“I’m not good enough for you. But no one is. And most men, good or bad, have limits to what they would do, even for someone they love. I have none. No God, no moral code, no faith in anything. Except you. You’re my religion. I would do anything you asked. I would fight, steal, kill for you.” 
  -Lisa Kleypas, Seduce Me at Sunrise

            Recently on a Monday, shortly after 11:00am, I arrived at the intersection of 12th Street and Lehigh Avenue. I quickly found a parking space and made my way inside the huge North Philadelphia structure, exchanging a few friendly ‘good mornings’ to several elderly people conversing outside. I was told that due to a packed house, I was welcome to find room on the 2nd floor. Making my way towards the stairwell, my eyes surveyed poster sized prints displayed along the walls. On each image was a professional model-face arranged with edgy makeup, each bore a fierce facial expression, accessorized with a high fashion garment. These were the moments where I’d gesture to images like these and say to a friend standing next to me: “Do you see why I love photography so much?”  
But the task at hand was to find the stairs and find myself a seat.
            Unfortunately for me, the 2nd floor seemed just as crowded as the 1st. I found a portion of a wall to stand at before being asked to clear the walkway by an older woman working there. Spotting a vacant wall to stand on, I maneuvered across an aisle of fashion-forward people, trying my best not to step on their shoes. Leaned against a nude colored wall, just a few feet from a balcony, my eyes searched the area below me…attempting to catch a glimpse of her. “Do you see her? Can you see her?” someone next to me asked. The question wasn’t directed towards me, however all of us were attempting to catch a glimpse of the same person. Amid an adornment of colorful floral arrangements below was Vanessa Watson. I knew Vanessa since 2010, shortly after I began shooting out of my first photography studio. I knew her because she served as one of my models on 3 different occasions. But I had no camera and this wasn’t one of my photo shoots. I was here to pay my respects to the woman known by thousands throughout Philadelphia as Vanessa Banks-murdered by her boyfriend, who then took his own life. A familiar song began to play throughout the building. I remembered it from my childhood being played in the home, and was a song that I remembered church choirs singing before packed congregations on Sunday Mornings. I never noticed the poignancy of the lyrics…until today…

If you want to know/Where I’m going?/Where I’m going, soon/
If anybody ask you/ Where I’m going/ Where I’m going, soon/
I’m goin’ up yonder/ I’m goin’ up yonder/ I’m goin’ up yonder/
 To be with my Lord…

            Seemed like yesterday I was out with a few friends grabbing a drink and doing the usual.  A text message came across my blackberry from a friend and fellow photographer. Still in the midst of conversation, I read the message, informing me that another resident of my hometown had their life ended in violence-this time someone I knew. In this industry, you deal with a lot of bullshit, particularly the inflated egos of artists and models. Vanessa was different, possessing a characteristic rarely seen in this field…HUMILITY. She had a huge following in Philadelphia…and was still humble, often greeting you with her trademark ear-to-ear smile and tiny voice. Vanessa possessed an ambition rarely seen in this blue-collar city. Whatever Vanessa lacked in ability, whatever she lacked in her 5’6 frame (the industry standard is 5’7 and taller), whatever she lacked in resources she made up with the grit and determination that most didn’t have and quite honestly never will-the kind of determination that you need in an industry where you’re told no a thousand times before you get a yes. When you’re a single parent of three children and you need money now…it takes a special person to chase that dream-even when it seems that everything else is imploring you to quit. I remember Vanessa competing in one of her many online contests for the potential to be a cover model for a magazine and reaching out to everyone for votes. I’d log into my facebook account and see her requests for votes in my inbox and plastered all on my wall. “Dammit,Vanessa!” I’d say, moments before laughing it off and then smiling at her persistence. I’d acknowledge to her that she had my vote and kindly removed the spam from my wall-only to have it reappear again the following day. As annoying as it was, that’s how persistent Vanessa was to get where she needed to be. That personified who she was. Vanessa served as a model for three of my fashion shoots. Many I’ve worked with had the egos and the false sense of entitlement, but not Vanessa. A photographer could approach her with a ridiculous idea; he could have called her and asked her to dress up in a Hot dog suit and shoot atop a canoe in alligator infested water…balancing a flower pot on her head. Vanessa would simply say “where and what time” and give you 100% every time. People like that make it. Unfortunately in this world we live in…bad things can quickly happen to good people.
            Vanessa had a boyfriend. Luis “Nook” McCrae. I never knew much about him. I had never even met him in person. Because I knew Vanessa, I’d see images of him online…the very first photo I saw was that of a clean cut young man, dressed in shirt and tie. There were no visible tattoos. There were no goons or strange looking characters in the photo. His hands were to his side and fingers weren’t twisted up in gang signs or explicit gesture. It was a normal photo of a man. But something just wasn’t sitting right with me. That part of our brain that leaps to conclusions about someone is called the adaptive unconscious. The adaptive unconscious is a set of mental processes influencing judgment and decision-making, as stated in cognitive psychology. It’s a reflection of our mind’s power. It controls automatic thinking-nonconscious, fast, uncontrollable and effortless. It allows us to make judgments based on little information. Have you ever been in a situation, and gotten an unexplainable vibe about someone? That person can be completely non-threatening and you’ve felt something? There’s a type of intuitive repulsion about that person. You ignore it, and then later, you find out that person was a pedophile or some sort of weirdo and you go I knew it! That is the part of our brain called the adaptive unconscious that leaps to those conclusions-even with little information.   
            There was nothing physically troubling about him. He didn’t appear menacing. He looked like a regular guy from Philly. But there was an intuitive repulsion when seeing those photos that operated below the surface of consciousness.
           On that fateful Tuesday, Vanessa drove Luis to the Wayne Junction Train Station, presumably to drop him off for work. At they sat in her SUV, he shot her in the head…and then turned the gun on himself. Vanessa was 26, and what seemed to be a story of success unfolding…had ended. Vanessa had walked in New York’s fashion week and appeared on BET’s Rip The Runway. Things seemed to be finally working out…but in the end...a fool can change all of that. As I stood at her vigil days later at her family’s North Philadelphia row home, her Father spoke of her smile and upbeat attitude and the entire crowd smiled because we all could relate. He then went on to say that he always had a feeling about her boyfriend…a feeling that something wasn’t quite right with him…but he accepted him because his daughter loved him and he supported her. I immediately thought of the adaptive unconscious. The reason I assumed her boyfriend was behind her killing, even though I didn’t know him personally. Vanessa’s best friend briefly spoke about her boyfriend at the vigil. She dispelled the rumors circulating of Vanessa being in an abusive relationship with Luis, which ultimately let to him killing her in a jealous rage. She instead said that he wasn’t abusive, but was ultimately just a nut that decided to do the unthinkable. When police arrived at the scene and checked his bag that he took daily to work, there was no lunch in it. He only had a gun in hand and a holster for it in his bag, leading everyone to speculate that he planned to do that all along and had no intention on doing anything else that day…or ever again. It really makes you wonder about the psyche of people. Could it be that he wished to end his own life, and simply decided to take Vanessa with him? Who knows, and that is why murder suicides do so much damage; you’re coping with the painful loss of a loved one-a mother of three-with no explanation.

A time will come when the whole world will go mad. And to anyone who is not mad they will say: “You are mad, for you are not like us.”  -Sir Anthony The Great

            So many women out there are constantly pressured to be with us men. Society dictates that women who are successful, yet are without companion somehow must have something wrong with them. I implore women not to rush into relationships just for the sake of being in relationships…specifically if there are warning signs and they themselves or even friends and family members feel an intuitive repulsion. Someone that I know who meant a lot to many people here ended up paying the ultimate price of selecting the wrong person. If you are a single woman and happy in your present situation, never let someone else make you feel as though something is wrong with you. When we arrogantly tell God our plans…he laughs. It’s impossible to believe that we can save everyone out there, and make them see they’re with the wrong person. But perhaps you may have met someone and wondered why everyone has a feeling about him, even though they cannot explain it to you. If you take one thing from this random thought, understand this… they’re not hating. They’re not crazy. What they feel may be very much real. Please keep an open mind to what your loved ones say and feel. Do not ignore the signs, ladies. Please be safe out there.
“This isn’t a crush, it’s obsession. You are never not in my thoughts. Your scent carries across a room and paralyzes me with longing. I don’t want to hold your hand. Part of me wants to set you on fire and hold you while the flame consumes us both, to eat your heart so I know that only I possess it entirely.”
  -Gwen Hayes, Falling Under

…These Are The Random Thoughts of Ronald Gray…



“Instruction in sex is as important as instruction in food; yet not only are our adolescents not taught the physiology of sex, but never warned that the strongest sexual attraction may exist between persons so incompatible in tastes and capacities, that they could not endure living together for a week, much less a lifetime.”   ~George Bernard Shaw, 1944

            I love my job. What’s not to love about being a photographer? Imagine being paid to be creative. Imagine meeting new and interesting people (most are) on a regular basis and doing what you love as a career- a career that began with aspirations of becoming a fashion designer. Road trips with my fraternity brothers and a used Nikon film camera became a catalyst for the present day career I enjoy. The public began to take notice of the images I took on road trips-mostly images of us goofing around, scenery, and the occasional attractive college girl. A demand soon arose from female college students wanting professional photos, and I happily obliged. The demand and financial compensation never stopped. I had the option of toiling away in obscurity, waiting to be discovered as a fashion designer …or the current opportunity in front of me to realize my artistic potential…and a fashion photographer had emerged. I’ve been adding to my brand ever since.
            The life of a professional photographer is not the glitz and glamour that the typical consumer thinks it is. After all, it’s an industry overpopulated with people who already have overinflated egos, and you provide a specific service that further fuels their narcissism. When shooting weddings, one would think it’s the happiest day of a couple’s life. It’s also one of the most stressful. People are on edge because it’s running late, lots of guests didn’t shown up, the bride doesn’t like her makeup, the florist is stuck in traffic, she’s nervous…and it’s finally sinking in how much debt this new couple has gotten themselves in by putting on a fairytale wedding that no one is impressed by. This industry is extremely competitive and like any business, you’ve gotta be able to give them what they want, or they’ll spend their money elsewhere. That means that for the right money, I’ve shot glamour, fashion, weddings, corporate events, bad-ass children, creepy fetish stuff, maternity shoots with bitchy women, and even funerals.  
            Today a friend asked to use the Internet feature on my ipad to check email. After viewing it, he closed out the window, which took him back to the ipad’s home screen-a full-length fashion shot of one of my models. He ventured into the photo galleries of my ipad, categorized for the diverse clients that I provide services for: Glamour, Fashion, Special Events, Photojournalism, Travel, Commercial/Editorial, and Urban. Urban is really just a euphemism for Eye Candy photography…affectionately known by the fellas closest to me as “the titties and ass shots.”
His eyes widened with each image and he surveyed the photos. I knew what he was about to say and ask next. His head shook in disbelief as he continued to view.
“I don’t know how you do it,” he added. I knew what his next statement would be. Almost on cue with my thought, he exclaimed, “Yo…I couldn’t be a photographer. If I were you…I’d be bangin’ every one of these girls.”
I waited for the most asked question from my male friends. Then it came. “Yo…have you ever smashed one of the models? There’s no way you could be shooting them and not fuckin’ em.”
           I told him that when you start to do that, your career is essentially over. After explaining that I’ve never indulged in sex with a client and never would, he still didn’t seem convinced. Since my friend was in real estate, I decided to answer his question in a manner in which it would be relevant to his career. I told him it’s a lot like owning property. Let’s say you’re the owner of a Duplex, and you rent one of the units to a single, attractive tenant. You fully understand that this is business and this woman pays you for a service-in this case it’s $800 a month for rent. Still your carnal instincts get the best of you and you find yourself laying more pipe than what’s found under the granite kitchen countertops. Now that you’ve mixed business with pleasure, your tenant is guaranteed to look at you like you’re crazy the next time you ask her why the rent is late or wasn’t paid that month. Women often sign contracts in invisible ink. Congratulations…your dick just signed a new 12-month lease for some free, or severely discounted and late rent. I’m a photographer. I shoot for the art and the money, and not for the women.  Many people who don’t work in the field naively think that one can have both, but it will not work. People don’t want to pay. No one likes paying for services. They realize that they have to pay. Once you begin to cloud the lines of business, the pussy will become the unofficial payment, and you’ll find your business taking a huge financial hit. It’s also never a good look when you have the reputation as the photographer who fucks models-and models talk.
            Besides the fact that you’ll be standing there looking dumb and not getting paid, banging the models is also a huge risk to your reputation and livelihood.  Bad news travels much faster than good news-and lurks around a lot longer. Google popular New York Photographer Lloyd Parks and see what comes up. He was recently arrested on rape charges and was awaiting trial in the Bronx section of New York. On February 3rd, he was arrested on 3 counts of 3rd degree rape from a model-who claimed she had forced sex with him. Indulging with a model resulted in a brief stay at a Riker’s Island Jail. Do I think Lloyd raped that model? No. I’ve met him and know about his work in Black Men Digital Magazine. I highly doubt that a successful photographer would risk his empire over some model pussy. However, it’s likely that he did sleep with that model. Who likely initiated it? Doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, a photographer could attempt to bring things back to business as usual and the model will be staring at your invoice…and thinking, what the hell is this?
            Contrary to how TV misleads the masses, most “models” aren’t making lots of money and some are in fact just opportunists with inconsistent income. If they see an opening to make a false or true allegation against a photographer who gives off the perception of immense financial success-be sure that they’ll take it. The model (whom I don’t know personally) alleged that Lloyd locked his 7-year-old son in one room, while he raped her in another. A harsh lesson learned? Or false allegation? Only God truly knows, but I strongly believe in avoiding opportunities for it. In addition to keeping model relations strictly business, I keep my female makeup artist present during shoots and my studio has video surveillance. I’ve worked too hard to have someone ruin it.
           Many have made requests to get hooked up with a model, but my suggestion is to first appreciate the attractive, educated sistas with conventional jobs and stable futures. I always tell them that dating should be less about matching outward circumstances, and more about meeting your inner necessity. That’s not to say that looks don’t count-you just can’t have looks be the basis of your attraction to another. Looks, much like a model’s career, won’t last forever if you don’t have other things to bring to the table. When people ask why I’ve never secretly indulged, I remind them that the caliber of woman I date has so much more to offer…besides sex. And there’s no guarantee that sex with a model is better! (laughing) If you’re self-consumed in your everyday life, it likely transfers over to the bedroom as well. Selfish is selfish. We as photographers also see people for who they truly are. We see the model prior to the shoot-before the professional makeup artist gets to them, before the fashion designers and stylists drape them in exclusive garments and accessories. And we see them before the photoshopping, airbrushing, tanning and weaving. Such is life. You hafta channel that ability to weed through the bullshit and see people at their core. If you’re a male interested in a model, there are things that you must know…otherwise you will find that it’s not the fairytale fantasy that you think:
            Although not applicable for everyone, Models can be arrogant and can brush off secret admirers quickly and often (I see it all the time). In many cases the best approach is no approach. You get more attention from them when you come off as uninterested and coy. Very attractive woman means lots of competition. Although it’s always best to be yourself, interest levels of highly sought-after women is best maintained by playing distant. That fact alone should tell you everything you need to know about what you may be in store for. All models are not the dumb entities stereotyped on television. Some are extremely intelligent, with advanced degrees. Be intelligent. An intelligent conversation can impress or expose a model, and give you a better feel of what you’re working with.
            It’s also important to not just speak intelligently, but use common sense as well. High fashion models, as opposed to urban models must maintain a specific figure and weight. Planning dates around food can blow up in your face. A lavish date at an expensive Brazilian Steakhouse may leave you frustrated (and broke) when you’re sitting across from a model-who orders just an appetizer, or orders a full meal, but doesn’t eat it. It happens. If you don’t like to plan lavish dates or are unwilling, you may find yourself on the end of a reality check. Many models are used to a high standard; don’t think you’ll be getting away with Chili’s for long. Models are often in the company of people in the fashion industry. People in that industry tend to have money. That means designers, photographers, lawyers, execs, and businessmen. Dating a model is not for the insecure man.
            At the end of the day, all people have good and bad traits. Dealing with someone exceptionally beautiful on the outside can come with it’s own unique drama, whether male or female. Make sure that whatever issues are there, are issues that you don’t have to convince yourself don’t exist. Every time you date someone-male or female-with an issue that you have to work to ignore, Guess What? You are settling. I read a facebook status from someone the other day that pretty much summed it all up. It said:
An attractive dude (or female) who lacks fundamental insight and/or ambition might as well be physically unattractive…’Cuz there ain’t shit sexy about a clueless muthafucka who has no intention on getting a clue. Thank you, Holta for that great quote…

…These Are The Random Thoughts Of Ronald Gray…



“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
                                                         -Tom Bodett

            Totally Random, but I hate Philly’s radio stations. The same ten songs are always in rotation, no matter the station, no matter the time of day. Every R&B song on the radio has some New York or Southern rapper on it-their rap lyrics often having nothing to do with the song. Every other track played has Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne or all damn three on it. The radio personalities-many employed here after being released from New York stations-seem more concerned with hearing themselves talk than actually discussing things of substance and playing the music that people tune it to hear. I can’t prove it, but I swear I lose a brain cell or two every time a Waka Flocka track gets played. Today, calls were taken and the topic of the day was: The appropriate time for a person infected with herpes to tell their mate. I cringed at the thought of things getting hot and heavy with a female, only to hear her say, “Ron…there’s something I gotta tell you before we do this.” She then goes on to tell you that she has herpes. Your eyes survey her face for a hint of a smile or laugh, hoping… wishing… praying that this is all just a bad joke. The blood rapidly flowing from your penis, back to the rest of your body as you search for your boxers and car keys.  Although I’m sure people living with herpes don’t think it’s an appropriate topic for a first date, it’s information that I would want to know ASAP. The calls came in and personal stories of infidelity, scandal and failed relationships poured in- reminding me why my weapon of choice while driving is my ipod plugged into the auxiliary port and not the radio.
            The radio personalities gave relationship advice to the callers-each of their stories appearing crazier than the last. Plato once said, Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. Wearing a slight grin, I wondered how many of the callers would actually heed the advice given to them. After all, I was taught that the greatest discovery of all time is that a person can always change his/her future by changing his/her attitude. Will they? Likely not. Countless female friends call complaining about the latest bum hailing from Loserville, who made his way into their bed and heart. Recently, a female reader of my blog requested that I write about why men take so long to commit to relationships and why we take so long to marry women. Great topic, but I’m not sure if ladies are ready for those honest answers from me….yet. But, in an effort to bring you one step closer to the answers you seek, today I’ll discuss some of the ADVICE that Men and Women get, yet FAIL TO APPLY to their relationships.

WE READ THE WORLD WRONG AND SAY THAT IT DECEIVES US-This a direct quote from Rabindranth Tagore. Yeah, many of you are thinking Who the hell is that?!? But it’s something that both men and women can apply to relationships…especially those who are still looking for that special someone. How many brothas out there love to date gold-diggers? none, right? But ask yourself if you know a man right now that consistently gives the false illusion of wealth, yet complains about the kind of women he attracts? They say we spend money we don’t have…to buy things we don’t need…to ultimately impress people we don’t like. Some of us do everything in our power to impress women with our money, and then when we meet the women who are impressed with our money…we complain.  You’re reading the world wrong, and then claiming that it’s deceiving you. 

IT IS FAR BETTER TO BE ALONE, THAN TO BE IN BAD COMPANY- This has woman written all over it. Most of them admit that they hate to be alone. So they spend the best years of their lives, in failed relationship after failed relationship-tallying unnecessary sexual partners, experiences of infidelity and taking on more drama than needed. Time alone helps us to evaluate what went wrong in a previous relationship and will usually give us the opportunities to appreciate something new and different when it comes along. Sad thing is…the most beautiful women you meet often fall into this category. They date the same idiot over and over and can’t understand that the pattern has not only to do with them, but the bad company they keep. There’s a common psychological test given to small children, in which they have the option of receiving a shiny nickel on the same day, or a shiny new dime if they wait until the following day to get it. In every study at almost every school, the children choose the nickel. The nickel is larger in size than the dime, but worth less in value. Perception and immediate gratification-as opposed to waiting out for greater reward, equal in value of twice the time. Hold out for the larger reward and save your self the mess of lesser-valued men. The next time you come to the store to pay for some food, think about how a clerk would feel if you pour $10 worth of nickels on the counter and want them to count it. Now you’re one step closer to understanding the plight of good men who meet women who are afraid to be alone…recovering from a lifetime of dating lesser-valued men.   

YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE- Confucius once said only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. I have plenty of male friends who have had the great fortune of meeting good women, but they say they aren’t ready to settle down. That stated from a man in his 30’s loses validity unless used when you’re fresh out of a lengthy relationship. The good thing is many good women out there will be patient with a man they feel is worth the wait. The problem is that there are still many good men who make a woman wait too long, and the next thing you know...she’s gone. With every good sista, there will always be a line forming for her time. Although good brothas are said to be rare, we’re not the endangered species many of us believe we are. That woman you’re taking your sweet time to lock down will be long gone before you know it and you’ll be old news faster than you think.

 PAIN IS INEVITABLE, BUT MISERY IS OPTIONAL- every scorned woman should know that for every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. So why do women harbor old pain and carry them from relationship to relationship like a badge of honor? Perhaps many realize that the “moving on” part is actually easy; the hard part is what moving on leaves behind. I was always told that the one who loves the least controls the relationship. For years I was always the one who loved the most, and the one hurt in the end. Things changed when I learned that the pain from relationships was inevitable…but the misery was an option. Women saw me transition from the man who was once viewed as “too nice” to someone well seasoned and aware of the kind of woman he deserved. Robert Anthony once said, you can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it. Are women truly ready to become butterflies? They must first be willing to give up the life of being the caterpillar in order to do so.

 MARRIAGE IS NOT ALWAYS THE ANSWER-IT CAN SOMETIMES BE A REALLY BAD IDEA- I watched the relationship of one of my male friends and his girlfriend since they met during our college years; the relationship a continuous cat and mouse game of infidelity and secrecy. Men always have the stigma of being the cheaters in a relationship, while women are often viewed as the innocent victims of our carnal addictions. The truth is that women are just much better at cheating. Men will cheat with coworkers, next-door neighbors and close friends of our counter-part, using reckless abandon…wondering How The Hell did she find out?!? When a woman fucks another man, he lives across town and is someone that doesn’t run in the same circles. The male ego will often fool us into thinking that our woman doesn’t or won’t creep. Tired of fucking the same pussy for the last 5 years? Guess what…she’s tired of looking at the same dick too.
            I watched this couple in college continue year after year of their tumultuous relationship. Somehow they thought it would be a good idea to actually get married. Problem is, when a couple has problems-specifically cheating-marriage can further exacerbate things. Now your significant other transitions from someone living with you, cheating under the same roof-to someone living with you, married to you, cheating under the same roof…and can take half your shit.
Sometimes they say desperate situations require desperate measures. Well this isn’t one of them. Marriage is not always the answer.

I’m suddenly reminded of this story…

10th grade:
As I sat there in English class, I stared at the girl next to me. She was my so called "best friend". I stared at her long, silky hair, and wished she was mine. But she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. After class, she walked up to me and asked me for the notes she had missed the day before and handed them to her. She said "thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I wanted to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

11th grade:
The phone rang. On the other end, it was her. She was in tears, mumbling on and on about how her love had broke her heart. She asked me to come over because she didn't want to be alone, so I did. As I sat next to her on the sofa, I stared at her soft eyes, wishing she was mine. After 2 hours, one Drew Barrymore movie, and three bags of chips, she decided to go to sleep. She looked at me, said "thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Senior year:
The day before prom she walked to my locker. My date is sick" she said; he's not going to go well, I didn't have a date, and in 7th grade, we made a promise that if neither of us had dates, we would go together just as "best friends". So we did. Prom night, after everything was over, I was standing at her front door step. I stared at her as she smiled at me and stared at me with her crystal eyes. I want her to be mine, but she isn't think of me like that, and I know it. Then she said "I had the best time, thanks!" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Graduation Day:
A day passed, then a week, then a month. Before I could blink, it was graduation day. I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel up on stage to get her diploma. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. Before everyone went home, she came to me in her smock and hat, and cried as I hugged her. Then she lifted her head from my shoulder and said, "you're my best friend, thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

A Few Years Later:
Now I sit in the pews of the church. That girl is getting married now. I watched her say "I do" and drive off to her new life, married to another man. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn't see me like that, and I knew it. But before she drove away, she came to me and said "you came!". She said "thanks" and kissed me on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Years passed, I looked down at the coffin of a girl who used to be my "best friend". At the service, they read a diary entry she had wrote in her high school years. This is what it read: I stare at him wishing he was mine, but he doesn't notice me like that, and I know it. I want to tell him, I want him to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love him but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why. I wish he would tell me he loved me! `I wish I did too...` I thought to my self, and I cried.

  …These Are The Random Thoughts Of Ronald Gray…