Unrequited Love

Bailee is sitting in the playground. His hair splashed about his forehead in a ragged, peaceful way, his cheeks sporting freckles and a mid-afternoon covering of dirt. His t-shirt says “GO OAKLAND RAIDERS” on the back, but the writing was kinda worn so it took a few minutes to work it out. He’d worn this t-shirt often, which had given Sara the chance to study it. Sara is leaning on the netball hoop. A blonde without trying, enabled with long legs and a simple smile. She had feelings that ran deeper than the Grand Canyon and thoughts that could penetrate the crust of the earth. Her family thought of her as a saint, her friends thought of her as an A student, and Bailee didn’t think of her at all.

When she first met Bailee it was in Year 7. He was a lot skinnier and smaller back then, but he had the same smile, only his teeth were straighter now. Which was unusual, because teeth normally don’t straighten themselves past childhood, but it didn’t surprise Sara. She believed in Bailee, that of course anything could happen, he was magical and could convince even soft rain to fall. While she had been planning trips to the Greek islands with him, 6 months later Bailee still didn’t know her name. They never had a proper introduction, but by the end of Year 8 they knew of each other, and made eye contact maybe 10 times a week, if you included drama rehearsals.

When Sara had seen Bailee in that football tee (once she had figured out what it said) she pondered it for a few minutes. Then, her fingers tripping over each other, she typed Oakland Raiders into the search bar. It took her three and a half weeks to learn all the players off by heart, the recent scorings, the important dates in the history of the team, their current location and upcoming schedule, their coaching and management squad, and lest we forget the basic rules of football. It’s funny how something can change from boring to brilliant with only the influence a boy.

So we’re back to the playground. Bailee is smiling at a redhead, some of the juniors are playing tag, the teachers smirking over some homework in the lunch kitchen. Sara let go of her tight grip on the netball hoop, almost stumbling without its support. With each step she took a breath, with each breath she took a step. Bailee wasn’t a figure in the distance, he was on the verge of becoming something greater in her life. Her shortcut across the netball court felt like a 3 day hike, and she felt a little shaky and tired when the first pieces of bark appeared in front of her from the playground. I’m scared, she thought. It felt like an exam, except this time she cared more about the results than her parents. And she studied too. She even got out a book on football, and she had applied all the study techniques she had ever been taught. She’d marked the day in her calender when she would walk up to him. And hear the crowds cheer, the drums beat, the guitars strum to the tune of her glorious success. Yes. She had made it. Bailee was here. Looking at her. Staring, even. Him. It was him. 10 beautiful seconds passed by, a sweet interlude before The Conversation would begin. It was here. The moment had arrived.

She said.

“You like the Oakland Raiders?”


“Who are the Oakland Raiders?”


“Your, um, t-shirt?”

Another pause.

Then a sentence that cut her feelings in two, like cutting the tag off a top.

“I don’t like football.”

A butterfly flew by in whimsy style.

And, just like that, she realized that a feeling is just a feeling. And there is a greater time, a greater place, a greater moment to come. A greater plan for her life, than any that she had made herself.
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
C.S. Lewis

“People can plan what they want to do, but it is the Lord who guides their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9
Have you ever liked someone and they didn't like you back? 

Madison xx


  1. This was so relatable. I have always felt that heart-pounding and heartbreaking fear of falling in love with the idea of someone I built up in my head. I have never gathered enough courage to tell someone I like about my feelings towards them since I would always tell myself "who would even like a girl like me?"
    This was beautifully written. I enjoyed reading it :-)


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  5. This is beautiful and very relatable.
    Blog: Sundaysaresunny.com

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