Does he know?

I ask myself this question every day, every time he looks at me, every time he talks to me, every time he smiles at me. Whenever I think I’m figuring out the answer, he distracts me and keeps me guessing. Sometimes I think he does it on purpose, just sitting there concentrating, brow furrowed, pencil between his teeth, like he knows he’s the cutest thing ever without even trying.

He must know.

Maybe he really is clueless. I never gave him a reason to suspect anything might be different. We’ve always been close. He talks to me so casually, like I’m just one of the guys. He seems innocently unaware of how my heart skips a beat every time he looks me in the eye or touches my shoulder or says my name. Somehow that makes him even cuter.

He couldn’t know.

Discreetly, he glances over his shoulder, then he pulls a bar of chocolate from his pocket and offers me a piece under the table. The librarian is strict about the no-food-or-drink policy, so it’s almost like he’s taking a huge risk for me. I take it with a smile and hope he doesn’t notice my face turning red.

Will he ever know?

Sometimes I wish he hadn’t been such a gentleman at the spring dance. I wish he hadn’t insisted we go together, or asked me to dance, or joked about how I’m the only girl who understands him. That’s how this all started: he made me see him in a whole new light. It was the first time I ever really thought of him as a boy. Now I have to tell myself over and over that we’re just friends. Just friends. The words sting like ice in my heart, this stupid fragile teenage heart.

He’ll never know.

I know I have to accept that he may never see me as anything more than his best friend. And yet I can’t stop asking myself that one question.

Does he know… that I love him?

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