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This letter is for you (I guess you already figured that) Oh and please hang in there for what I'm trying to say or write. I like you. I'm sorry I just like you. I'm guessing you already know I'm not really good at hiding my emotions.
I'm writing this because I can't really talk to you that well and if I did I would only embarrass myself. I think that you're a cool guy and really confidant too. You have this ‘I don't give a shit what other people think' kind of attitude but in a good way. I sort of get jealous of you for that because I wish I could be like that.
I'm sorry for purposely trying to avoid you a lot. I'm not scared of you but I was scared of the way I felt around you. You make people happy with your nice smile and jokes. You have excellent thoughts on just about everything not a lot of people can do that.
I just felt that I needed to get that off my chest or rather on paper and felt you deserved to know. I know you don't feel the same way and I don't want to be a bother. I just wanted you to know and wish you the best after graduation.
She could do this. Well at this point she had to there were only two more weeks until graduation. So it was now or never. Amanda Harris had spent the entire weekend after senior prom writing this letter and she was going to go through with this.
It was no biggie it was just a letter of confession of her feelings for classmate Anthony "Tony" Bello. Butterflies took flight in her stomach at the thought of it.
Tony. Charming pretty boy Tony was the most attractive boy in the whole school not just her class and as cliché as it sounded everyone liked him.
Tony despite everyone seeing him as a jock was very intelligent and was well informed about topics nobody assumed he would know.
His senior exit project and presentation was about the present and future effects of climate change, global warming, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Amanda thought that it was just infatuation at first no doubt like most of the girls in her class. It was until she shared a lot of classes with him that she discovered there was more to him than his handsome face. Most of it was due partly to her having to sit behind him and she swore the teachers must have known and did it to spite her.
By junior year it seemed she had every class with him including the same lunch period as well as PE class. PE class was torture because most of the time Tony tied his gorgeous dark hair up in a bun and took his shirt off to play dodge ball or basketball.
Amanda almost wished that there was a thirteenth grade just so she could be around Tony more; she hated that graduating meant that they would more than likely never be in each other lives anymore. Not that they were exactly friends but Amanda did enjoy his acquaintance.
As soon as Amanda walked in the building she spotted Tony Bello sitting in a chair right outside the cafeteria. Would this be it? Could this be her chance---
Amanda turned to see her friend Kayla running towards her "Hey! Come get breakfast with me!"
Before Amanda could say anything more Kayla took her by the hand and the two of them went into the cafeteria to wait in line.
"Did you have fun at prom?" Kayla asked, "it was nice of your cousin to take you"
"Yeah" Amanda replied
"You looked really pretty Mandy and everyone saw it even Tony"
Before Amanda knew it Kayla took the letter she had been planning to give Tony from her hands; when she saw Tony's name neatly printed on the envelope she squealed
"Is this the letter you're going to give Tony?"
"Come on maybe he's still in the hall!"
When the two of them went back in the hall Tony was in fact still there but so was his girlfriend Giovanna Telli. Giovanna was sitting in Tony's lap giggling as he kissed her and Amanda's heart sank.
Amanda always did feel a little weird crushing on Tony when he already had a girlfriend. A girlfriend who was also the same race as him as well as classically beautiful. The dress Giovanna wore put Amanda to shame she looked like a grown woman not a high school girl.
Giovanna was also the type of girlfriend who would cut and give any other girl death glares for even looking at her boyfriend let alone talking to him.
"There goes Giovanna of course," Kayla said rolling her eyes "is she going to give him a lap dance too? geez"
"Maybe I shouldn't do this" Amanda said
"No Mandy" her friend insisted, "screw her you want to let Tony know how you feel go for it"
"I'm not going to do it now Giovanna would kill me" Amanda said with her eyes big
"We'll find a better time" Kayla said "how about after graduation practice?"
"I guess so"
"Giovanna is a junior so she won't be there to stop you" Kayla pointed out
"It will work out trust me" Kayla replied, "you don't want to regret not letting him no do you?"
It was the reason why Amanda went through so much trouble of writing the letter in the first place and she couldn't and wasn't going to back out now.
"....Same time here tomorrow!" their class sponsor Ms. Landon announced out "remember to get a count on the number of graduation tickets you need"
Amanda clutched the letter in her hands as her classmates were dismissed from the atrium. Would this finally be it?
Tony was getting ready to exit the atrium with some of his friends and Amanda couldn't seem to find her voice and it was as if a frog caught in her throat.
"Tony wait!" Kayla spoke up for her and to her surprise Tony did stop and turned around to them.
Kayla quickly grabbed Amanda by the hand as she felt like burying herself in a whole.
"Mandy has something for you"
"Does she?" Tony chuckled "is it another slice of that awesome cake?"
Tony flashed Amanda friendly grin as he remembered the cake she had baked for Kayla's birthday last month and how she had saved a slice just for him. Amanda blushed a little embarrassed at how she had chased him down the hallway to make sure he got that cake.
How could such a nice and cool guy have a bitch of a girlfriend like Giovanna?
If she could do that why couldn't she give him this letter?
"Um...this is for you" Amanda said handing the letter over and Tony chuckled at the little note that she had written on the envelope addressing him.
The minute Tony began to tear at the envelope to get it open Amanda panicked
"No!" she gasped "I mean...don't open it here...read it later"
"You want me to read it later?"
Tony saw how nervous Amanda looked and gave her a hug and smile "I'll read later"
It was out of her hands now and that really really made her nervous and Kayla nudged her gently to make sure she was okay.
"It will be alright" her friend encouraged "what's the worst that can happen?"
"What will he think of me?" Amanda asked
"Probably that you're pretty brave"
The following day everyone was in the atrium for graduation practice once more and waiting for their names to be called.
Amanda was trying her hardest to avoid Tony because at this point he had read her letter.
He knew now
He knew now
"Does anybody know where Amanda is?"
"Here I am Ms. Landon" Amanda finally spoke up and the class sponsor shook her head gently teasing her
"Young lady if you hesitate like that at the commencement ceremony you won't get your diploma"
Amanda sat right back down and she did not dare look behind her she was completely embarrassed.
"You alright?" Kayla asked as Ms. Landon continued to read the names
"Still thinking about the letter?"
"Do you think he read it yet?"
"Mandy I hate to break it to you but I'm pretty sure he's read it already"
"Alright class let's line up to do walk in and then we can do yearbook signings and give out prom pictures"
"Hey maybe he can sign your yearbook" Kayla suggested
"Do you think he'll want to?"
"Of course" her friend said "Mandy you have to stop putting Tony on a pedestal like you can't or aren't supposed to talk to him"
"No just ask him" Kayla asked "of course you'll have to wait because you know all the girls are going to be asking to him to sign too"
After practice the senior class socialized among themselves looking at and swapping prom pictures as well as signing yearbooks.
Much to Amanda's surprise it was Tony who was handing out the prom pictures so it looked like she had no choice but to talk to him if she wanted her prom pictures.
Just as Amanda was having second thoughts Tony caught her eye and flashed a smile at her
"You here to get your pictures?"
"Here they are" Tony said handing over the package of photos to her "looks like they came out pretty nice that dress you had on was nice who was your date?"
"My cousin" Amanda replied "nobody else wanted to go with me so I asked him"
"That was nice of him"
She looked around to make sure Giovanna wasn't close by and Tony chuckled
reading her mind
"It's seniors only remember?"
"Yeah I knew that" Amanda said a little jumpy now "Tony do you mind signing my yearbook? You don't have to if you don't want to"
"Of course I'll sign your yearbook" he said, "I want you to sign mine too"
Amanda handed Tony her yearbook and watched as he turned to a fresh blank page. Amanda had already gotten a few of her classmates to sign and already a lot of those pages were completely covered; but it seemed like Tony wanted a page all to himself.
"So you'll remember me," Tony joked as she watched him begin to write his message "what are your plans after graduation? I heard you got accepted to Parsons"
"Yes" she replied, "I'm going for interior design"
"Sounds like a good fit for you" Tony replied "the set design you did for the spring musical you did was awesome"
"Thanks what are you doing after graduation?"
"I have a couple of jobs lined up" he replied, "I don't think that I'm college material"
"Why do you think that?"
"Well most of my folks especially the men in my family don't really see the value in college" Tony replied "at eighteen you leave high school and go straight to work, get married in a few years, and have lots of babies"
"Is that what you want to do?"
"I'm not sure" Tony replied honestly "you're first person to ask me that because as stereotypical as it is my family is Roman Catholic I'm the third of eight kids so that family mindset is all I'm raised on"
"I thought my brother and sister were too many" she said
"Yeah and my two older brothers have already married ‘good' Roman Catholic women from our neighborhood so my mother is convinced that Giovanna is a good fit for me"
"It doesn't sound like you want that"
"Actually I'd like to go to aviation school" Tony replied, "I want to become a pilot I always have"
"Then why don't you go for it?" Amanda said, "it's never too late"
"I'm thinking about applying" he said, "it's going to kill my father but I got to do me"
"If it's something you really want to do then you'll succeed" she said sincerely. Tony looked up from the page he was signing to see Amanda give him a little smile encouraging him.
Given what he knew about her now it made sense; but he liked that she supported his goals where as Giovanna just brushed them off as if they were nothing. Tony signed his name and handed Amanda back her yearbook.
It was now or never they both had to acknowledge the elephant clearly sitting between them right now.
"I read that letter you gave me Mandy"
Tony chuckled "Did you not want me to read it?"
"No I did it's just well...I guess you know now"
Tony noticed how embarrassed Amanda looked now as she looked away from him
"I liked it" he said, "it was really nice it was brave of you to do that Mandy"
"I um...I didn't know how else to tell you" she admitted, "I didn't want Giovanna to get mad either"
Tony nodded little did Amanda know he didn't care what Giovanna thought she was just so overbearing sometimes and insecure.
If another girl gave Tony the slightest inkling of attention she'd flip in fact sometimes he wished he had a girlfriend like Amanda the complete opposite of Giovanna.
"Don't worry about her," Tony said, "I thought it was sweet"
"Yeah I did" he said, "I'm flattered actually I didn't know you felt that way Mandy"
Amanda smiled feeling her cheeks heat up "I think...well you...I just um think you're a cool guy...and I find you attractive"
"Do you?" he teased her a little raising his eyebrows at her
"Yes" she laughed
Tony just smiled and Amanda knew that smile always got to her.
"I think you're cool too Mandy" he said sincerely "and pretty"
"You...you...you think I'm pretty?"
"Of course you don't think you're pretty?"
Amanda's face was really heated now and she found herself stumbling over her words "I'm okay I guess I'm not as pretty as Giovanna though"
Even though it was his girlfriend she was referring to Tony didn't like Amanda saying things like that.
"Mandy you're pretty because you're you" Tony said sincerely "don't you ever apologize for being you and don't ever compare yourself to anyone else"
"Oh" Amanda said pretty much speechless now and Tony chuckled patting her on the shoulder
"You're going to need that unapologetic attitude since you'll be at Parsons Miss Future Interior Designer"
"I'm going to miss you Tony"
"I'm going to miss you too Mandy"
One Year Later
Amanda couldn't believe that she had just finished her freshman year at Parsons. It had been a busy and productive year and the professors saw how much of a promising student Amanda would be in her future years at the school.
The nineteen-year-old was packing and getting ready to go back home for the summer. Her parents missed her and her friend Kayla who had finished her freshman year at Spellman would be home as well for them to catch up.
"When are you headed home?" her roommate Carly asked
"By the end of the week" Amanda replied, "this school year went by really fast"
"It did but I can't wait to come back in the fall"
A bleep emitted from Amanda's laptop and it was a Facebook notification; she must have forgotten to sign off after she wrote her status on finishing up her freshman year. Amanda clicked on her inbox to see that Anthony Bello had left her a note.
Congratulations on a successful first year. I hope all is well and I was wondering when you are coming back home for the summer? I was hoping that we could hang out the annual South Street Festival is coming up. Before you hesitate and say no hear me out.
Giovanna and I aren't together anymore we actually broke up last fall and it's not your fault we were growing apart for a while. I thought a lot about what you said and I've taken it to heart and I will be enrolling into aviation school in the fall.
I owe you all the thanks in the world and it will never be enough. You have but I would like to show you a good time and catch up with you. Let me know and I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
Amanda had a smile on her face the whole time she read the note. She had missed Tony and often found herself thinking about him through from time to time. This certainly sounded like an invitation for a date.
Amanda had no idea where her friendship with Tony was going but one thing was for sure; they both had something sweet going on between them. Something sweet indeed.