So I have this friend who I’ve been close with for years. 4 years to be exact. We’ve had our moments and I’ve definitely been confused about our relationship more than once. It’s funny, sometimes I think and call him my best friend and sometimes I call him a stranger. It’s always been weird because I know, deep down, that I love him. But love in a way of truly caring for someone, not love in an affectionate wanna marry you way. Well, sometimes I get confused.. hence this! So, I’m gonna unpack this friendship/relationship a little and maybe either I’ll get a little less confused after writing this or maybe you’ll just figure it out for me and tell me haha! Anyway, here we go!
Austin* and I met in university. We both shared the same classes and kept running into each other. He was an athlete and I worked for athletics. As we got to know each other we easily bonded and within the first two months, we became best friends. Now, this term goes back and forth all the time. I started dating someone and unfortunately, it didn’t work out. It wasn’t a healthy relationship either and I came out pretty damaged. Honestly, four years later, I’m still trying to heal and accept things from it. Anyway, I started spending more and more time with him and his friends and the line began getting really fuzzy. I thought, man, everything lines up so great! We get along, he’s funny and smart, our backgrounds are so similar and hey, he’s pretty cute so I mean, why not? So, soon this got out and I realized it was between him hearing from someone else or me just being upfront so I decided to just do it. So, one night I got up the courage and looked at him and said, “Hey Austin, I know this sounds weird but I think I kinda like you. I’m really confused about things and I thought I should just get it off my chest and ask if you at all, in any way, feel the same? If you don’t, that’s totally okay! I just had to know so I knew how to move forward.” He just looked back at me with a completely shocked blank face. Fair. He kinda chuckled and said, “I can’t believe you just asked me that. I respect that. I’m sorry Abby but I just don’t feel that way… I think we’re better off as friends.” Now, in his defense, we had only known each other for 6 months and we both just got out of relationships. So, a little devastated, I tried to move on while still growing in our friendship. Nothing seemed weird until that summer
Summer meant going home and making as much money as possible for school. We both lived in different towns so we tried to texts as much as possible. He had a crazy mill job where he worked ridiculous hours so we would talk late at night. He’s a workaholic so he decided to only take 3 days off the ENTIRE summer. Two for his sister’s wedding and one to come visit me and my family. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal but we spent the whole day, just the two of us, walking around, him buying me drinks and lunch and at the end, meeting my parents and other relatives. He stayed and talked with my crazy family for like 2 hours! Like, that really wasn’t necessary. We hugged goodbye and went on with our summer. Later, near the end of the summer, he got one more day off and we decided to get a group together for a beach day.
Cue beginning of school. I started moving in and he saw me trying to move furniture back into the dorms and immediately ran over calling his rookies with him. Instead of going to practice on time, four boys came over to help me move all my stuff in! I know, I felt pretty freaking lucky. Made me think I was in some movie or something 😛 Anyway, as he left for practice he told me we had to meet later that night because we wanted to talk in private. So we meet that night and I am trying to tell myself not to get excited! I walk down and he’s waiting for me smiling. I say, “That’s a big grin you got there Austin. Are you going to tell me what’s going on?” He laughs. “Yah. It’s actually about a girl.” *Internally I am DYING* “Her names Ashley*!” He begins talking about her and their messages and asking her out and all these things and I swear it was like everything drowned out and I tried everything to keep a smile on my face and be happy for him. I mean, I was happy for him! I just somehow thought maybe that girl would be me.
This has always been part of my friendship with Austin. He confides in me. We talk about God, love, marriage, our future, our fears, our hopes and our dreams and we share secrets no one else knows and somehow, he still walks away to someone else and I’m just on call. I know, maybe I am just setting myself up but at the same time, he’s my best friend and that;s what best friends do, right?
Next comes Rebecca*. Rebecca was a girl who for a very long time I thought was my best friend but really is just an acquaintance who used me… a lot… for 3 years to be exact. You see, I’m learning the art of not being a door mat. More to come on this. Anyway, Rebecca is every guy’s dream girl. She’s GORGEOUS and I mean GORGEOUS. Every guy thinks she’s a 12/10. She’s funny, smart, pretty goal orientated and an athlete so super fit with all the right curves in all the right places. She was constantly chased by every boy and she loved every second of it. She was always happy and liked all the attention. With time, sadly, some bad relationships made her a pretty skeptical and bitter girl. With time, she became a girl I didn’t even recognize but one that still knew she could get anything she wanted and easily did it all the time.
Austin was in love the minute he saw her and I knew it. It killed me but I couldn’t do anything about it. She knew how I felt and how things didn’t work out and how I was always confused so I guess she tried not to go for him but in classic Rebecca fashion, what Rebecca wants, she gets! She tried to hold him off with bogus reasons as to why it would never work but one day she told him I was standing in their way. So, Austin came to me one night and said, “Are we okay Abby? Like do we need to talk about anything? Do you know what’s going on with Rebecca because she says you’re standing in the way and I thought you’d be supporting this?” CRUSHED. How the fuck do you respond to that?! So, I tell him no I’m not in the way. That she’s being classic ridiculous her and that she’s making up excuses because I do not care and was on his side! I told him, I don’t care if you’re together! I just don’t want to be lied to! He knew I had trust issues and that I deserved better and I thought we understood each other but little did I know they were together for months, leaving me behind to see each other in private.
With time Austin and I grew apart as did Rebecca and I and I just let myself forgive them because well, I’m stupid. These two tried things three times! Including a time with my other best friend who’s a whole other story but the main point is the third attempt. This third attempt was the real deal! It was a “this is our last shot and you better be in it for the long haul,” kinda thing. He was ALL IN and she was, well she tried to be that. Surprisingly I had a couple moments of true hope for them and I truly hoped and prayed that for his sake, it worked because I knew it would break him but sure enough, it didn’t last. But,
Now, like I mentioned before, we are BEST FRIENDS when he’s single but when he’s in relationships, we’re friends at best. If it’s Rebecca, I may as well have never known him because I’m never gonna see or talk to him. So, when they broke up, guess where he came running? Yup. To me. And of course, I embraced him because he’s my best friend and I know that when you’re in love, you kinda have no control sometimes and he is useless when it comes to a women’s opinion.
So, now you’re almost up to date. As he’s been healing, I’ve been trying to show him a world where Rebecca doesn’t exist. Where “hanging with the boys” is allowed and getting to play golf or any activity he likes is just as important as whatever she wants to do! We spend most weekends together now and at first, I thought nothing of it. I’m just helping a friend through a terrible break up which really encompasses a 2.5 year relationship. But lately, we’ve been having conversations that make me rethink everything! Conversations like my first year all over again. Love, loss, our hopes and dreams, religion and how we see God working in relationships. About how things have changed and what we want now. About past relationships and about pain. But this time, he’s being more loving and caring. He’s paying for me. He’s messaging me all the time and he’s pretty much treating me as a girlfriend while making jokes that we should just cuddle because we have no one else. That we fit perfectly in so many areas that a life together would actually be pretty good. And I swear he said, “Abby, I have always respected you for that one time you told me you liked me and I turned you down and we still stayed friends. And that you’ve always stood by me. I’m sorry. You know, things really could have worked out for us. More than once too but timing has always just been off.” EXCUSE ME?! WHY?!
Now, this has always been my internal battle and the last 2.5 years that he’s been with Rebecca I’ve told myself I would never fall for him again because it has been too painful and I really think I could stay true to this but then a day like today happens. We have a 2hr drive ahead of us and we talk about literally everything. We cover topics of kids to sex to money to careers to love and heart break. I have never had a more honest and open conversation. We both thought we would be married and having kids by now and we both wanted the same life and deep down, still want it… It’s crazy how much everything lays out. But what killed me today was, we had our annual beach day with friends (which I mentioned the first every beach day earlier) and someone asked me if Austin was a good kisser to which I said, “EXCUSE ME? I’ve never kissed him before!” Which everyone kinda chuckled at and said, “Oh right, you two haven’t. Too bad.” Now, we’re driving in the car and randomly he says, “you know how they asked if we’ve kissed? The weird thing is last night I had a dream that we made out… and it was like pretty good.. I mean it was really good.. haha isn’t that weird?” WTF?! How do you answer that? I just laughed and we kinda brushed over it. Why is he dreaming this? Am I crazy? He used to always say he never had feelings for me but I feel like it’s a lie that he’s never been interested. Either way, I now find myself confused about the one person I knew for sure was never a possibility.
Why is that? Why is love so confusing? How can brotherly love turn into more? How can a person who used to repulse you now make you question things? The funny thing is, I can see myself being happy with him and living a good life but I would still feel like something was missing or that I was his second/third/fourth/definitely not his first choice and I feel like every person deserves that… am I right? Anyway, maybe I’ve built this up and I’ve really condensed a lot of things but I truly believe that nothing in this world is more fucking confusing that love because my life is constant confusion.
Okay, I think I’m done. Still confused but hey, maybe someone out there gets what I’m saying. I hope not the same way as me because frick, it’s been annoying.
Until next time!
Sending Love Your Way,
Broken Girl Learning to Heal
*Names have been changed