An unarticulated crush is very different from an unrequited one, because at least with an unrequited crush you know what the hell you're doing, even if the other person isn't doing it back. An unarticulated crush is harder to grapple with, because it's a crush that you haven't even admitted to yourself. The romantic forces are all there -- you want to see him, you always notice him, you treat every word from him as if it weighs more than anyone else's. But you don't know why. You don't know that you're doing it. You'd follow him to the end of the earth without ever admitting that your feet were moving.
My mom believed that you make your own luck. Over the stove she had hung these old, maroon painted letters that spell out, MANIFEST. The idea being if you thought and dreamed about the way you wanted your life to be -- if you just envisioned it long enough, it would come into being. But as hard as I had manifested Astrid Heyman with her hand in mine, her blue eyes gazing into mine, her lips whispering something wild and funny and outrageous in my ear, she had remained totally unaware of my existence. Truly, to even dream of dreaming about Astrid, for a guy like me, in my relatively low position on the social ladder of Cheyenne Mountain High, was idiotic. And with her a senior and me a junior? Forget it. Astrid was just lit up with beauty: shining blonde ringlets, June sky blue eyes, slightly furrowed brow, always biting back a smile, champion diver on the swim team. Olympic level. Hell, Astrid was Olympic level in every possible way.