Eight years ago, I fell for my best friend. His name was Adam, we’d been friends for years. We both talked about the feelings that were coming between the two of us—should we pursue them?
One summer night, I went to his parents’ home, where he was alone. It was late, I had just ended my shift at the ice cream shop, and he had made me dinner: steak kabobs that looked so perfect, I thought they were store-bought.
When I crawled into his bed that night, I felt him inch closer, coming in for what would be our first kiss.
“Are you sure?” I asked him. “Once we kiss, there’s no turning back.”
After that night, we were together, inseparable, and I quickly fell in love for the first time. However, at the end of the summer, I had to go back to school, putting nearly 15 hours between us. I booked a flight to visit him in early October when I had some time off from class.
We spent four days together, getting a taste of what it would be like if we lived in the same city. When I woke up the morning I was flying back, I was miserable. I fought the tears for hours. I didn’t want to say goodbye.
But we parted ways, and although I talked to him a few times after I landed, that was the last time I ever saw him. Soon, he stopped answering my calls, stopped replying to my text messages, and eventually started posting pictures of him with another girl (who he’s now married to) on Facebook.
I had lost my love, my best friend, and above it all, I didn’t get that call. To him, I didn’t deserve closure, an explanation. I kept a journal during those days, days when getting out of bed was a real challenge—sharing a bedroom in a sorority house was complete misery.
My mom told me, “Go 7 days without contacting him.” So I did. I wrote in my journal. I waited. But when the 7 days were over, and I hadn’t heard from him, I didn’t know what to do.
In the years following, I battled with a severe fear of abandonment. The guy I dated after him really paid for it—if I didn’t hear from him in a few hours, I was convinced he was leaving me.
But then! Then I met a guy who I was head over heels for—I even brought him home to meet my parents. We drove across the country, putting us back in town late one Sunday night. When I watched him go back to his house that night, I got a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach.
He ignored me for weeks and it was over.
Since then, I’ve tried to combat my fear as much as possible, chalking it up to guys just being immature cowards. I learned this weekend that it has nothing to do with age.
All last week, I thought Michael was in his “Fortress of Solitude,” sad over losing his girlfriend, even saying this:
Essentially, he is sitting on his couch with his boys [Weezy F. Baby and Hermes, his dogs], drinking beer and eating red velvet cake batter frozen yogurt by the pound. He may or may not be throwing darts at old pictures.
So I did as I was told, and I waited. I left him alone for 4 days, until Saturday evening when I sent him a text just checking in on him. And then 4 hours later, I didn’t get a reply. And then I logged onto Facebook to see he uploaded a new, cute picture of the two of them.
So no, he wasn’t sitting around sad and depressed. He was actually patching things up with his girlfriend, and how do I feel about that? I think it’s great. Because relationships are tough, and if anyone can find true love, then I’ll be first in line to cheer it on!
But we had developed a friendship. We didn’t kiss or have sex, I did nothing wrong, and yet somehow I don’t deserve a word? How much courage would it really have taken him to send me a text saying that if it was going to work with his girlfriend, I couldn’t be in the picture? Sounds pretty fucking easy to me.
So I sent him another text: “As my friend, you could have just told me instead of ignoring me all week and having me worry.”
Of course that got no attention either, which is typical.
This is why my counselor asks me how I have hope. I’m beginning to ask myself the same thing, because really, how often does life, or god, or the higher powers, or Katy Perry, need to shove it in my face that I don’t get to have it?
For once in my life, and I can’t believe I’m saying it, I’m feeling the words of an eliminated bachelorette. Skip to 1:29
“I just don’t want to be told forever, how great I am.”