Wow. I never expected this. When I found out I didn't know what to say, but somehow I didn't cry either. I still haven't. All I want to do is save you, honestly. If I could hold your hand right now I would. I know I never did before, but I'm admitting right now that I always wanted to. You were so gentle and encouraging. You weren't like the other guys.

It hasn't been that long, but I keep imagining that you're a completely different person now. I'm sure your heart is the same, but you did an amazing job fooling me if any of this was your intent. I thought I knew you. I thought I knew exactly what you wanted. Sometimes, I tried to be that, but I was way too scared, to be honest. Talking about my feelings is really hard when it comes to this. That's why the only way I can process any of this is to write to you…and you'll never even read this. You were always good at isolating yourself, even though everyone loved you so much.

You have no idea how badly I wanted to kiss you sometimes. I was going to, but you wouldn't stop talking long enough for me to get close to you. I loved those conversations though. You made me laugh a lot—mostly because I didn't know what else to do.

It was torture being with you almost every day and never acknowledging what I thought was obviously lurking between us. Other people had noticed it too. It hurts to think I might have changed something if I'd told you how many times I wanted to do something but never did. That's been the story of my whole life. I always wait and overthink for too long, so why should I have done any differently this time?

All those times I thought you were looking, I wanted to stare right back. I promise I did. All those times I must've imagined we were flirting, I wanted to tell you I actually meant it. You told me I was beautiful all the time—was I misinterpreting that? If it wasn't my looks it was something I wore, or said, or did. That's the most painful part. You were really good at encouraging people. I love that. Not just for the sake of getting a little confidence-boost, but because you were only capable of being honest. Or so I thought.

This is not to make you feel guilty. I love you. You know I do because I would tell you, but one thing I am good at is acting like the things I say are stupid and indifferent. I couldn't tell you how I really felt because you weren't in control of what always kept us apart. It seemed like you were even willing to obey it. Of course, I don't know because I never asked.

I really wish I could write your name. Not for the sake of anyone knowing you, but for the sort of closeness that saying someone's name brings. For the sake of the comfort that your name has always brought me, I want to say it. And I want to save you. I want to talk to you face-to-face. Now I will cry. I'll cry because I'm afraid I'll never see you again and you were the best leader there is.

I really loved being around you and I loved feeling protected by you when you said you'd say you're my boyfriend if anyone messed with me. You were the only guy I wanted to call when I had a problem. When you weren't preaching at me, you actually had some really insightful things to say. And it seemed like you would actually listen to what I said to you. When I told you I didn't like false humility, you never made the same comments again. When I made fun of you, you admitted that you thought you struggled with pride. Of course, you were good at almost everything, so you had a reason.

Here's the most embarrassing part. Every time I heard the song Why I thought of you. Every Whitney Houston song was about you, every guy I met was compared to you. I never understood the way you thought, but everything you explained made perfect sense and you always knew how to convince me to agree with you.

We "fought" a lot. Even though we thought completely differently, we did have one thing in common—our stubbornness. How cliché, right? And I couldn't be a cliché, so I never told you how I loved those brown eyes or how strong I thought you were. You were super respectful too. I always felt safe with you. I always wanted your attention and that's why I would be quiet for so long sometimes. You would always talk to me, even if I didn't talk to you first.

But then there were the texts. I always texted first, I always invited you to things. And you really didn't like being social, even though you were super extroverted. That never really made sense to me. But, of course, there were other things about you that I never understood either. A lot of things didn't add up. But I don't believe in or notice flaws except for my own—at least, at first I don't.

I really, really miss you. It hurts. I really don't like being hurt by boys, and that's why I usually don't let them that close. Of course, I didn't let you that close. But I will always want to be your friend. No matter what. I'll always love you in that way. Even if things had been different, we both know there were certain things that would force us to stay friends. Just friends. But I do love you, friend. I wish you'd let me.