How long have you been 17?

Here are the “New Moon” contest winners.
All of the entries were so fantastic. Some of you managed to connect vampires to grilled cheese. A few of you wrote fake comments and spoke on Rico’s behalf. Some of you wrote more than 2,000 words.
Thank you to film critic Wesley Morris for choosing the winners. And thanks to everyone who sent a letter. I was amazed by what you came up with. I think most of you have a novel in you.
We were only supposed to have two winners, but we begged the movie company and got three.
Winner 1:
This one made Wesley laugh quite a bit. He also said that the writer’s fake advice is exactly what I would say — and I pretty much agree.
I have a dilemma I hope you can help with. Last year I had to move to a new town, new school, new everything. I’m not sure I would have made it through except that I met a really great guy — we’ll call him “Teddy” — whom I ended up dating pretty seriously. Teddy was everything I thought I wanted. He treated me well, he was really cute, and he even had that bad-boy vibe without any of the bad-boy attitude. Honestly, he never even tried to pressure me into sex (something about it being too dangerous?).
But then he broke up with me this year without any explanation. Just took off for Italy and left his family to tell me where he’d gone. I was heartbroken because I thought I could love this guy forever, and when I say forever, I mean, like, for eternity. I was horribly depressed and eventually got better only by hanging out with a good friend who I’ll call “Yacob.”
Well, the other day, Yacob KISSED me. It wasn’t a friendly peck on the cheek, at all, and he made it clear that he was looking for a deeper relationship than what we have now. I’m so confused because I thought Teddy was the one for me, but Yacob’s the one here, and Yacob, I’ve noticed, also looks pretty hot without his shirt on. And he’s walking around without his shirt on all the time. He’s got that smooth, bare chest I love — well, smooth except during certain times of the month — which I have to admit is an improvement over Teddy who had some kind of weird glowy skin that he used to freak out about, even though I kept telling him he just looked like he’d rolled around in some glitter.
Anyway, please tell me what to do. I still keep thinking about Teddy, but should I just try moving on by dating Yacob? Or should I try contacting Teddy again?
— Giddy, Lusting, Or Only Make-Believe?
GLOOM, I think you may have your questions mixed up. You’re asking whether to choose Teddy or Yacob, but I don’t think that’s your real question. Yes, we can endlessly debate the pros and cons of Teddy and Yacob, but there’s very little in your letter about what YOU want.
In a very short period of time and during a pretty busy year or so, you’ve gotten into two meaningful relationships. I’m not saying the relationships aren’t going to last, or that they weren’t important, but have you really taken the time to adjust to your new environment and figure out what would make you happy?
Maybe the choice isn’t between Teddy and Yacob. Maybe it’s about choosing yourself. Instead of, say ending up married at 19 and giving birth to a vampire demon baby with all sorts of somewhat incestual weirdness going on…
Winner 2:
Wesley liked that this letter was written from the perspective of the werewolf. And we both liked the advice – because if I really got a letter like this, I would be very concerned about the whole hospital situation …
Hi, Meredith. I know I’m probably younger than your typical LWs, but here goes. I’ve liked this girl for a while now, and our dads are best friends. She’s pretty and cool, and when she first moved here a few months ago, all of the guys in town were after her.
The problem is, she’s been going with this guy who isn’t right for her. There’s just something cold about him. None of my friends like this guy, and I’m pretty sure that he’s hiding something big. She split town a while ago and then landed in the hospital. I know that it had something to do with this guy, but she won’t talk about it. I’m really worried about her, and I really wish that she would stop seeing him. My dad even paid me $20 to crash her prom and tell her to stay away from his whole family. Crazy, huh? I don’t think her dad likes him, either. Her dad’s the local chief of police, so he has to be a good judge of character, right?
Not to mention, I like her. A lot. When she first came to town, I thought there might have been something between us. I fixed up her truck, and we hung out a few times. See, there was this long walk on the beach, and I could have sworn that she was interested. But, ever since she started dating this guy, I hardly ever get to see her anymore. It’s like he’s her whole world now. I spend all of my free time fixing bikes while trying not to think about her or worry that she’s going to end up in the hospital again.
I haven’t told her how I really feel about him. I just get the feeling that there’s nothing I could say that would change her mind about seeing him. Even if I said something, she’d probably just think I was jealous. How do I tell her what I really think about this guy? And how do I get her to see me as more than just a friend?
My Best Friend is Dating a Bloodsucker, Washington
MBFIDAB, you’re asking how you can get your friend to see her guy the way you see him and to see you as a potential love interest. That’s tricky. Here’s the funny thing about perception: people only see what they want to see.
We’ve all known people who have made questionable dating choices. More often than not, well-meaning advice falls on deaf ears. You could howl about this guy until you were blue in the face, but there’s nothing that you could really do or say to change her mind about him. Sometimes, people need to learn from their mistakes, even if it’s painful for the rest of us to watch while they make them. My guess is that you were right not to say anything about the guy. For now. If this guy is as creepy as you say, there’s a good chance she’ll figure it out for herself.
My main concern is the mysterious hospital stay, which could be a red flag for an abusive relationship. Unless she’s acting scared or anxious, the only thing that you can do is continue to be there for her in case something else happens. Keep an eye on them. It helps that her dad is the police chief. If the situation deteriorates, definitely bring him into the loop.
Maybe someday she’ll be ready to see you as more than just a friend, but you need to decide if you want to put your life on hold for someone who is spending all her energy on another guy. Your friend is living her life; shouldn’t you be living yours? Take a look around you. Could there be someone in your orbit with hidden potential? Go out. Be young. And keep your options open.
Winner 3:
I fell in love with this one because the person who wrote it told me that by doing this assignment, she gained some insight into her own, real-life love problem. And she has obviously spent some quality time with the books. Points for extreme fandom.
Dear Meredith,
My friend Jessica, suggested I write to you. She said she’s gotten so much good advice from reading your column, and has written herself multiple times about Mike Newton. She told me you’d be brutally honest which I fear I may need a dose of that right now.
To give you a brief background, last year I moved to Forks, Washington to live with my father Charlie. I had been living with my mother in Phoenix, AZ but…well I just wanted her and Phil some freedom to travel with out having to worry about me anymore. I tend to keep to myself, I guess you could say I am a silent sufferer, and I had done so until, Edward.
Edward is the love of my life. I can’t explain the way I feel about him. He has an almost honey-lilac and sun-flavored scent, if that even makes much sense. His skin is stone cold, and yet, the touch of him makes my heart beat faster and my cheeks grow hot. Edward is not like the rest of us. In fact, our relationship is like no other. One way to describe it is a lion falling in love with a sheep. I am the sheep in this instance. From an outsider’s perspective, our relationship is impossible and forbidden, it is quite dangerous for us to spend time together, especially for me. Yet we cannot stay away from each other. I am drawn to him and I cannot find happiness in life with out him. For me to further disclose to you the details of our relationship would mean putting myself, Edward and his family in ultimate danger and so we’ll leave things at that. A Lion in love with a sheep.
At the beginning of this year Edward left me. He left me for my own benefit. He insisted I continue to live my life with out him. To live a normal life. In his absence I was left in complete despair. A gaping hole was left in his wake and the only way I could find solace was through the exhilarating thrill of doing things dangerous and reckless. The only person I ever was able to feel comfortable around was my old friend Jacob. He was the only one who seemed to understand. He never pressed me and required me to put on a fake smile. He was my best friend. We began spending all our free time together. When I wasn’t in school I was with Jacob. We found motorcycles and fixed them up together. He taught me to ride them and when I rode I felt closer to Edward. The danger of every situation made me hear his voice of caution in my ear and I longed for it. Before long, the reckless behavior became the only thing I looked forward to and Jacob was right there with me. I didn’t need to hide my true feelings from him.
To try and regain a little brevity I will skip ahead to the present. Today Edward is back and I couldn’t be happier, the only problem is that I have unintentionally led on my friend Jacob. He claims we are better for each other then Edward an I, and that he can give me what I truly need in life. He is also extremely angry with some of my decisions and yet, he is still there for me. I feel bad that I have put him in this situation and yet I can’t help but miss our connection as well. I am coming to a fork in the road, where I know I must make a decision but I’m not sure I’m strong enough to give up either one of them. Please help…
-At a Fork, Forks, WA
AAF, I’m sure that this situation feels unique to you, but I assure you, you are not alone. There have been many LW in the past who question the love of a close friend and the love triangle has seen many a day on Love Letters. While I know that you feel this situation has come to a crossroads, and that there seems no easy answer in sight, I am here to tell you there is. The easy answer is within yourself. You need to take a few steps back and think of what is best for your friend rather then yourself. Sometimes we love people but aren’t able to give them exactly what they’re looking for. In this case I think your words speak for themselves. You talk a lot about the way you feel for Edward and the way he makes you feel, yet the only feeling you associate between yourself and Jacob is comfort. I believe you’ve answered your own question. You’ve found your love, and now you need to let someone find theirs. You have to give Jacob the space he needs to see that there will be other people he can get close with, and fall in love with. By keeping him around you are inhibiting his ability to move on. It probably makes you feel sad to lose a friend and also mean to shut him out, and because of that you assume it is wrong to push him away, however, it is because you are his friend that you must put your own feelings aside and do what’s best for him.
Jacob will find his Lion or sheep or wolf to love, but you need to give him the space to do so.
Readers, what do you think? Am I right? Has AAF answered her own question? Can you have two loves in one lifetime? Let us know. Here.