REALITY CHECK

REALITY CHECK

From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul IV

Reality Check

Best friends are the siblings God forgot to give us.

Anonymous

He was perfect. The exact mix of bad boy and intellectual that I was looking for, and good looking, as well. He was six feet, three inches, with a medium build, dark brown hair and deep brown eyes I just wanted to gaze at for days. And probably did, when I got the chance. As much as I like to pretend that I’m above all those cheesy crush feelings, I’m not.

The best part of this particular crush was that, unlike so many of my others, he actually knew my name. He had my number stored in his cell phone and even used it! I swear I used to hear wedding bells when I saw his name on my caller ID.

My friends were not his biggest advocates, to say the least, and you can bet they let me know it. I heard everything from “You can do so much better,” to “He sucks, plain and simple.” My logic remained unchanged. If I could do better, why wasn’t I?

I couldn’t understand why my girlfriends didn’t like him. Okay, so maybe he used to show me his photo albums and point out all the girls he had dated. Yeah, he’d complain about the lack of an available hot girl in his life. But they didn’t know him like I did. Isn’t that always the case?

A few days before Valentine’s Day, he sent me an instant message saying, “Red, pink, peach, white or yellow?” I immediately knew that he was asking me my preference in rose colors. I selected red, the most romantic kind. After the color, we debated between a dozen or a half-dozen. After that—to include a card or send them anonymously. He had mentioned during the conversation that he simply wanted to “make some girl’s day.” I was convinced that I was “some girl.” Three hours after we began chatting, we had chosen a half-dozen red roses, to be sent anonymously. We had also, unfortunately, discussed all the possibilities among the girls he could surprise. When I playfully suggested that I be the recipient of the Valentine’s Day bouquet, I was swiftly shut down. “Don’t be greedy,” was his reply.

After the incident, I immediately ran down the dorm hallway to relay the entire conversation to my friends. I was only partially upset about the outcome. I was more excited that he had just spent three hours asking me for advice. They rolled their eyes, knowing all they could do was wait it out, and eventually, I’d come to my senses.

Valentine’s Day arrived, and since I had no date, I went about my business as I would any other day. When I returned to my dorm room after classes, I was shocked to find a vase of red roses on my dresser. I counted them—exactly six. I searched for a card and found none. Could it be? I knew it! He had gone through the pains of making me so sure I wasn’t going to get those flowers just so I would be extra shocked when I found them. A few moments later, four of my closest friends bounded through the door. They handed me a small envelope. “It goes with the flowers,” they said. I opened it, and it read:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

He doesn’t love you

But we sure do

Yeah, I was disappointed, but only for a minute, because I realized at that moment how foolish I had been. I hugged my friends, and the unworthy boy was forgotten. My friendship with him has since faded, and frankly, I don’t miss it. As for those four girls? They’re keepers.

Arielle Jacobs

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