I’ve been his friend more more years than I can count on my fingers and he’s always said that I’m the one person he can turn to for unbridled, unbiased and honest to good advice relating to the women he’s pursuing – be it relationship advice, or be it for when he’s looking for a casual hook up or fling. I’m his 2am call when he’s drunk, I’m his 7am call when he’s at the airport taking a flight, and I’m his middle of the day ‘I just wanted to say hi’ call. At first, the idea that I was his ‘go-to’ person for relationships/women and all that ‘bro’ stuff made me feel pretty special and important – till that one day when we kissed – and not the friendly peck-between-two-friends mind you, it was a full-blown I-want-you kiss and suddenly everything changed.
As soon as this happened my brain went into overdrive and a couple of things were racing through my poor perplexed mind:
First: ‘I can’t believe that just happened, it’s HIM. This should NOT have happened.’
Second: ‘Holy mother of.. what WAS that? I haven’t felt a spark like that since…NO!’
Yup. So now, my head was a conflict of emotions – Why did that kiss seem so perfect? What will happen to our friendship after this? Is this meant to happen to lead us to something else? Is he my person?
So while my head was spinning with all of these questions, I put on a brave face and decided to confront him and be done with it.
Cut to the next day: We had plans. I said I’d meet him at our favorite restaurant, and I proceeded to spend a little more time primping and priming – completely unintentionally of course. My hair was on point, eyebrows on fleek, dress doing it’s business – surely, when he saw me he’d notice that I had made an effort? Of course he would, we shared a rather special moment the evening before. How could he not?
I entered the restaurant, saw him sitting at our favorite booth. He wasn’t alone. Strapped to his arm was his latest squeeze – the one he just wanted a ‘casual’ fling with. And he brought her to our lunch. After we kissed. The evening before. What. The. Actual. F***? I smiled, waved and sat down opposite the two of them. And of COURSE he commented on my appearance, ‘I didn’t know you had plans after this… you look way dressed up. Anyone special?’ But before I could answer, he had turned back to his date.
We were introduced, and he informed me that after a lot of thinking and contemplating, he decided to ask her out last night. After we kissed. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? and he acted like nothing was the matter. That last night didn’t exist. OK. Two could play that game. We were friends, and at the end of the day, it was our friendship that trumped everything else. So I let it slide, and pretended that we didn’t ever share that kiss the previous evening.
So we got back to normal, and he never brought it up. We talked about his latest ‘girlfriend’ (we use that term loosely, he’s not into labels per se.) and about how she’s now wanting to do more coupl-y stuff together… And they’d only been dating for a month. He turned to me and said, ‘Why can’t she be more like you? You don’t nag me, you’re so chilled out and anything I tell you doesn’t upset you…’ HANG ON A MINUTE. We aren’t even DATING and he compared her to me. This makes no sense. And suddenly, all those emotions bubbled to the surface. Tears were threatening to fall, but I took in a deep breath and sucked it up.
‘You idiot,’ I said (I have a real way with words.), ‘You’re dating her’ (I’m so eloquent) ‘You can’t compare her to me..please tell me you haven’t said this to her..’
Well, of course he had. And she was livid. And she said that if that’s how he felt, he should date me instead of her, because CLEARLY he wants her to be MORE LIKE ME. On the outside, I’m face-palming hard, on the inside my heart is doing a dance that even Michael Flatley wouldn’t be able to keep up with. This was the moment of truth – we were going to have THE talk. I held my breath, and just as I was about to say something he spoke – ‘It’s you… I can tell you anything. You get me. When I said that I wanted her to be more like you, I meant in a laid-back way. Not always nagging me to do stuff. She misunderstood that I had feelings for you. Dude, it’s US… we’re so alike that people think we’re actually related. And that just makes anything else seem gross..’
Well, that shut me up nicely. So after convincing myself that it was a ‘mistake’ and that the kiss had never happened, things just transgressed into their natural state – him turning to me for womanly advice, and me – churning it out because I loved him that much, and yet there was still a piece of me that wanted things to be different – I was still curious to know if that kiss meant anything to him. Every time I tried to bring it up, he’d remind me that we were friends and that I shouldn’t think too much about this stuff. Sigh. Of course he’d say that.
Obviously, I’m not really thinking about what could have been if he had given into that kiss. Of course I’m not. (Cue eye roll here.). But I will say this – being friends doesn’t mean that my feelings don’t matter. It doesn’t mean that you can go back to being normal without thinking that I’m going to be fine as well. It doesn’t mean that I’m a yo-yo and that you can expect me to be okay because it’s US. There isn’t an us. It is you and me and we are extremely close, but we aren’t an ‘US’ in the way you built my hopes up to be. You need to know that even if I tell you I’m OK, I’m secretly hoping you’ll come to your senses and talk to me about it and realize that maybe this is our shot to be together.
Don’t think that you can toy with my feelings – no matter how unintentional, you still expect me to be okay, because you think that I can handle anything, because I’m your ‘bro’. I’m not your bro – I’m a girl, who was kissed by you and now, although I’m always going to act like a bro to you – my heart will never be the same again.
Until next time, keep smiling.