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The April Fool

By H.G. Miller

Since Sarah never reads these things, I should be safe in shedding my emotions about her visit to Los Angeles that ends today.

Sarah and I have never dated. We shared a fleeting kiss once a few years ago, but we've always been just friends.

Despite this, I've always loved her. Maybe not in that “let's get married and have kids and fart with each other while watching evening sitcoms for the rest of our lives” kind of way, but I am certainly more fond of her than most of the other females I've ever met in my life. (This excludes my mother, sister, and … well, Lesley, if she ever reads these things)

Unfortunately, being born a boy, and now considered a man (I can't get in cheap at Disney anymore, anyway), I am by nature an idiot when it comes to women.

I often mistake that one fleeting kiss as a sign that Sarah has these same feelings for me, when it was really nothing more than a kind of feminine curiosity.

Sarah came to visit this week with her sister, Amy. They camped out in my bed, and I slept on the floor. (Though, I had many daydreams up to this visit about holding Sarah in my arms blissfully sleeping the week away)

I showed them the sights, took them to dinner, and I did my best not to stare too often in that longingly way us fools have mastered.

Amy, being the sister, rolled her eyes and expressed a certain sadness for me and my obvious infatuation. See, she knows that Sarah does not view me in the way that I dream. She knows that her sister will never venture beyond the brother bond.

She knows that I am a fool.

And, I know that she is right.

Now, I watch the clock strike 2:30 a.m., and I think about the sweet girl sleeping in my bed while I restlessly scratch out notes on a legal-size pad with a stolen pen from Dillon's grocery store.

(I understand that as you read this on a computer screen, it may be difficult to perceive the way these words were originally conceived. Nonetheless, most of my friends back home can appreciate the familiar image of a Dillon's brand, red-and-white, ball-point pen gliding along a blue-lined sheet of paper.)

She sleeps, and I am awake with the images of tonight's excursion…

Her in a black skirt and a tiger-print top. This doctor dude with too much tan. Them holding hands at the bar we all went to. Her and this guy she just met two days ago. The California dreamboat with a good job and lots of money and enough charm to win the affection I have yearned to receive for years.

Me to the side. Watching. Sipping a bourbon and coke and wondering why a friendly nature, a sense of humor and endless dedication aren't enough to attract the attention of the girl who once kissed me because “I always wondered what would happen if we dated.”

Amy, the sister, is bored. She is faithful to her boyfriend back home and cares little for the hip bar scene we are currently immersed in. I tell Amy that I love her sister, and she responds with the honesty that makes those Midwestern girls so attractive.

“Yeah, I don't think it's gonna happen, stud.”

She goes back to her drink and pays little attention to me.

Me. Back now. Writing this down with my pen and my paper. Knowing that in twelve hours she will be on a plane back to Kansas. Out of my sight for another six months.

This is a situation I prefer. It's sort of an ostrich with his head in the sand kind of thing. If she's holding hands with guys back home, at least I can't see it, and I can keep on pretending that if we only had time together, things would finally happen with us.

When the prize is so far out of sight, it's easier for the fool to keep dreaming.