I wrote this essay last year for an English class. The prompt was to write about our greatest failures and what we did to overcome them. I hadn't really had any crucial failures at the time, except this one. I thought it would be an important tip for anybody seeking advice concerning a crush. I hope it helps.

When I started high school, I had just got back from Mexico. I had spent the summer there with my family. I mostly went to hang out with my cousins at the plaza or parties. I was only thirteen years old and I was upset because I didn’t want to leave Mexico. While there I discovered that Armando Castañeda was living there. Armando was my first crush and I was overjoyed to see him. I didn’t get the chance to talk to him and I didn’t know where to find him until my last day there. I passed right by his house on my way out of Ixtlan del Rio, Nayarit. I figured that I would never see him again and that made me glum.
My older cousin Olga drove me to school that first day of high school, so that she could show me around. Graham High School was not a very big campus, but it was divided into several buildings. First my cousin showed me where to check for my advising class, and then she showed me to the “center” of the campus: the cafeteria. The cafeteria was actually closer to the far edge of the campus, but everyone always seemed to be there. Just outside the cafeteria stood my cousin, Noemy, with some friends of hers. I said hi, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a cute guy standing close by. He wasn’t part of the group, but I wanted to meet him. The bell rang and Olga told me to go to my advising class and that the teacher would give me my schedule there.
I went to my advising class and I barely listened to the teacher. I was in la-la-land, thinking about Armando Castañeda. In my head the song that I wished would cue his entrance back into my life played over and over again. The bell rang again and I stayed seated since my advising teacher was also my first period teacher. I stared at the door without noticing what I was looking at, when suddenly the guy from earlier that morning appeared in the doorway. He was obviously of Mexican descent, wore a Tar Heel jersey with sagging jeans, had black hair cut short, had deep brown eyes, and a tattoo on his left arm. The image of the tattoo itself was unclear, but I didn’t have time to observe him closely, and he sat at the table behind me. I didn’t have the courage to turn around and talk to him, but I wished I did.
Ms. Stewart, the World History teacher, called out roll and I heard him answer to the name Rene Herrera. Rene was his name, and I fell in love with that name and him. Yet, at the same time I was in love with Armando, which I was sure I would never see again unless I moved to Mexico. The day passed by so quickly that I didn’t even notice when lunch ended. I just found myself walking toward my fourth period to the class at the end of B-building. I took a seat and wondered what Rene was doing while I waited for class to start. Just then, I caught a blue color in the corner of my eye and I jerked my head up to see if it was Rene. It was him, and he took the seat right in front of me. The desks were arranged to make tables of four, in a cross shape and he picked the seat facing me. I felt my face get hot, but I didn’t look at him for fear that he might say something mean. I wanted to keep the perfect image I had made of him in my head.
“Hey, aren’t you in my World History class?” he asked me in a soothing and pleasant voice. I looked up at him and said yes. I noticed that he also had Rene tattooed to his knuckles on his hands. He told me his name and I told him mine. Ever since that day, Rene and I usually sat together, not because we wanted to, but because Mr. Gorski assigned our seats together. We were the only ones in the class that remained together throughout the whole semester. I always had the desire to find love and have a boyfriend, whether my father accepted or not. Rene was the one I had fallen in love with, but our relationship was based on friendship. Rene always made me laugh and he always talked to me about everything. Our conversations varied from family, to childhood experiences, to hair gel and swings. One day, Rene asked me to read his lips. I was confused and told him I didn’t know how to read lips, but I would try. So Rene moved his lips, but as I had suspected, I couldn’t tell what he was trying to tell me. He repeated the same movement of his lips about five times.
“I love you,” he said. My heart raced, and I blushed. I couldn’t believe my ears. It was just as I thought. It was unbelievable. “It looks like I’m saying I love you, but I’m really saying elephant shoes,” he clarified. I was still in shock, but had recovered from the surprise of his first words. He explained to me that when moving his lips, “I love you” and “elephant shoes” looks exactly the same. Rene was quiet the last few days of school before Christmas break, but I didn’t know why. He talked to me, but it wasn’t like before when we could talk about anything that came to mind. I asked him a few times what classes he would take the next semester, but he always said he didn’t know. After Christmas break, he started skipping class and coming back with one of his gangster friends. We only had one class together second semester, but we could never talk because we sat on opposite sides of the room, and the teacher was very strict about seating and talking.
Rene was the mischievous kind of guy that always got into trouble no matter what. On one occasion, Rene was on the computer while the teacher was talking. She told him to get off the internet, but he said he wasn’t on it. He was really on the music player just scrolling through it. Ms. Bellamy asked if he was calling her a liar and he said yes. She got really angry and called for an administrator to talk to Rene. The school police officer showed up and called Rene outside to talk to him. Within five minutes, he let Rene back in the classroom and called Ms. Bellamy outside. In the meantime, Rene wrote on the board, “Ms. Bellamy is a liar.” When she came back inside and saw what Rene had written on the board, she was furious. The police officer then took Rene to the office and he was assigned ISS for two days.
One day, I thought that Rene had skipped again, but he came into class late with an envelope that he handed to the teacher as he took his seat. She asked if that was his last day and he said yes, and that he never had to come back. I thought about that for a moment and then figured that he had dropped the class since Ms. Bellamy had been getting him into trouble with the principle. The lunch bell rang and as I walked to the cafeteria, I saw Rene walk towards the parking lot and realized that he meant he was leaving Graham. He looked back and caught my eye, smiled and turned back toward the parking lot. I turned back toward the cafeteria and started walking. I felt like crying because I had failed myself. I didn’t give myself the opportunity to be possibly being happy. I was too shy to admit my feelings. I failed myself because I couldn’t face my fears of being turned down. My fear held me back and it has continued to hold me back over the years. I had the chance to do something about it, but I didn’t and that was my failure: failing to do what I had to in order to be happy.
I fell short of happiness and I learned my lesson. I confessed to my next crush that I actually liked him. When I told him he was silent for a while and then said that he would call me back to fix this dilemma. He had taught me that dilemma meant problem and that made me furious. My cousins had told me to stay away from him, but I wouldn’t listen. After I told him everything that I felt after my confession, I was happy that I had finally come out and had been honest. I didn’t have to worry about a crush anymore and I stopped wondering what could have happened had I been brave enough the first time.

Submitted: August 25, 2009

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This was written very well, and I was suprised, for it was for a school assignment. You have a talent of writing about yourself and others, while making it sound like very realistic fiction, and not just some boring story of everyday life. Very good :)

Tue, August 25th, 2009 3:29am


Wow...thank you, I thought it expressed my experience fully and well although it didn't seem like an appropriate topic for a college English class, I couldn't think of anything more true to write about than this...I'm glad you liked it.

Mon, August 24th, 2009 9:11pm


I almost cried, I was mad and sad at the same time. I don't know why it's not even my story but it's like reality hits you in the face and the way you wrote it made me feel like I was part of the story. I was expecting a happy ending. But I'm glad you could open up in the end. I was kind of waiting for you to confess to Rene but when you didn't I was a little upset, okay scratch that I was extremely upset. But I loved the way you wrote it. Your super talented good job!

Mon, June 11th, 2012 11:50am

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