I loved her: for her loyalty, for her sweet good humor, for the way she held her hair off her neck when she was hot; for the streak of sadness in her and for her belief that one true love could wipe it clean.
— from The Dive From Clausen’s Pier, by Ann Packer
It’s a funny thing, hope. One hopeful thing – a boy telling you, “I’d like to see you again” – can do so much to move you away from the hopelessness that you’d been feeling and which you thought was going to be endless.
Hope is what gets you out of the house on a Saturday night when you were planning just to stay home and mourn a friendship that might never be the same. Hope is what says, come on, you can’t just sit here moping; you never know what’s waiting out there for you. Hope is what leads you to put on what you feel most confident in, and lets you understand what he tells you with his eyes. Hope makes you feel like you can be anyone you want to be, because he doesn’t know you, but makes you realize that just being you should be enough. Hope helps you be strong enough not to shy away.
The thing that hope does, too, is help you see that this is not all there is for you. This is not all there is, one boy who broke your heart by accident. There is more, someone who will hold your hand while you walk down the street and guide you through a crowded bar with a hand on your back and watch you as you disappear down the escalator after a night of talking and kissing and getting to know each other.
But it’s a hard thing, too, hope, because you have to trust it. You have to trust that, if he said he wants to see you again and asked you if that would be ok, if he took your number and gave you his, if he kissed you first, if he told you that you’re beautiful, that he meant those things. And you want to believe it, because that’s who you are and what you do, but you’re not sure, because he still hasn’t called. And you tell yourself to be patient, but it’s difficult, because it feels like a game, this waiting, and you don’t understand why, if he wants to see you, he wouldn’t just tell you so.
But even if he never calls, you know that you will be ok, because hope has shown you that there is more than this for you. And there is no rule that says you can’t call him.