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May 2023 Contest Winner: Past Dreams

when I was a child, i dreamt

of parallel universes so different

where i succeeded, where i was loved

i don't have dreams anymore

and none of them would ever come true

because they already have


at the train station, greeting

each other with a smile and a wave

that was all i longed for, my dream

already came true, what else is there to long for?

i'm content, because i'm complete.

i used to dream of you, of your kindness

and every sweet word that sung from your lips

your loving, caring essence kept me alive

whereas dreams kept my hopes living

you will never know me

the pure joy and adoration you instilled with that simple wave

poorly concealed behind a mask, one of giggles

i thought i was hallucinating again when i saw you

because your seraphic beauty made me forget,

as usual, blurring the lines

between past dreams and cruel reality

and yet— time passes, too quickly

you mayn't have seen my smile as i didn't wave

but you must have seen my eyes follow you

on the train, behind closed gates and beyond

you were so close, that close, yet so far.

there are so many words that await my voicing

that resonate in my dreams, begging to be spoken

but where has my chance gone?

and when will i see you again?

perhaps one day, we can live my past dreams.

my dreams that were always forgotten

when i lay my eyes on you.

I'll always wait for you.


I always wondered if there was a phrase for “falling in love with you as a friend”.

Perhaps “falling in platonic love with you” would suffice.

It was not chaste love at first sight. Being asexual (and perhaps aromantic as well), I cannot see why those famous women are called “pretty” or “beautiful”. They just look normal — maybe even fake — with all that makeup piled on their faces. So, you probably already guessed it — I do not find your outer appearance pretty. Not only do I not see it, but I have not even seen you without a face mask to determine whether you look normal like everyone else or worse than them. From your photograph in the VA magazine this year, it is most likely the former.

Unlike many others, I do not think that I have ever seen you apply makeup. Even if you had, it would be minimal, or I would really need to go for an eye checkup. Despite the fact that I am aware that I am not in a position to give you advice appearance-wise, I am of the opinion that you look lovelier without makeup by my own aesthetic standards.

I did not fall for you because of your appearance in your graduation photograph without a

mask or glasses. I must admit that you look nice, but I am afraid that the word “pretty” or “beautiful” is outside my vocabulary. Be that as it may, seraphic and serene would still be some choice words I would compliment you with in that photograph. I vocalize you as “pretty” and “beautiful” not because of your appearance, but because of your heart; I am not drawn to your mien, but to your aura and character.

I have fallen intensely for your winsome character, unequivocally. Retreating into my cluttered and chaotic “mind palace” (the method of loci) and looking through the library, it is hard to believe that I have known you for 9 months. It was as if it were only yesterday that I realized how beautiful you truly were. I saw all your generosity, compassion, kindliness, and gentleness under your professional guise. And I was mesmerized by that. You were, in a way, my enigma—a puzzle I wanted to solve.

Beyond the shadow of a doubt, I have profoundly fallen for your aura. Your aura was different from others, and very much so. It was idiosyncratically exquisite in a way, and it intrigued me. I fell for your intelligence, your quick wit; I saw your determination and kindness; I felt your sweetness. You are, assuredly, one of the shrewdest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and of course, the most treasured. Harsh and unfeeling as you may be at times, you are the kindest, most thoughtful person I have met.

I am not sure if you were trying to achieve the effect of being “cute”. Head over to Google and search “define cute”. I meant the first explanation, not the informal North American one or the third. But I have to say that you are sometimes endearing. Surely this comment is quite out of line, and it should not have come from someone my age. I am at least 10 years younger than you, and I am describing you like one would to their daughter. How interesting. Nonetheless, I do sometimes find you adorable, especially when you smile and wave. You radiate youthfulness without effort.

Indubitably, you have captured my heart with your sparkling eyes. Indeed, you have brown eyes, normal brown eyes like everyone else, including me. While the rest of our eyes paint a dull shade of brown, you hold me spellbound with your eyes; a swirling and shimmering, a perfect mix of warm chestnut and glittering cinnamon, whose gaze never fails to take my breath away.

I have fallen for you platonically, Adeline. You have my heart in your hands, and I will never be able to forget you. Would you please consider being my companion after my graduation?

I will always wait for you, even if it takes decades.

Eternally Yours.


Cordelia, the winner of WriterVana's May 2023 writing contest, is an angst, fluff, and fanfiction writer.

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