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I wrote a love letter every day

1st place $50

Author’s name withheld

Illustration by Sam Landsberg, 17, Hamilton HS

What silly thing did I do for a guy? Well, here’s some background info: I was in eighth grade, he was in ninth grade. He lived in Cerritos and I lived in L.A. We only saw each other once or twice (at most) a week. I’m not really sure what made me like him but he was so kind and sweet.

It was Christmas 2007 and he had just broken up with his girlfriend. Knowing about the stuff he went through, I gave him lots of comfort and support. Thanks to that, we became a lot closer and he ended up asking me out on Christmas Eve. (Is that romantic or what?)

OK, so I’ll get to the point. Starting from the first day we were going out, I wrote a letter to him every day so that when it came to our 100th day, he would receive 100 letters. And this wasn’t just any type of letter. I put so much thought and effort into it. I would write about how much I thought of him that day, how much I missed him, and all the reasons why I liked him so much. I know, it sounds pretty creepy (and corny), but at that time I spent one to two hours writing each day. So much effort was put in; each letter even had its own envelope.

So did it work? Ha ha … it makes me laugh when I think about it. Let’s just say, he started to lose feelings for me. It turned out that I was a rebound for him after he broke up with his girlfriend. I’m not bitter toward him today (although I was for a year afterward). I understand that he needed someone to help him get over his ex-girlfriend. However, I don’t recommend seeking another person to fulfill your needs right after going through a breakup because you will really hurt the other person. To be honest, I was truly heartbroken. I never experienced so much loneliness in my life before this happened.

Oh yeah, about the letters … What did I do with them? What should I have done with them? I thought of throwing them away, shredding them, even burning them. But that would be a lot of papers wasted. So I decided to give them to him anyway—those pitiful 70 pages (I wrote more than one page for each day) with my scrawly handwriting that I thought he’d be able to read. His reaction? “You didn’t have to give them to me.” At that time, I couldn’t believe his words. All my hard work and he thought it was useless. But his sister told me later that he read every single one of them and still has them today.

Did it work out? Not quite the way I wanted it to. Did I regret it? Yes and no. I regret that I did this special thing for him and not for my future husband. I don’t regret it because it taught me how to write even more meaningful letters to the people who helped me get back on my feet again. One more thing for those who may have been wondering: being asked out on Christmas Eve isn’t as great and romantic as you think it would be. Good luck everyone!


I got the girl by dating her friend

2nd place $30

By Grigor Emirzyan, Amelia Earhart HS (North Hollywood)

The silliest thing I’ve done for love is a long story. There was this girl named Mary. She was really cute and real cool. We were friends, but I didn’t know if she liked me back.

One day I thought of an idea: if I went out with her friend, she would feel jealous and go out with me. So I started going out with her friend Marina. I noticed it was working. One day Mary wrote to me on Facebook and we talked. She told me that Marina had said how great I was and she wrote how lucky Marina was to be with me. I knew my plan was working.

Finally, I decided to make it happen. I called Mary and told her that I liked her and the only reason I went out with Marina was so she would become jealous. She told me that was the sweetest thing ever and she became my girlfriend!

(P.S. L.A. Youth spoke to Grigor after he won and found out that he and his girlfriend have been together for three and a half years.)


I shouted out my feelings

3rd place $20

By Emanuel Castro, Birmingham Community Charter HS

I’ve done some crazy things to let a person know how I feel. It was the first day of school in eighth grade and everyone was happy to see their friends and what classes they had. When I got to fifth period algebra I sat in my assigned seat and I noticed a girl sitting next to me. When I saw her I thought she was really pretty. I told myself I should get to know her. In sixth period we both ended up being teacher’s assistants for P.E.

A couple days went by and on Sept. 5, 2009 we finally talked. Her name was Nadya. We shared my algebra book and always did our classwork together. We became best friends and told each other a lot of stuff. We even came up with our own words. As months went by our relationship grew. We would walk to class together, sit next to each other and I even started to hang out with her after school.

I knew I really liked her. No, I knew I loved her, and I wanted to be with her! The only think that was stopping us was another girl. I told Nadya I wanted to be with her and that I would break up with the other girl for her, but she started acting weird. We weren’t talking as much, but I would still bring her flowers and write her notes saying I loved her and that we were going to go out in high school.

Nadya would always deny that I loved her so I decided to prove her wrong. “I love Nadya!” I said out loud at lunch in front of everyone. The other girl broke up with me. I didn’t care. I wanted to show the girl who I really wanted to be with how I felt in front of everyone so she would believe me. After lunch everyone said I should feel embarrassed and stupid for doing something so dumb, but I didn’t care. I wanted to prove a point and the only thing that mattered to me was Nadya and if she believed me and felt the same way I did.

The next day she told me to stop talking to her because she had a boyfriend. I felt stupid for doing what I did. Not until then did I feel embarrassed. I did something so silly for her love that I never got.

What brightens your day?

What is something that makes your day a little better? It might help you forget whatever is stressing you out, or just makes you happy. It could be your dog greeting you when you get home from school, going to swim practice or putting on a necklace that someone gave you and remembering how much they mean to you. Tell us why it makes you happy.

Write an essay to L.A. Youth and tell us about it:

Essays should be a page or more. Include your name, school, age and phone number with your essay. The staff of L.A. Youth will read the entries and pick three winners.Your name will be withheld if you request it. The first-place winner will receive $50. The second-place winner will get $30 and the third-place winner will receive $20. Winning essays will be printed in our November – December issue and put on our website at

Mail your essay to:
L.A. Youth
5967 W. 3rd St. Suite 301
Los Angeles CA 90036
or to

DEADLINE: Friday, Dec. 17, 2010