Anton Yelchin, You Were My Surrogate

I was really sad when Anton Yelchin died. He had been the answer to, “Who’s your favorite actor?” for a few years, as well as the background on my computer, so you could say it hurt more for me than most. But I’ve started to wonder why he was my favorite actor. In all honesty, I’ve only seen a handful of his movies and I always forget their titles. When people ask me which movies of his are my favorites, I usually sneak IMDB under the table. So why was he the background of my computer? I have a theory. This theory dates back to my high school years.

For those of you who don’t know me, I went to a boarding school for junior and senior years. This school was really hard to get into. No Average Joe could just waltz in. Joe had to have serious mental health or drug issues if he wanted to become a student. If you read my almost first kiss story, you can probably figure out what I was there for (anxiety etc.). Now, this school had a lot of rules, but the one we’ll talk about is in regards to crushes and relationships. Let’s say I developed a crush on Tom. I wasn’t allowed to tell Tom, I wasn’t allowed to talk about my crush on Tom to my friends, and I certainly wasn’t allowed to hold Tom’s hand. The only way I could tell Tom about my feelings was by bringing it up in group therapy–romantic, I know.

Near the end of my senior year I found a Tom. He was cute, smart, funny, and just messed up enough to go to that school, but not messed up enough to where he would end up in jail. He was perfect. Back then, and even still, if I like someone who’s out of my reach, I befriend them and try my hardest to make them love me. Tom and I became fast friends. We set up a weekly meal, called an “every” (cleverly named after the fact that it was supposed to happen every such-and-such day of the week). We chatted about our lives and I stared at his beautiful head of hair.

Soon, my feelings affected our friendship, and I felt it necessary to tell him. So I did what any normal teenager would do: I requested Tom to be in my group therapy sessions that week. The day came when I planned on confessing. I couldn’t pay attention in class because I had butterflies in my stomach. The moment arrived. I was sitting in a circle with Tom sitting a few people down from me. I was more fidgety than normal and my friend noticed. She moved across from me and said, “It seems like you want to say something”. I was glad she called me out, but also mad that I went to this stupid school that made me feel like a freak for having a crush. I stood up and moved across from Tom.

“Hey, Tom,” I probably said…It was six years ago, so I honestly don’t remember what I said. It was something along the lines of, “I know we’re friends, but I really like you. It’s totally cool if you don’t feel the same.” And what did he say back? I don’t know. Something like, “I think you’re a cool friend, but that’s it.” Cool cool cool. Perfect. I wasn’t heartbroken or anything, because I saw this coming. It just felt good to get it off my chest.

In most cases in which someone would “come out” with their attraction to someone, the two would get put on bans, meaning they weren’t able to talk to each other outside of therapy, because the staff was worried they would hold hands or kiss. But because I was there for anxiety, the staff thought it was adorable, and encouraged me to talk to him more.

The first few weeks after group were pretty awkward, but I eventually got over it. I graduated, went home, and watched the movie, Like Crazy, starring Anton Yelchin. Was this Tom in a more accessible-from-my-home form? I declared him my favorite actor. I watched him in Charlie Barlett, an episode of Criminal Minds, Rudderless, New York, I Love You, and Middle of Nowhere. And he became the background of my computer.

You may be asking yourself if Tom and I still talk. No, we don’t. I put feelers out a while ago to get together, but was ignored. He did, however, like my Facebook status a couple weeks ago, which is the closest I’ve been to feeling like he loves me.

I realized I had to move on when one day, a couple weeks ago, I opened up my laptop and the picture of Anton Yelchin had been replaced by a stock photo of waves. I was pretty furious. I spent an hour trying to figure out how to put him back up, but then I got hungry. I think it was Anton’s way of telling me to get over Tom. To which I have to say, “Oh my God. You know who I am!?!?”




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