I have a confession to make. I need to tell you something but I’m too ashamed to tell you face-to-face. I’m weak and a coward. But there is also another reason I continue to keep this secret. Honestly, I truly can’t stand the thought of hurting you. You mean more to me than you will ever know. If you knew my secret, I am certain this friendship that I treasure so much would be over. Please, please, please believe me when I say that I’m so very, very sorry. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt you, of all people.
We have all been close friends for well over a decade now—me and you, he and I. I actually used to think of you both more as family than just best friends. I still think of you as my sister, though we share no common bloodline. Our kids have grown up together. My kids think of the two of you as their 2nd set of parents. Years ago, I came to the realization that my feelings for him had changed. Somehow, someway as the years passed, my feelings for him grew deeper, stronger than merely that of close friendship. I no longer thought of him as my brother. There is no other way to say it, other than to just tell you. In spite of my best efforts not to, I fell in love with him. To my knowledge, he doesn’t know—at least not with any certainty—how I feel. To this day, I’ve never told him. I’m sure you won’t believe me, but there is no joy in feeling this love. I know this is a love that can only cause pain and heartache for both our families. Trust me, I have tried so hard not to love him. I have fought hard against it. And I’ve tried for so long to convince myself that I don’t love him. The only problem is that I have never been a very good liar, not even to myself. I can promise you one thing though—I have been absolutely determined to be sure no one else ever knew the truth of my feelings for him. I came to the conclusion that just because I can’t change the love I feel for him, it doesn’t mean anyone else should have to suffer as a result of that love. Any pain and suffering that I feel is well-deserved. I know how deeply this hurts you more than anyone else. The ultimate betrayal by me, of all people. I knew he only thought of me as a close friend, but I also knew the fact that he didn’t return my love wouldn’t cause you any less pain. After all, how could I possibly be such a horrible person and do this to you?
One day a few years back, I was really upset over something and I just needed someone to talk to. I needed to talk it out, make sense of it all. I just wanted to talk to you, woman-to-woman and get it off my chest. I drove out to your house, but you weren’t home. He said you would be back in a few minutes and that I was welcome to wait for you. After a few minutes, I guess he realized how upset I was. Even though I considered him to be my best friend as well, I was reluctant to open up to him. I was in the mood for a woman-to-woman talk. Like all best friends do, and being the good man that he is, he managed to get me to talk to him about what had me so upset. I ended up in tears, and he simply reached out to hug me, holding me close, stroking my hair, telling me everything was going to be okay. He held me while I cried on his shoulder, just trying to comfort me and make me feel better. But then something changed. It was like the atmosphere around us became almost charged with electricity. I wanted so desperately to look up at him to see his expression. I really just wanted to know if he sensed it too or if I was just going crazy—which I was pretty sure at that point was a definite possibility. But something inside told me it would be a mistake to look up into those eyes. There is absolutely no way I can explain it, but I had this feeling—almost certainty—that if I looked into his eyes, the moment would end in a kiss. I was so torn, so confused. On the one hand, there was a part of me that longed to know what it would feel like to have him hold me in his arms as he kissed me. On the other hand, the other part of me felt nothing but shame for even thinking those thoughts about my best friend—who also happened to be the husband of my other best friend. Ashamed by what I was feeling inside, I simply stepped away from him, told him I was feeling better, and thanked him for listening to me. Minutes later, we heard you pull in the drive. Somehow I had managed to find the strength to resist what I was feeling—best friend status saved, still intact. Later on as I thought it all over in my mind, I came to the conclusion that it was just my overactive imagination running wild. How could I ever think for even a moment that he was interested in me as a woman? I knew he didn’t see me that way. Years have passed since that day, and never again did that sort of thing happen. Never again did I feel that strange, charged atmosphere in his presence—not until about four months ago, that is.
Once again, I was at your house. The three of us had been hanging out, laughing, joking, talking and just enjoying each other’s company. There was nothing different that day than there had been for well over a decade now. As usual, the day just flew by. Time slipped up on us, and before we knew it, the time came for you to leave for work. He and I were in the middle of a deep discussion over some meaningless topic that I can’t even recall now. You told us both goodbye and left for work. After all, I’m sure you thought there was nothing wrong in leaving me—your best friend—all alone with your husband. Our discussion of the meaningless subject continued on and the minutes on the clock ticked passed. Without any conscious effort—at least on my part anyway—we somehow drifted closer together as we talked. Before too long, we were standing beside each other. Suddenly, there was an awkward silence between us that hadn’t been there moments before. I swear you could have heard a pin drop. I could feel that same strange, charged atmosphere around us that I had felt only once, years before. That should have been my clue that it was time to leave. Warning sirens should have been blasting away in my mind. But I was just so nervous, terrified, fascinated, confused—you name it and I was feeling it—all of it—everything all at once. It was like I was frozen where I stood. I just couldn’t seem to make myself move. Again, I was struck with the overwhelming desire to see the look on his face—to see if he felt the same strange, charged atmosphere around us that I did. But just like years before, deep down inside was that same strange knowledge that, if I did, the moment would end in a kiss. My heart, mind, body, everything simply ached from longing for him. I was trying hard to remember that he was completely 100% off limits to me, more so than any other man on the face of the Earth, because he belongs to you. I just couldn’t seem to focus and think straight.
Please don’t think that I am putting all the blame on him, because I’m not. It’s my fault, not his. I’m the only one responsible for my actions. He wasn’t holding a gun to my head or anything. He simply reached out and placed his hand under my chin, gently lifting it, coaxing me to look into his eyes. I stopped staring at the floor and slowly I raised my head to look at his face—to look into the beautiful eyes of the man that I am so foolishly in love with. So quickly that I’m not even sure how it happened—so fast that it seemed as though no time had passed at all—he took me in his arms and kissed me. My heart shattered even more. It was the most tender, gentle, loving kiss that I have ever known. I just didn’t have the strength any longer to resist, so I joined him in that kiss. For a few, brief, bittersweet moments in time, I savored the sweetness and tenderness of his kiss, lost in the moment in the arms of the man I love. I finally managed to come to my senses enough to find the strength in me to pull away from him and tell him to stop. I told him we couldn’t do this. We couldn’t hurt you this way. He pulled me even tighter against him and whispered into my ear that I was right and he knew it. I started to pull away from him once again, to leave while I had enough sense about me to move. He caught me before I could get away and pulled me back into his arms for one last tender yet passionate kiss. I’m ashamed to say, I joined him in that kiss for a second time. I just couldn’t seem to make myself stop, just couldn’t manage to summons the strength to pull away from him. Hell, the truth of the matter is that I was struggling to try to find it inside me to even begin to want to stop. Finally, we ended the kiss. I left then, the way I should have left when you did.
I’m sure you hate me now. I don’t blame you. I hate me too. As I drove away from your house that day, I was blinded by my tears. It broke my heart to know what I had done to you. But at the same time, there was also a part of me that knew things could have been different between he and I, if only we had met each other in a different place and time. My “what might have been” moment brought even more tears. I honestly don’t know if I have ever crossed his mind since that day, since that kiss. We haven’t mentioned it since then, not to each other, not to anyone else. Please believe me, I never meant for this to happen. I never meant to fall in love with him. I have fought hard against it for years now, without success. I didn’t plan for those kisses that day. But none of that takes away my guilt. I could have—NO SHOULD HAVE—stopped it before it even had the chance to happen. I should have left that day when you did, but I swear to you that I never, ever in my wildest fantasies thought he felt something—anything—for me outside of just a close friendship. He had never given any sign that he was remotely interested in me, as a woman. I wish I could say that he feels nothing outside of friendship for me, but the tenderness of his kisses that day make me wonder if maybe he loves me too. I’m absolutely certain that he loves you more, if he even loves me at all.
I’m sure at this point my word means nothing to you anymore, but I assure you that I never, ever, ever meant to betray you. I’m so sorry that I hurt you. You are the last person in the world that I would ever want to see suffer. Please, I beg you. Can you please try to find it in your heart to forgive me?