In my mind I've turned you into a bit of a hero. You were the subtle one, despite your bright red hair. You were always in the background. You were the selfless uniter of whoever you were with, never taking the spotlight for yourself. But you were always there.
When I first met you, you were the one who only laughed when your friend Nathan was around. I thought you were shy. But I saw you give him a piggy back, runing arund like a madman, free of homosexual labels, and I knew you were so much more than you let on.
You were there on the ski trip. I was outside sledding with friends when hoots and hollers came from the cabins, and you and your friends ran out across the snow in nothing but boxers.
I saw you everyday at cross country practice urging people faster and yelling slogans of support. Once when your race was ruined because you had over worked yourself, you ran on the side of the race, setting paces for all the girls and giving them advice. They all improved their 3 mile times by at least 30 seconds, and you didn't even ask for acknowledgement. You just gave love.
We never even started talking until the day of the state meet. The few of us were staying in a hotel for the race. I was having some problems with one of the boys on the team. I'd be bitting back tears as he'd throw another degrading comment my way, and you would look at me with hurt and dissolve the pain. You combated every insult for me, merely with a loving look that made me believe I wasn't worthless.
I took all this in with admiration. I thought you were sweet, loving, shy. And then you blew my mind.
I was upset. I'd just taken my side of the bullets from a relationship driven into the ground, and felt like nothing. chocked back tears I was unworthy of having, and walked into the woods along a dirt path where no one was watching. Except for you. You called to me. I couldn't respond. Or I chose not to. And you were faced with the option to let me figure things out on my own, or assert yourself into the situation. You followed me into the woods. You chose the dangerous uncharted route because you cared, and you wrapped your arms around me and I cried. I sobbed and chocked out self hatred, and you accepted my pain into you, and smoothed it over with love. You told me I would find my strengths. You encouraged my tears. You forgave me for my selfish pain and told me I was allowed to feel the way I felt. You took away my own chains of constrainment and let me feel freely. I released salt water on your shirt and you only hugged me tighter.
The coach needed you. She was yelling at you to hurry up because you were needed, and you wouldn't leave me. You stayed by my side and pulled me to my feet. You were putting so much on the line for a girl you didn't really know.
I ran that cross country race that day, and I beat my best time by two minutes. The second I crossed that finish line I looked for you. I threw my arms around you and told you how amazing you were, and you laughed it off and didn't let it sink in. I didn't tell you I ran that race for you. I didn't tell you how many times I wanted to stop and cry, and your face would appear in my mind, and I'd want to run faster for you. You never gave up during pain, you didn't let the world tell you no. I owed it to you to keep going, and I owed it to myself to be proud.
That's where you stand in my mind right now. You are a hero. You are the selfless runner, who loves so much, and tries so hard, and brings everyone together without every asking for anything. And honestly I don't know how to react.
I see you in the hallways, and I say hi keeping my voice light and cheery, and you say hi, distracted. I've had heroes before. They have broken my heart, or broken my admiration for them. So I'm cautious. But you are different. You aren't the spotlight, you don't demand anything, so I feel free to give you everything and love doing it.
But I'm also scared. A person like you means a lot to me. A judgement like yours doesn't brush off as easily as most. I don't want to scare you away. I don't even know what I want. But I can honestly say you have been on my mind, and I don't know what to make of it.
I guess that's what I want to tell you. I have been thinking about you. I will wait and see where it goes with no expectations, but I look forward to seeing you at the last cross country meet tomorrow, and I don't want it to be the last time I see you.
Hopefully I'll see you soon,