When I was in fourth grade at Sacred Heart Academy in Ocean Beach, a new student came to class. Her name was Stephanie. She had golden hair, freckles, and a smile that caused heads to turn. After seeing her in class three or four times and talking with her a little, I soon developed a crush. We would talk to each other every now and then and make fun of each other, just for laughs. The years went by, and I still could not stop thinking about her. Then, in around sixth grade, I gathered up enough courage to ask her out to lunch after school. She came back to me the next day and she said that she "already had a boyfriend," which I interpreted as a lie from the way she said it. That idea pretty much crashed and burned, but I didn't give up.

Toward the end of our eighth-grade year, I had a plan: to ask Stephanie to spend the day with me at Disneyland on our graduation field trip. I sent notes to her and talked to her frequently about the idea...and I finally confessed how long I had wanted to have her as more than just a friend. A few days passed, and on the last day of school, I went up to her and asked for her decision. She said that she wanted to be "just friends" and that she wanted to spend the whole time at Disneyland with her friends.

So, the day that was so much talked about among classmates finally came. I didn't talk to her; she didn't talk to me. I sat next to my friends on the bus and she sat next to hers. When we got to Disneyland I felt pretty gloomy, but I was still happy to be there. At the end of the day, I tried talking to Stephanie a little. She turned away after I said a few words and started talking to my best friend in an excited, giddy tone, asking how his day went.

From this experience I learned an important lesson that can be summed up by this quote: "It's not lovers who get married, it's best friends who do." -- Jonathan Cardeiro, Point Loma H.S.

I was in eighth grade at the time, and I fell for him hard. He rode up to our group at the park on a beat-up BMX bike, and I couldn't take my eyes off of him. After a few days of not being able to get him off my mind, I started to ask my friends about him. They were subtle questions, such as what his name was and what grade was he in. My friends caught on and then began to try and get us to be a couple. Naturally, I didn't stop them and was excited, hoping that he and I would get together.

Thanks to the efforts of my friends, he and I began to talk and hang out more, although we didn't have any meaningful conversations. I was so overwhelmed by this huge crush because I had never been so interested in a boy before. Hanging out with him and my group of friends seemed to always be embarrassing. They knew how much I liked him and would always pressure us into acting as a couple and to be "flirty" with one another. I didn't mind too much; I just never knew how he felt and they didn't either.

After a few months of this "does he like me?" phase, the heartbreak came; he told one of my best friends to tell me he didn't have any feelings for me. I was crushed. I didn't know what to do. He was part of our group of friends, so it was impossible to try and avoid him. I spent a few months crying and moping. My friends helped as best they could, and so did my parents, but when you're heartbroken, nothing matters except the hurt you're feeling.

One day I snapped out of the hurt and realized that I was moping for no reason. He obviously wasn't feeling guilty about breaking my heart. Everyone had been trying to tell me that from day one, but I had to come to that realization on my own terms. After that, I started finding new boys to be interested in and having a good time with my friends again, even with him around. He and I became good friends. Now I know to handle my relationships on my own and to get to know the person before letting myself develop such strong feelings. -- Chelsea Kennedy, Madison H.S.

I was in kindergarten when my heart was trampled. Her name was Rosie. Memories are few, but they are vivid. In the classroom, colorful cubbyholes lined the wall. Children crawled, climbed, and chatted. I sat in a corner, skimming books upside down while Rosie sat beside me, racing Tonka trucks down the carpet. She was a tomboy with red hair and white freckly skin. She'd wear a puffy polka dot dress that made mothers cry, "Oh, she's darling!" It was a rainy day at Parkway Elementary School in Rancho Peñasquitos when all hope was lost. It was story time just like any other day, but a new kid was present. His name was Kevin, and he had blond hair and blue eyes. When he'd walked into the room, Rosie's eyes trailed him like a tail on a comet. She gave him a massage that day. I think back now and it all seems inappropriate, but back then, it was only heartbreaking.

I confided in my friend, David, about my adoration for Rosie. We sat next to each other on the bus ride from school. One day, as Kevin got off the bus at his stop, Rosie offered him a hug. He smiled at her and she grinned at him as he stepped out into the drizzle, his babysitter waiting for him.

I never told Rosie how I felt. I didn't know how I felt; I just remember not being a part of something. Jealousy flowed through all 60 pounds of me. -- Andres Perez, Valhalla H.S.

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