Note: For better or for worse, some personal attributes, viewpoints, and events mentioned in this post are now outdated.

Like for many of us, March 2020 was a horrible time. Everything that I was looking forward to was canceled. In particular, an event on the weekend of the Lockdown (which, for the record, was around the 13th or the 15th) was canceled, which is where my story today starts: this girl I liked, who had disappeared and I did not know why at the time, I expected would appear again for a short time for this event. Well, maybe she would have if it weren’t for the coronavirus. That changed things.

The strangest thing was that these changes did eventually mean that I got to see her and talk to her on a weekly basis. I learned a great many things about her over the summer, including that she had moved, which would explain why she had disappeared for so long.

But the biggest problem for me began on September 2. After our weekly video chat (it was after the rest of the youth group had left), I texted her and eventually confessed to her over text message. (I know, bad idea, right? Or good idea. I don’t know.) After the longest five minutes of my life, she finally responded, “I think I like you, too.”

But, of course, that’s not the end of this story, because the next day she told me, “I don’t really think my feelings go beyond friendship.” Surprisingly, I took it quite well in the beginning. But it wasn’t that way forever. A month or so later, I had dove down a deep hole of obsession over her, which I attempted to remedy by repeatedly reminding myself that she does not like me (in the sense that I do her). After I came out of that, I still had feelings for her, and while my obsession was lightened, its remains still lingered in my heart.

In December, an opportunity arose. I had asked her before if she would want to do a Bible study, which she seemed glad to do (and I had no doubt, we just never got around to starting one). Our church was planning to do a church-wide Bible study, which basically meant all of our Life Groups (our fancy name for Sunday school) were going to be reading through the same scripture at any given time over the course of the year. I asked her if she would want to do this with me, and eventually, we did start on the first full week of 2021. While we altered the schedule a couple of times, I think we’ve settled into a weekly video chat on Saturday mornings where we talk about the verses we read that week, and mostly what stood out to us. Then we chat about random stuff, or before, after, or in the middle, this ain’t Sunday school.

Now comes the tricky part. I still have feelings for her that have only grown stronger since the obsessive downward spiral. I tried to disconnect from her, but she still is an amazing friend and I really don’t want to get rid of her. But I can’t just sit around and do nothing. While I love and look forward to our video chats, they’re somehow just not enough for me. I’m totally lost as to what I should do. I want her to know how I feel about her, but I know she’s prone to stress and anxiety and I can’t dump more of this on her, as I have before.

Just as she didn’t want to hurt me when she told me how she really feels (unfortunately for both of us, it does hurt), I don’t want to hurt her. Before I confessed to her initially, I was afraid of being rejected and losing a friend. I don’t want her to feel creeped out, because apparently, I have that effect on people. (Also, I’d imagine raving to her about a dream I had where she leaned on me, and I wrapped my arm around her, then leaned on her would not blow over very well.)

Ultimately, I don’t want to lose her. She doesn’t need me; in fact, she’s a lot better off without me, and to her, I’m just like every other person she’s met, except I still live here, I confessed to her, and I do stuff with code, all of which have no emotional impact on her whatsoever (which, in the case of my confession, is good if it is true, but it may be less than true, although I’m not sure).

I still want to go see her when the weather is warmer. I still want to hug her and hang out with her. And, of course, I’d love to take her out to dinner! I’m not sure any of that will ever happen (not counting video chats, which are really nice but it’s just not the same).

I’m turning off public comments for this post everywhere I can, because of the nature of this article. Please, if you have any advice or tips for me, send me a private message or just talk to me (privately, please) anywhere you know me (if I sent this to you, then probably wherever I sent it is a good idea). I’m stuck and I don’t know what to do next. (Oh, college? That’s another topic for another day.)