fifth grade came. Halfway through the year, we had to start learning about puberty. You never looked or treated me the same since then. All of my guy friends decided it was gross to be friends with a girl, and since I was the only girl that was part of their group, that meant I was out.
Sixth grade: We would occasionally exchange words, but I had lost you. I also got dumped.
Seventh grade: We moved up to the high school. By this point, I still had a crush on you, but things had long been different for us. This is the year, you became one of my tormentors. It wasn't until this year, when all of the boys I had been so close to for so many years started outright bullying me, that I realized my feelings for you were a habit and no longer real. My first crush had died to me.
The rest of high school: I never spoke to you unless you spoke to me first—and only if those words were class-related. You also got into a serious relationship sometime in high school. You're still with her today, ~8 years later. I'm happy for you. I really am.