There’s a smile on her face that she couldn’t shrug off. She couldn't explain the contradiction of the lightness she was feeling and the weight in her heart. Her thoughts went back to that cute senior and his charming smile. Brie told him to forget it, to forget him. He's already got a girlfriend from another school or another city, she couldn't really remember. A girl can dream, that's the code that she lives by.
Besides, he held the door open for her yesterday. With that dangerous smile, he called her by her first name and bid her goodbye. She was beyond surprised that he was even aware of her existence.
“Belle,” and her name had never resonated with her until it came out from his lips. It’s safe to say that on that night, she had a hard time to fall asleep.
For months, he was taking up more and more of her mind space. He would pass by in glimpses – as if only to remind her of him. It was in her dreams that he would truly reign in his full glory. He never smiled at her again, unless it was in her dreams.
It's not that she really hoped to be his girlfriend. Sometimes, she's not even sure what she wanted. Always the indecisive one, she could spend hours just deciding on what to wear for that day. Ever since Tommy from seventh grade, she always had to think a hundred times when it comes to boys. Her heart stayed a romantic, but her head had been converted into a skeptic.
Luke would joke about the complexity of girls, in which Brie would hit him and rebutted that boys are just as perplexing. She would dodge and support Brie, but sometimes she couldn't help but agree inwardly. All the while questioning her heart and why it beats faster for all the wrong reasons.
Five months later, she realized that he was not cool, but cold. He gave her chills, but not in a thrilling way. It may be a harsh truth of a realization. It may have taken a little too much time to sink into her flighty mind. But it may be true, that her feelings are nearly impossible to quench.
In front of Brie, she swatted away every topic that brought him up. Brie just wouldn't understand. Luke would only tease her if he knew of her silly feelings. Her sister already had a bigger fish to fry with her own romantic life. So she kept to herself, counting every encounter and recounting every scenic dream. Is it the assurance that it would never be a reality that keeps her heart longing for him? Or is it purely wistful hope that she could someday be with someone her heart desires?
That night, she sent out a little prayer that she could get a little clarity on her birthday.
She couldn't believe it at first. But there it was, a present sat awaiting on her birthday. Her smile was finally as wide as it had been six months ago. A package was sent to her, addressed to my belle. Her mind flew back to the time he called her name. That was enough to convince her that it had to be him.
Biting down a squeal, she plopped into her couch and started unwrapping the box. Her brows furrowed as she unwrapped the present. Reaching for the card, she wrenched it open and read its contents.
My dear, my treasure
I love you beyond measure
To gaze into our future with endearment
Herewith I present you an investment
Her heart sank. Investment? Was that all she ever was? All she ever will be? Was that the kind of guy he was – someone who only gathered investments? Was she not attractive to him? How could she be his belle, and yet he gifted her with makeup?
It was beyond her recollection that she told her best friends about her situation. She forgot that just a week ago she was complaining about her running out of foundation. She paid no heed that there was someone who had been there with her for five years. She never noticed his sideways glances, for her eyes were scanning the crowd for another.
She never bothered to find out who actually sent her the gift. In her mind, she was doing all that she could to bury him away – this time for good. She wondered why it had to be negative emotions that do the bidding and end something sweet. Disappointment, resentment, anger, those felt like the easy way out of a connection. Goodbyes were never good, unless it's to shut the door for someone you don't feel good around.
She didn't throw each and every remnant, some things felt too heavy to throw out. She wondered if that would be the reason that she could never be truly free. Brie noticed her sunken mood, but couldn't lift it up. Luke only stared and wished to see her smile. After all, every little thing he did for her was so that he could see her eyes light up.
In the deepest depths of her heart, she longed for a clichéd romance. She wanted to be the clueless girl who would fall head over heels with the cool guy. Yet she knew that it would never happen. She let it be her destiny to hope from afar, drowning in her own wistful wishes. She'd let fate bear the blame, that it was her destiny to be the secret admirer for the rest of her life. She did not accept and succumb, but she would not step out from her bubble. She would wander and wonder, but she would be reluctant to settle. She would be waiting, she would be on the lookout, but she would not act. She would be there, a romantic at heart and a skeptic in the head.
She would be there, untouched and unaware of the wistful wishes she herself had buried.