Secret Admirers

Jen and Jim are residents in small town Johnsville. They have known each other for as long as they can remember as they had kindergarten together. Without either of them knowing, they have had a crush on each other since then. Both of them are a bit socially awkward and scared to confront people, so they never confessed their feelings for one another. Instead, they have been sending each other secret admirer gifts with vague notes to each other without the other knowing.

It began in elementary school, when Jim first put his favorite pen with a heart sticky note in Jen’s cubby. He hoped that she would figure out that it was him, but at the same time, he was scared that she would. As nothing happened, he began to worry that she either did not know it was him, or did know that it was him and that she didn’t have the same feelings for him. This went on for weeks and until Jim eventually lost all hope and gave up, until someone put a crisp dollar bill in his cubby. His mind wandered as he wondered if it was simply a coincidence, a different admirer, or if Jen had the same feelings for him and sent him a gift. He was too scared to ask Jen if it was her that gave him the bill, so he just gave her his favorite action figure. Little did he know, Jen felt the exact same way, as she was also scared to confront Jim to make sure that it was him giving her the gifts. 

It seemed fairly obvious that it was Jen and Jim giving each other secret gifts, but both of these people were too shy and too scared to confront one another about the situation. This process went on for years as they got older and began to give more heartfelt gifts to each other, as well as more expensive gifts. Jen and Jim both tried to muster up the courage to confess their feelings for one another, but each time ended in failure. Jen thought she finally did it when she asked to speak to Jim in private, but she ended up asking him to help her fix her car, which wasn’t even broken. 

The process continued as they sent more expensive gifts to one another each time. Jim even bought a brand new sports car for Jen with a bow on it. His life savings began to go down the drain as he continued to spend money on Jen. Jen returned the favor and bought Jim a speed boat for the nearby lake. They both realized that this process could only go on for so long until they had no more money because they did not want to sell their gifts to buy new ones. Eventually, they ran out of money and could not buy any more gifts. They both gave up on their love story and sold their houses because they were in debt. They both moved to an apartment complex because they could not afford their houses anymore. Jen and Jim both finally realized that they were each other’s secret admirers as they saw their gifts being moved in the parking lot of the apartment complex. Although they had this realization, they were still too scared to talk to one another. They lived in apartments right next to each other for over a year without confession. 

One day, Jim felt a sharp pain in his chest and was scared he was dying. He was too afraid to go to a real doctor and have to talk to different people in the hospital, so he went to a doctor that lived a few houses down from him. Little did he know, the doctor had recently been fired from a local practice. The former doctor evaluated him and told him that he had a severe heart problem and he only had a few more hours to live. Jim, having no real friends or family in his life, realized one thing that he must do before he dies. He ran over to Jen, looked her in the eyes and confessed his love for her. She also confessed her love for him and told him about all the gifts that she bought for him. They were so relieved to get that off their chest, but irritated that it took so long to do so, and to only have a few hours until Jim died. They spent the rest of the day together as Jim expected to die very soon. To his surprise he continued to live for multiple days. They thought that their love was keeping him alive, but they went to a real doctor with their newfound confidence. When they arrived at the hospital, they were told that the doctor they visited was fired a long time ago. Jim was evaluated and was told that he only had heartburn, which would go away very quickly. Jen and Jim were now able to move back into one big house together with their possessions combined and sold, as they realized that materialistic possessions did not make their love, only the new experiences that would make up all the time lost to passivism.

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