On the beach, ocean water splashing his knees, stood a man. His mouth was slumped into a frown, crinkles edging around his weary eyes. My heart pained for the stranger. Kayla, don’t even! a voice scolded me in the back of my head.
“Hey!” I clamored, jogging to him. “Why do you look so dismal?”
“I have slipped into an abyss of dejection!” he shouted in reply. “We weren’t meant to be!” He moaned and groaned, “All my fault! My fault!” He lay down on the sand, the waves crawling over his chest, and muttered, “Die. Die.”
“No! Don’t!” I grabbed his arm and pulled him up. “Why would you do that?”
The stranger remained silent. “Belle. Her name’s Belle.” He smiled. “I love her.”
My heart melted into jelly. “And she doesn’t love you?” I queried.
The man shrugged and answered softly, “I…d - don’t know.”
Eyes widening, I raised my hand, ready to slap him silly. “Don’t know? YOU DIDN’T TELL HER?”
His grim eyes avoided mine. “I -- I couldn’t. I can’t.”
“In all the novels I’VE read, the guy who doesn’t tell the girl he loves her ends up LONELY for the REST OF HIS LIFE,” I informed him. “So TELL HER.”
“Have you told your crush you like HIM?” he demanded.
I stepped back, flustered. “W - what?”
“Have YOU…” he began. I stopped him. “No, I understand what you said. I just don’t…” I sighed, thinking about Jake’s dreamy, sea-green eyes. “No.”
“And it’s EASY to tell him?”
“N - no.”
The man glanced at me. “Tell him, Kayla. Tell Jake.”
“Wait, how do you know…?”
A breeze blew past us. The man disappeared in a cloud of dust. “Tell him, tell him,” a voice echoed.
I told Jake the next day. We’ve been dating ever since. My mantra since that day? Take a chance.