I'll call her S.
I was seven or eight when I met her, I think. She moved in from the next town over — my younger cousin introduced us to each other. Apparently they were classmates a few years before (S and her family moved between our town and the next town over a lot since she has family here).
Anyways. If I recall correctly, I was immediately smitten with her. S was pretty and funny and had the cutest laugh I've ever heard. We became friends but not on the level that she was with other people, I was older than my friends back then so we were in completely different grades (I was one year above). We spent a lot of time together outside of school, though.
I crushed pretty hard on her and I was completely unaware that it was a crush in the first place (because I am a girl, and when you're a kid who's crushing on another person of the same gender it's easy to chalk up whatever feelings you're feeling to "I just want to be their best friend"). I got jealous when she gave people more attention than me but she was pretty popular, a lot of people wanted to talk and befriend her. So because I'm me, I kept quiet about it.
I didn't do anything concrete about my feelings for her, though there's a few memories I have about us that I'll always look back on fondly.
The moment I realized I felt more for S was when we were at a school sleepover with a bunch of our other friends. We were twelve, I think. We placed out mats next to each other and spent the whole evening playing with our DSi's and taking funny pictures on her iPod touch. We took a lot of videos and I made her laugh so many times that I was practically glowing with affection for her. That night, while everyone was asleep, I was awake and just decided to turn around and spend a few moments listening to her breathing, watching her eyelashes flutter. I was comsumed with thoughts like "she's so cute oh my god" and "I want to get closer to her" and I was completely unaware what these thoughts meant until I inevitably thought: "I want to kiss her."
Y'know gay people usually freak out when they first have thoughts like that, and I did too, for a few seconds. But the sentiment was true and my feelings were heartfelt, nothing about them felt wrong to me. But I knew kissing her in her sleep would be a massive invasion of privacy, so instead I just got close enough to the point we were breathing in the same air. She grumbled a bit but because she's a cuddler (we've had a lot of sleepovers before this one, and I was secretly counting on it) she pulled me into a small embrace, and I knew that whatever I felt for her wasn't wrong at all. In fact, it felt like a huge weight on my shoulders was lifted.
I fell asleep happy that night.
I don't talk to S much these days, though I do see her around on the reservation sometimes since it's pretty small. Sometimes she smiles and waves at me, other times we don't say anything to each other at all.
I don't have feelings for her no more. Those faded away, eventually. But a few years ago, she made me a ten minute drawing of me and her, wishing me a happy birthday. So of course, I hung it up on my wall.