Tessa was completely in love with Dean; at least, that was what her 16 year old brain had been telling her. It had already been three months since they started texting nearly everyday, and she couldn’t get enough of him. Finally, her two-year crush was beginning to show signs of growth.
Tessa wasn’t sure if she’d been over analyzing, but there were times when she felt positive he felt the same. At the same time, it was comfortable keeping her thoughts to herself. It spared her the shame of possible rejection. But as time went on, she felt more and more uneasy, eager to share her feelings.
So one day, she did; through a handcrafted letter, of course. How relieved she’d felt when Dean told her that he not only accepted her feelings, but felt the same way too. Tessa could almost cry knowing that, in the end, all her worrying had been for nothing. It almost felt too good to be true.
About a week later, she shared the news with her friends.
“Dean? Doesn’t he already have a girlfriend?” Clara commented.
Tessa had a bad feeling. “Girlfriend?”
“Yeah! If I remember clearly, it’s that girl, Melissa.”
“Melissa Moore?” Tessa sought confirmation.
“Yeah, that’s the one.”
The girls silently asked Clara to be quiet, noticing Tessa’s worried expression. After their conversation, Tessa went looking for Dean, though unsure what to do. They’d only been on one date, and they barely knew each other. Could it really be that he already had someone? Just then, she received her answer.
From across the room, she spotted Dean and immediately thought to call to him. But much to her surprise, there was Melissa standing next to him, holding his hand. They’d been standing so close that Tessa began to feel sick just watching them. I am such a fool, she thought. Soon, he spotted her too, chasing after her.
“It’s not what you think-”
“I don’t want to hear it.”
“What if I make it up to you?” Tessa stopped. “What if I leave her?”
Tessa felt conflicted. After all, this was the boy she liked for two years now, and he was willing to do such a thing for her. But was that really the right thing to do?
“We’ve been together for a while now, so it’ll take a while, but…” he paused, “I really do like you, Tessa.” She fell for it. It felt too good; sounded too sincere. How could see resist?
Weeks passed, and the two had continued to secretly date, while he worked on letting Melissa down easy, or so he said. But Tessa felt strange, and couldn’t ignore the little voice in her head telling her that something wasn’t right. Her friends seemed to agree, too.
“Tessa, you can’t go on like this,” Allie said. “Either he leaves her or you leave him.” She was right, Tessa thought.
That day, she met up with him in their usual hiding spot. “I’m tired, Dean. I’m tired of hiding.”
“Just…just give me one more week.”
“You’ve been saying that for the past six weeks. I’m sick of it.” Tessa grabbed her bag and headed for the library, and he followed her.
“The sign says no talking.”
“Just follow me, please. I need to talk to you.”
“Either you keep it down, or I’ll have to ask you to leave,” the librarian warned him.
Dean sighed. “Just know that I really did like you, Tessa.” He turned to leave, only to find Melissa staring back at him. It was then Tessa knew that, in an odd and almost satisfying twist, he’d end up alone. But apart of her felt could tell that he’d really been sincere; only too greedy to let go.
But none of it mattered now. The damage was already done, and she didn’t want him to end up like his father; lost. He had to feel the consequences in order to change. Silently, the three went their separate ways, Tessa remaining in the library.
To pass some time, she went looking for some books about music, hoping she could learn more about her craft. As she reached for a book, her short legs failed her. But then, in a timely fashion, a helping hand greeted her.
“A musician I see.”
“Aspiring musician,” she corrected him.
He smiled. “What’s your name?” he asked.”I’m Eric.”
Finally, she turned to face him. Looking at him in that very moment, it felt as if time stood still. Soon, the words returned to her lips. “Tessa. Tessa Rosconi.” Suddenly she remembered that life went on; that there were people to meet and places to go. She felt hopeful again.