Ryan looked up from his steaming hot hazelnut latte and looked into the face of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Elise had been his best friend since kindergarten. The class was working on a card for their parents for Valentine's Day, and Ryan was having great difficulty creating the heart-shaped card: every time he tried to make it, it came out lopsided. He was just about to give up when a girl walked up to him. It was Elise.
"That's not how you do it, silly!" she said to him, and smiled. She sat down next to him and picked up a piece of red paper. "Here, first you do one half, then you do the other, and together they make a perfect heart." She drew the first half. "Now you try!" After a few tries, together they made the perfect heart. Since that day, they were the best of friends, but ever since he could remember, Ryan had loved Elise. He knew he did. She didn't. Ryan had meant to tell her for years, but every year, something had gotten in the way. So they remained best friends. She would go to him when a boy broke her heart (and there were a few), and cry and watch The Notebook with him until she had cried enough. He always made her feel better. But this beautiful April day he was determined to tell her. He had gone over his words in his mind many times. Elise, I have something I have wanted to tell you for years…
"…what do you think about that, Ryan?" Her voice broke his thoughts and he looked up again.
"Oh! Uh… great! That's, uh, great!" He stammered. She laughed.
"Well, great isn't the word I would use to describe that project, but maybe you had a different opinion?" She said jokingly. Ryan's face turned red. He had been caught daydreaming. Would she know why? He shook his head.
"I'm sorry, Elise, I was just… thinking. Hey! Do you want to go on a walk on the path by the river? It's a beautiful day." She smiled and tossed her long, golden blonde hair.
"That sounds fun!" She said.
Ryan knew he had to tell her, but he still didn't know how. He didn't want to ruin what they had as friends and he didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable, but he couldn't just forget about it this time. As they walked, they talked. They talked about school, about who was dating who, about that dumb assignment Mrs. Peters had assigned her Psychology class last week, about how the Blackhawks were doing. They talked and laughed and smiled and before Ryan knew it, the path was almost over. Well, he thought, maybe it wasn't the right time anyway. Then he noticed that Elise was no longer next to him. He stopped and looked back to find her reading something someone had chalked on the ground. He walked back to read it with her. He gasped. The first sentence on the path began:
Elise, I have something I have wanted to tell you for years…
Elise was covering her mouth with her hand in surprise, and Ryan stood there, completely dumbfounded. He kept reading his exact planned speech to Elise, right there on the path by the river. He looked over at Elise again, and this time she looked up at him, a smile on her face and tears in her eyes, and said in a voice that was barely a whisper, "Ryan, read the last sentence."
I love you too, Ryan.
Then she kissed him. The two halves had found each other, and together, they made a perfect heart.