A Rose For Marly

It was one week before high school graduation when I found the note. I didn’t know it then, but by the end of that week, my life would be changed forever.
I had been cleaning out my locker, looking through old papers and taking down all the pictures I had taped to the door. Everything seemed to hold memories from the past year, so I was careful not to throw away anything with sentimental value. I found the note on the top shelf of my locker, laying on top of my biology book. It had my name , Marly, printed neatly at the top, and though I didn’t recognize the handwriting, I thought that it was probably from one of my friends. But as I read it, I realized that it couldn't be. It was signed, 'from a secret admirer.' I knew I shouldn't take it seriously, but I couldn't stop my heart from beating fast or my face from turning red.
I kept thinking that it was just a prank. But who could've written something so sweet and touching just for a good laugh? I heard laughter from the end of the hall, but when I looked down there I saw that those laughing were paying no attention to me.
That evening I kept replaying the words of the note in my head. I reread it so many times during my last hour class, I almost had it memorized.
We never spent any time together, it said, but in my mind we did... In my mind we shared so much... from our first kiss to popcorn at the movie theater on our first date. We laughed at inside jokes that no one else got, you taught me how to dance in my backyard. Of course, none of those things really happened... I only imagined them. Outside of my mind we never existed as a couple, you never even knew my true feelings for you. And I'm afraid you never will if I don't tell you now. Please meet me Friday night after the prom, in the park.
I spent that entire evening thinking about the note and who could've written it. It wasn't every day I got a note from someone who had been admiring me from afar.
The next day at school, I showed the note to my best friend, Christy. We sat down by our lockers, musing over who the mysterious person could be. Every time a boy walked by I contemplated the question: Could it be him? I tried to act like it wasn't important to me. After all, it could just be a cruel joke someone was playing on me and I would look stupid if I made a big deal out of it.
By the end of third hour, everyone knew about the note I had received. At noon, a crowd had gathered around my locker. Some wanted to see the note but I was cautious of who I let read it. I guarded it as if it were some great treasure, and to me, it was.
"What if its him?" Diane Johansen said, pointing in his direction and laughing. She started doing a dead-on impersonation of Jimmy. I couldn't help but laugh as Diane talked with a stutter and shook, as Jimmy often did. I instantly regretted it. I looked at him. I didn't see love or admiration in his eyes, I saw pain.