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I’m worried about you.

All of us are, some of us have even tried to tell you, maybe the wrong way, maybe not in the best of atmospheres, and you keep retracting, you keep neglecting, you keep all of us out. I can’t believe I could be any different. I can’t believe you would let me in, just because you forced your way into me.

But I keep thinking I have to do something about this. We all see the problem, but none of us know how to convince you to look it in the eyes, once and for all, before it eats you away.

You are too much to waste away like this, there is a universe inside you that can’t go to waste, you can’t annihilate everything you could be like this. You are playing with fire and you will end up imploding or exploding one day and then it will inevitably be too late. You have no idea how hard you could fall, your life is at stake in this and you just won’t contemplate that option.

You are so preoccupied with controlling everything, you can’t see how it is all slipping away. You keep imposing your rules, you keep boxing up everything you see and ignoring everything that doesn’t fit your schemes, when all you should do is giving it a chance.

You have no idea how much you mean to me and how much I selflessly love you and I wish I could do just half of what I wish to make your life a little better. I hate seeing you no longer smiling as you used to but avoiding any contact with the reality of facts won’t help you in the least.

I am no one here, I don’t belong in your life, I don’t know anything about your past, but I know who you are now, whether you like it or not, and it kills  me to see you so negligent.

I don’t know how to close this gap between us, you may very well never allow it no matter how hard I try, you will probably push me away as soon as I take a step towards you and I understand how it’s easier to look away, but I can’t let you do that. Because I know what it feels like and I know how you’ll end up and I can’t let that happen.

There is no way I can do this without it becoming excessively weird, but I’m thinking maybe I should do it anyway. There is too much at stake, maybe I should just muster up the courage and write you an email. A letter, just like I used to when I was 12.

You would never look me in the eye again, I would never have the guts to approach the subject and we’ll both pretend it never happened, but at least you would know. At least I could convey to you everything I need to tell you, everything you need to know. And maybe nothing would change, maybe you’ll discard it as a mad woman’s rambling but if there was a remote chance that it could hit the right nerve, it would be worth it.

I will never have you and that’s ok, but please have yourself, live the life you want, not the one that others imposed on you, please break your schemes and decide what’s best for you, for your heart, for your soul and your peace of mind.

Please start taking what the whole world is ready to give you, please open up just a little and start trusting, start feeling alive, start interacting and being influenced. Reject the perfect cover you want to wear at all costs, it won’t do you any good, you are hiding behind it for fear of finding your own way, but it will suffocate you, it will drive away all the passion, all the love and the sensitivity you have.

Please don’t let it, please step out of this, please break your shell, please break free.

I’d like to apologise. I didn’t mean to be harsh to you, I didn’t do it on purpose, I actually don’t even realise it when I do it. I still don’t know exactly what it is I told you that you didn’t care for, but it doesn’t matter. You know I didn’t mean it, you said so yourself. I don’t mean to be harsh to anybody, but apparently I do and I guess I can’t really help it.

What you told me the other night was a little awkward though. It’s true I’m going through quite a rough patch, you have no idea how much so. Except, it turns out you do have an idea. What sounds a little weird to me is that you have an idea, you noticed, you know and still you did absolutely nothing about it. Truth be told, it’s not weird: it hurts. All of it hurts, so much I wanted to cry. Maybe you read that too, maybe not.

If you cared enough to look so closely to discover this, you know more about me than you should, more than other people know. I guess I was right after all, I can see through you because in some way we are so similar, apparently you can do the same. But if you have looked this closely, whatever your motives, you must know I am not the person to lay out all of myself in plain sight for anybody to see. You know how much I like to keep things private, you know how I keep my guard up, how I don’t let people in, how I still keep a wall around me, when I want to. You know, because you do too. So did you really not think you were violating me and my secrets by spitting it all out in front of everybody else? I don’t care if they heard, I don’t care if they know, I don’t care about them. I care about you, but you don’t know that. I care about how little you seemed to care about me being happy or unhappy about what you were telling me. You deliberately took a pick and destroyed my wall. You shouldn’t have dared do that, not that way, not to me, not without my consent.

So you claimed the right to expose me, but I don’t see the point in that. Is that the way you talk to a friend? I would have done that in private. Were you drunk? I don’t think so. Were you trying to impress someone else? God I hope not or I swear I’ll kick you so hard you are going to forget your own name. What were you really trying to tell me? That you have been looking out for me? Because really you haven’t. I was so astounded while I was listening to you, I didn’t really put together the pieces. I still haven’t by the way. I picked up single words here and there and tried to organise the kaleidoscope shapes of feelings they caused in me. I guess I should feel happy knowing that you cared enough to see I was in pain, to notice the change in me, even through the ever so little time we normally share. Truth is, it hurts even more. Because through all of my sadness and anger I wanted nothing more than sitting down and talking to you about it. If you knew, if you always saw, why the hell have you never laid out a hand for me? Never once have you asked if something was wrong, if you could do something for me, even just talk about it. Never. So why do you want me to know that you are aware? Please just don’t tell me you wanted to respect my privacy or you would have respected it the other night too and you would have kept your mouth shut.

And then you go and point out that you’re nobody in my life, that you occupy the most marginal of positions. And there I was agape gazing at you with incredulous wide eyes. You know nothing, John Snow, and you will never learn. Because I can’t tell you, I can’t say any of this, I am not even sure I can address any aspect of this matter without revealing clearly to your face everything you mean to me. There is no way I can tell you how, especially when you saw me so sad and desperate, you were the very centre of my world, how you have been the catalyst to the greatest and deepest change in my life I have ever experienced, no way I can let you know what a surprise it was to me to see you cared enough to notice, no way I can show you what a huge impact this simple conversation had on me.

So what, are you trying to tell me you are sorry I am in this situation? Thank you, but that’s not the way. Why did you have to bring it up at any cost? I wasn’t talking about this, you twisted what I was saying into what you wanted to hear. Does it upset you? Sure as hell it upset me listening to it, so out of the blue. Would you prefer to be rid of it so I can do even better, are you making this a professional thing? Don’t you dare… I can’t separate the two, private and professional, because there is no private between us. I am forced to keep it that way and I thought you wanted to keep it that way. Then you go shooting your stray arrows and I just can’t seem to begin to understand the long and the short of it. It’s just like when you complimented me about my eyes. You speak out of turn for mysterious and out-of-nowhere motives. See, I don’t care how many bitches buzz around you, I am not jealous, you can do whatever the fuck you want with them, but you have to learn to navigate around me or we are going to have a problem. “It’s you and me and it’s here and now”.  If this professional thing has to keep working and you bet it does, because I am your best pupil and you know it too, I need to be able to trust you. You pull one of your incomprehensible stunts again, I’m not sure I can keep this up. I don’t even know if I can keep it up now, after this, if I don’t at least try to talk to you about it. And sure it would look like a blacked out FBI file, missing all the sensitive need-to-know details. Did you just want to prove that you are so good with people and even though I keep to myself you win by seeing through the armour? Kudos, you were supposed to enjoy peeping through the hole instead you managed to rip the whole thing apart.

Do you want to let me know you care? Be there for me, for real.

Otherwise, just stay away. Please.

I am seriously considering the possibility to change his pseudonym to Sniper.

“If you could spare some 15 minutes of your time, I’d like to talk to you about something. Given it’s nothing simple for me to discuss, I’d very much appreciate if you could let me get over with it with as few interruptions as possible, or I’m never going to get to the point. The points, rather. The last time I tried to have this conversation with someone, it didn’t end well; but it was a lifetime ago, where everyone was young and stupid and I hope this time it’s not going to be just as useless.

As you have come to know under awkward circumstances, I am too amongst the pool of desperate girls drooling on the ice during every lesson; what I probably haven’t been that clear on, is that the whole thing goes a tad beyond pure physical attraction for me, as of now. Because of this, I haven’t been just staring during the past few months, I have also studied and analysed him pretty deeply, gathering information from every possible source, from his interactions with me and with others as well as from everything you, Amber and everyone else have ever said about him.

Still, I am sorry to say, I haven’t been able to understand him fully, especially his angle. On the one hand, I have this very strong feeling, which is substantial and not just a hunch, that in many ways his brain works very much like mine. I am not saying this because the idea that your loved one is like you is fancy, I am as puzzled and frightened by it as I could ever be. But this gives me an insight you, Amber, Dave or Mark might never have, because I am that kind of person and I know how we think. Therefore, many of the things I see on him I can categorise as logical, they make sense and fit well together for a mind like mine. Some others of course don’t, as we are two separate individuals, not least of opposite sex. There is though always a little room for deception. Anything he says or does can be ascribed either as the truth, considering my type of reasoning, or as a bold-faced lie aimed just at one thing: fooling the girl.

I have given much thought to what Amber said when we were at camp. At first I had no doubt it could be true, I believed it at once. I wanted to, because it would have been a perfect excuse for me to let go, and somehow I had evidence that it could be true. You know him, better than I do, you know how cold he can be outside of his comfort zone of teacher, how he very rarely stretches outside the role of the professional, towards a more intimate and friendly behaviour. I am still very much astonished thinking of this once instance, where he made a very direct and explicit compliment to me that had absolutely no connection to teaching or skating whatsoever. And yet, he could just as swiftly start talking to some other girl at the end of the lesson and not even turn to me to say goodbye.

I’m not saying this because I want to brag about it. All I am trying to say is: be careful. I guess, this is one of the many reasons why I haven’t thrown myself at him and all the more because you still say you are not interested, you should filter every single word he utters to understand what he is after. It’s close to impossible, I realise that, because if it’s all a game, he is damn good at it. I know you weren’t born yesterday, but, and this is another point I would like to make, I don’t think your situation with him as stable and defined as you make it. You say you are not interested, yet you spent an entire hour the other day talking about him. You say you don’t like him, but you do wonder what you should wear in bed. You say he is just a friend, but he makes you nervous, you fight a lot and you’re sorry when you do.

I assume and hope you are not lying to me and I am really not asking you to assure me that you are indeed not interested, I am asking you to think about it and ask yourself if you are lying to yourself. I understand how it can be difficult to admit there is more than friendship for an infinite list of reasons: age difference, love life situations, implications on training, implications with the social life at the arena… I know, I’ve been there myself. I just want you to think about it very seriously. I am far from pushing you into his arms, if nothing else because there is no definitive certainty that he wants it too, but if you don’t promise me you will consider this very seriously, I’m afraid the two of us might have problems in the future. 

One thing I need to point out: I am ok with you liking him. Please, do not lie to me about it because you are scared to tell me. For one fundamental reason: if he likes you, there is nothing I can or would do about it. You could, and you should be free to do it. But if you keep telling me that you don’t care about him and that he is only a past-time activity, I am going to do something about it. I am going to keep pursuing this, regardless of the result. And if for some unexplainable reason it should start working, I wouldn’t want you turning on me for it. Right now, as hard and unpleasant it might be to admit it, I need a new friend much more than I need a guy I don’t even know that well.

And this is the core point of it all: this situation is a mess. It’s been hard for me to find a balance at training because I like him and this turn of events did not make it any easier. The one and only way to get out of this alive still being friends is being crystal clear and honest about every single detail. I don’t care much who and if he is going to be with, I am not and wouldn’t dare asking you to let go, all I care about is not being lied to. I prefer punches to backstabbing. I also expect you to demand the same from me, so as embarrassing as it could ever be, I am ready to answer any question and address any issue you may see fit to discuss.

I have lost a friend in the past for the same reason. We both liked the same guy, he liked her – that seems to be the constant –  and I was ok with it, it’s not like you can fight fate anyway. All I asked of her was to be honest with me, tell me if she liked him and if something would happen with him. She did none of that, but she sure as hell did him. She may not have been a great friend to begin with, still, if it can be avoided, I’d just like to point out I’m up for it.”

This is practice, I just pray I am going to have the guts to say all this to her face.

Looking in from the present, it was easier when I was 16. It hurt all the same, but I didn’t know any better and I just accepted it as it came, without fighting.

Now it’s a battle. It goes against everything I have known for the past 6 years and it’s a challenge because now, of all times, I understand how it’s about doing something about it, something I have never learnt to do.

It used to be about divine intervention. Andrew didn’t like me, I thought it was all bad luck, about a sort of Eros-ex-machina who would decide how to make people feel about others: I was cursed to love him, he wasn’t. If it had any chance to change, it would take a casual miracle.

I see the logic in that: first off, the reason why I fell in love with those guys was very obscure to me. It felt like it was just a stray arrow from Cupid’s bow, based on nothing and in fact I do believe it was. They were there, they were the cutest thing available so they were viable material for daydreams. Second, I would have never guessed that my persona could make someone interested in me. That came much later, at that time I thought looks was all there was. Third, well it’s not like I had the courage to go up to them and chat them up. So all I did, when I could, was finding someone else who was good enough and hope a twin arrow would skewer them too. I had a point in saying I had no luck in love: I bet no one does, they just know how to work for it.

Well, ain’t it all different now. There’s absolutely nothing I can do if the guy doesn’t like the way I look, but I know I can work the rest. I know, for instance that getting to know me better may make them interested in me. It worked in the past, even if it was spontaneous and not a strategy, so all the more reason it could work as a strategy. I also know, this is possible if we spend time together, alone or with other people. I know I could make it happen, i.e. I am confident enough to believe I could make someone look at me with new eyes.

My confidence though, poor little thing, is still green and inexperienced and only gets so far and, for instance, I am not all that confident that I may make them forget the person they are thinking about and impose myself in their heart as first choice. This is hard, this I do not so much believe, this more importantly feels like something you can pull off only if you’re really good at the game. I’m not.

And that’s my problem right now. Playing the game, when someone else deals you cards is much easier than having to deal cards yourself. It’s like trying to jump an axel before you have mastered your threes. It is to me, at least, since I’ve never really played the game, only studied the theory and here I am in the shoes of the croupier. Since my major occupation in my lifetime has been study, I feel I know all the theory I need, I should just practice it. Problem: I am shy as a lamb. This hummingbird thing has ruined me in this sense, maybe not ruined, but left me utterly unprotected. I used to be a bad boy, that was my shield, that made me bold. And unfeminine. Now that mask is off, I am back at my original shyness, which I have never actually worked to overcome and it’s being nothing more but a backstabbing bitch.

And if by any chance you happen to have to play with someone who is introverted, reserved and shy like you, go figure, it’s a bull-fight. You know you have to talk to him, you know you have to let him know you, maybe give him an excuse to look for you, even propose to do something together, but you look them in the eyes and you choke. All topics and conversation starters seem to have migrated from your head, your line of thought feels like the main character in 28 Days Later, after he leaves the hospital: naked and alone in a deserted square in the middle of the city. Clueless. All the leads you can get never have to do with anything personal, so you can never move the conversation to the next level.

And then there is the pain. The pain of wanting someone so much and never seeming to take a step forward, the pain of knowing he likes someone else, the pain of knowing that someone else isn’t interested but they are still playing with them, the pain of knowing he is smart, cute, nice and rich but heartbroken, the pain of realising how much more you like him the more you know him, the pain of not accepting this situation at your age, the pain of not knowing what to do to change the circumstances, the pain of not knowing how long you’ll have to endure it and how many harder unexpected blows you are still going to get, the pain of not being able to tell him how much you care and how much you’d be willing to give him if he only let you.

So you try your best, and being the 16-year-old you still are at heart, your best is sending him a mix of your favourite songs, carefully avoiding the thought of selecting only the ones your heart sings along every time you think of him. But just one.