Feelings weren’t supposed to be involved.
It was strictly hook-ups: I needed the experience and you wanted the action.
It stayed that way for you, not so for me. That’s where we went wrong.
We’ve known each other for eight years now. We’ve been best friends for five. We live ten minutes’ walking distance from each other. You told me that the reason we started hooking up was because we know each other so well and the sexual tension was bound to come out sometime. I believed you. I still do. You were my first kiss, my first hook-up, my first everything.
Oh, the things we would talk about. We planned trips – college visits to California, Boston, New York. You told me we would walk on the beach at sunset. It would be magical. You said we would go with your dad (who loves me), and he would let us have some alone time. You said we would take road trips on our own – like my parents would let me do that.
When my parents fought, you were the only one I could turn to. You knew how I felt – your parents had just gotten a divorce. More on that later. When my father yelled and screamed through my entire house, it was you who I asked to meet me at the park near our houses. You could talk me through it. You made me feel better. There was one time when we were hooking up in your room. I started thinking about stuff with my parents and broke into sobs. You reassured me, told me it was going to be okay, said you would always be there for me. Now I’m not so sure.
Your parents’ divorce tore you apart. I couldn’t fix you. You told me at the end of last school year, on the bus. You’d been quiet all day – so unlike you. I asked what was wrong, and you told me in a very subdued voice. I felt horrible. I knew this was one thing that I couldn’t fix about you.
I blame your parents for your relationship problems. You can’t stay in a relationship. You prefer one-time hook-ups, then proceed to ignore the girl and never rekindle the friendship. Except for me – at first. We hooked up so much – sometimes twice a day. Eventually, it got serious. You convinced me to sleep with you. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it was that you were still hooking up with other girls occasionally. I thought that if I slept with you, you’d stop that and see only me. I was wrong, obviously.
We were each others’ first times. The first time, your sister walked into your house about forty-five seconds into it. That didn’t work so well. We had to try again. The second time, we had you and your dad’s new condo all to ourselves. We spent two hours together. It was great.
The next day you asked me to come to your condo so we could talk. You told me it just didn’t feel right anymore, you couldn’t keep seeing me. I was shell shocked. Stunned.
That first day, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was walking around my house aimlessly, not knowing what to do. I couldn’t talk to you. It hurt too much. Then, I got it together. I felt okay. My problem was not the end of the hook-ups or sex. It was our friendship. We’d been best friends for five years. There were certain things I could only turn to you for. With that gone, I didn’t know what to do. I was lost without you.
When school ended, I went to Europe for a week and a half. While I was gone, you left for a month for camp. You come back this Sunday. I need to see you, I need to know where we stand and if this month apart did us any good. I want to believe it will. I hope it will. I hope we’re okay, good, better, in a good place with each other. I want to see you, still. Even though you hurt me so, I still want you to like me. To be my best friend. Please, Ben. Please. I pictured you at my college graduation, my wedding, my child’s baby naming ceremony. I still want you there. Do you still want to be there? Did you ever?
You told me we were strictly friends with benefits. Fuckbuddies. No strings attached. I wanted to keep it that way. I just couldn’t.