1- When you are small and fragile and just about 5 years old, there will be boys, and there will be boys. You’ll be tiny, then, and not really get it at first and that’s okay! You’re not going to understand why you feel shy around pretty, sweet Musaki for a long time, and that’s really okay.
2- When you are 8, there will be a birthday party, and you won’t really get why people laugh about crushes on girls, because girls are friends, but why would you want to be with one forever. You won’t see the looks your parents give each other. It’s okay.
3- When you are 13, you will only have a few friends. You will try hard to make more, and fail, because you’re different and people can see that even if they don’t quite understand why. It’s okay.
4- When you are 14, you will wish you were brave. You will wish you could give chocolates to the cute, popular guy in your year, but you won’t. You will try and fail to move. Someone else will succeed. It’s okay.
5- When you are 14, you will watch news coverage. You will see a boy fight a villain, see another run to his rescue. You will wonder if anyone would run to save you. You will wonder if you could run to save anyone. It won’t be okay.
6- When you are 14, you will listen to Crimson Riot’s strong, powerful voice, and clench your hands and weep, but it will be okay.
7- When you are 14, when you make a new friend and have worked harder than every in your life and come second in the practical exams for your dream school, you will buy box dye from the store and questionable bleach, and you will transform. And this time, you are more than just okay.
2- Definitely don’t cry when you excuse yourself to the bathroom, shaking in relief because you didn’t know how it was going to go. But if you cry anyway it’s fine!
3- Try not to get too far into his space, but don’t let him get away with the prickly asshole routine. Try to be polite and careful.
4- Fail at that. Get in his space. He needs affection more than anyone you know, and he deserves it, but listen when he gets uncomfortable with your arms around his shoulders and your legs pressed up close. And you might need more affection too, so fuck it, take it where you can and don’t let his spines throw you off. Because alone, he gets softer. A little more nervous, a little more confident.
5- Don’t let your eyes linger. Just because he’s pretty and smart and strong and also your best friend is no excuse. Don’t.
6- Damn. Fail at that too, move on with your life, but at least try to be subtle about it.
7- Meet a Boy. Try not to look, but give in when you see him looking back, and try really hard not to notice how his eyes linger. Fail on that, and go say hello. Say hello a few more times. Try not to blush when he leans in a bit too close to be platonic, when his eyes linger on your mouth. Try so, so hard not to be flattered past words.
8- Definitely don’t flirt back. Definitely don’t feel charmed and wanted and handsome. Definitely ignore your best friend’s narrowed eyes and sharp voice and try very hard not to feel smug that he’s acting a little jealous.
9- Don’t be surprised when he gets between you like some angry puffer fish and scares him off, because he couldn’t leave it alone, because you knew he wouldn’t leave it be. Even if it stings a little.
10- Do let him apologize and do accept it. Don’t think too hard about how he’s just possessive and isn’t into you.
11- Don’t let yourself wallow in how alone forever you are. Remember you’re all of 15 years old, you idiot. Crying doesn’t help.
12- That’s a lie. Crying helps a lot. Have a good long cry about it, and move on with your life. There are lots of other boys out there.
13- Get your face under control.
14- Smile. Smile until it feels real again.
15- Recognize when he makes an effort to go out with everyone, not just you, because that’s a big step for him and you know it. Praise him, just a little, and be subtle about it so he doesn’t get embarrassed. Just thank him.
16- Wake up one morning and sing in the bathroom because you’re excited to see him, and freeze. Realize what’s happened. Spend the day a little quiet, watching him more than normal, feeling your heart struggling in your chest, and just know.
17- Smile. Just smile.
18- Fake that things are normal when he starts looking nervous, when he frowns and searches your face for something.
19- Ask to spend time with him, because he's your best friend. Smile. Don't think about it, don't think about it, hide your feelings deep down.
20- Know when he walks in that you can't hold it together any more.
21- Tell him. Try not to cry or hyperventilate when doing it, but if you can’t, that’s fine. Get it out anyway. Tell him, and don’t you dare ask for him to return your feelings, because you’re terrible. You’ve ruined it.
22- It’s all your fault.
23- Smile again. This time it won't be hard, because you knew. You always knew. There aren't any tears this time.
24- Don't let him apologize for what you did. It's no one's fault (except for yours). Try not to read too much into his stricken face, but don't reach out to comfort him either. He won't thank you for it.
25- Don't bother trying to sleep that night.
26- Let him be. Let him stew over it, turn it over in his head like he always needs to. Let him think about it. Let him do it until he walks in and looks a little bit smug, a little more normal.
27- Keep your distance. You know you messed up, falling for someone who doesn't care back, who maybe doesn't even like people.
28- Scratch that, because apparently he won't LET you give him distance. Apparently he thinks now will be the best time to stick to you like glue.
29- Gather up your nerve and apologize for your feelings, because the guilt is eating you whole.
30- Give up on that apology when he turns those big fierce eyes on you and insists there's nothing you should be apologizing for.
31- Wrap your arms around him. Bury your face in his shoulder, because it's broad and hides your face, and this way he doesn't have to see your shame. Try not to melt when he hugs you tight, like he's trying to win at hugging. Try not to cry, but don't feel bad if some tears leak out.
32- Pull back and try to thank him, because you're full of joy that he doesn't hate you. And if he (gently) yells at you, just laugh.
33- He looks so beautiful right at that moment, so fix that moment in your mind. He looks soft for just a moment, eyes going wide like he's realized something, but let it go and go to dinner.
34- Let the months pass.
35- There are boys, and then there are boys. Indulge a little on the days you feel the worst (and sometimes on the days you feel petty). Let yourself be flattered by passerby, try not to blush too hard when people take notice of you, and definitely don't preen when you get caught and your best friend forces himself to be nice.
36- Spend time with him. Sit in a tangle of legs and arms and torsos, spend hours playing games and griping about class to make him laugh and joke and smile like he's just another person, not the sun in human form.
37- Let yourself be happy. Just… be happy.
38- When he asks to talk with you, looking pleased and a little nervous just go with him. And when he confesses-
39- Wait. What?
40- No, really, WHAT?
41- Ah, right. He must be doing this for you, to spare your feelings. Tell him no, even though it hurts, except-
42- Except when he grabs your face and stares into your eyes, you won't be able to breathe at the desperate determination in his.
43- Let him kiss you.
44- Feel, just for a moment, every second of love and hope and joy that’s possible.
45- Kiss him back.
46- Kiss him again, just for good measure.
47- … Kiss him a few more times, too.
48- When you are 15, you will meet a boy with a temper hotter than the sun and just as hot looks, who will be brilliant and ridiculous all at once. When you are 16, and kissing him, and loving him, and knowing how your hands fit together in all the best ways, don’t forget to smile. Don’t forget to savor every little moment, and memorize how he sounds when he’s ticklish, and how the tender spot right behind his ear is so soft to nose over and kiss, and don’t forget to whisper things to him when you’re out in public so that he knows, he knows, he knows how much you love him.
49- When you are 16, he will love you back, with that same hot fire and ferocious joy, and while you are made of diamond he will melt you to the core.
50- Everything is not okay. Everything is perfect.
Note: When you are 26, you will marry him, ten years from the day you first kissed him, and it will be even better than perfect.