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by Abigail Van Buren

Sight of Boy Alone in Car Weighs on Witness's Mind

DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old boy with a big problem. There's this girl, "Ashley," I really care about. But I don't know how to tell her. I took her to the junior prom and afterward we spent most of the night together -- talking.

That night I realized how much Ashley and I have in common and how much I care for her. The trouble is, it's summer vacation, and it seems like she's always too busy to go out with me, or she already has plans.

We talk almost every day, but I need to see her and be with her. Abby, I know no one is perfect, but Ashley is the closest thing to it.

Yesterday I broke down and cried because I realized how much I want her to be mine. Can you please tell me what to do -- and how to tell her my feelings? I ache inside. -- SMITTEN IN OHIO

DEAR SMITTEN: Look at the bright side:

(1) Ashley obviously likes you. The two of you talk on the phone nearly every day. Tell her you really like her. It's a compliment and it's the truth.

(2) You shared a wonderful night at the prom. It is something the two of you will never forget.

Perhaps this will have to do for now. Summers fly by quickly, and soon you will have more school events to share. In the meantime, make plans with other friends and stay active. It will keep you from dwelling on the fact that you're not with Ashley as much as you'd like to be.