I Love Her But I’m Just Too Shy

If you love someone, Tell Them, Don’t let your heart be broken by words left unspoken.

10th Grade

As I sat there in English class, I stared at the girl next to me. She was my so called “best friend”. I stared at her long, silky hair, and wished she was mine. But she didn’t notice me like that, and I knew it. After class, she walked up to me and asked me for the notes she had missed the day before. I handed them to her.

She said, “Thanks,” and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don’t want to be just friends; I love her but I’m just too shy, and I don’t know why.

11th grade

The phone rang. On the other end, it was her. She was in tears, mumbling on and on about how her love had broken her heart. She asked me to come over because she didn’t want to be alone, So I did. As I sat next to her on the sofa, I stared at her soft eyes, wishing she was mine. After 2 hours, one Drew Barrymore movie, and three bags of chips, she decided to go home.

She looked at me, said, “Thanks,” and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don’t want to be just friends; I love her but I’m just too shy, and I don’t know why.


I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel up on stage… I wanted her to be mine—but she didn’t notice me like that, and I knew it.

Senior year

One fine day she walked to my locker. “My date is sick,” she said, ”he’s not gonna go.” Well, I didn’t have a date, and in 7th grade, we made a promise that if neither of us had dates, we would go together just as “best friends”.

So we did. That night, after everything was over, I was standing at her front door step. I stared at her as She smiled at me and stared at me with her crystal eyes.
Then she said, “I had the best time, thanks!” and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don’t want to be just friends; I love her but I’m just too shy, and I don’t know why.

Graduation

A day passed, then a week, then a month. Before I could blink, it was graduation day. I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel up on stage to get her diploma. I wanted her to be mine—but she didn’t notice me like that, and I knew it.

Before everyone went home, she came to me in her smock and hat, and cried as I hugged her.
31358_KU_associate_ads_300x250Then she lifted her head from my shoulder and said, “You’re my best friend, thanks,” and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don’t want to be just friends; I love her but I’m just too shy, and I don’t know why.

Marriage

Now I sit in the pews of the church. That girl is getting married now, set to drive off to her new life, married to another man. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn’t see me like that, and I knew it. But before she drove away, she came to me and said, “You came!”

She said “thanks” and kissed me on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don’t want to be just friends; I love her but I’m just too shy, and I don’t know why.

Death

Years passed, I looked down at the coffin of a girl who used to be my “best friend”.

At the service, they read a diary entry she had written in her high school years.

This is what it read:
I stare at him wishing he was mine, but he doesn’t notice me like that, and I know it. I want to tell him, I want him to know that I don’t want to be just friends; I love him but I’m just too shy, and I don’t know why. I wish he would tell me he loved me!
…I wish I did too…,I thought to myself, and cried.

By Popohorla Xordiq, based on a story by Anonymous


The Granta Book of the African Short Story

Presenting a diverse and dazzling collection from all over the continent, from Morocco to Zimbabwe, Uganda to Kenya. Helon Habila focuses on younger, newer writers – contrasted with some of their older, more established peers – to give a fascinating picture of a new and more liberated Africa.
These writers are characterized by their engagement with the wider world and the opportunities offered by the end of apartheid, the end of civil wars and dictatorships, and the possibilities of free movement. Their work is inspired by travel and exile. They are liberated, global and expansive. As Dambudzo Marechera wrote: ‘If you’re a writer for a specific nation or specific race, then f*** you.” These are the stories of a new Africa, punchy, self-confident and defiant.
Includes stories by: Fatou Diome; Aminatta Forna; Manuel Rui; Patrice Nganang; Leila Aboulela; Zoë Wicomb; Alaa Al Aswany; Doreen Baingana; E.C. Osondu.

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