I honestly never thought I would know you the way that I do now. In the grand plan that I laid out in my mind, you never held a spot other than “guy I sometimes hang out with”. Even though we’ve ran in the same circles since middle school, it never occurred to me that during all that running we’d bump into each other.
As awkward freshmen we stayed in the same group of friends while I dated your best one and you made moon eyes at mine. I helped Annie get over her obsession with you. As sassy sophomores I watched Annie chase after you and you run away while we talked once or twice. As arrogant juniors I stood by you in Dugan’s driveway as I assured you that Gillian would accept your invitation to homecoming as you wrung your hands and stammered “I’m so nervous”. As wise seniors I accepted and enjoyed the fact that we were “Bros”. Strictly platonic and straight forward.
We could talk about the red wings, tease everyone else, and ride in your car alone without any awkwardness. We were “cool”, and I loved that. Then booze was thrown into the mix. First time I get drunk and we make out. If it had just been that, I believed that our “Bro” mentality would save our friendship, but it wasn’t just that. Those things that came out of your mouth in a babble of slurred speech changed everything, “I like you”.
I’ve always had this sort of foresight in my life, some instinctual warning mechanism that told me when something was going to happen. Somehow, you slipped past that. The conversation after that drunken night was and will always be one of the most awkward moments of my entire life. The ball of anxiety that welled up dug into my chest sitting in class before our long talk was unlike anything else I had ever felt. 5 months later, I’m glad it all happened.
Do you remember talking at Max’s Halloween party? It was like five in the morning and we were both really tired. It was after a month of dating and you wanted to “go steady” make our relationship “Facebook official”. I was apprehensive, I had a hard time making up my mind. Remember how I kept telling you how I was messed up and I was worried that I was going to screw up our relationship? Well, I should probably tell you why.
It goes back to our awkward freshmen year, when you made moon eyes at Molly and I dated your best friend. Your best friend, Jacob, and I had a silly high school relationship. You see, the thing is though that our relationship didn’t end over that summer. Sure, we weren’t boy friend and girl friend anymore and during sophomore year I dated Garrett, but we still kept in touch. Throughout junior year we texted a lot, about philosophy and our day. Then during the winter, we hung out in a group at my house, then everyone left, then it was just Jacob and I.
We started talking, then we sat closer to another, then closer. Then right as he was about to leave, he kissed me. I looked at him right in the eyes and sighed, “Jacob, why did you have to do that?”. One more meeting and many kisses later we tried and failed to talk about our feelings, and dropped most of our contact. Then summer came.
He and I texted like crazy, and during one boring day in August decided to hang out. We grew closer, and closer and without saying a word, began to kiss. Eventually I looked in his eyes again and said: “So do we like each-other, or not?”. I didn’t leave his house til about two in the morning. We would kiss, then try to talk about our feelings, then kiss some more. I didn’t understand what I felt for him, at that point in my life I really didn’t think that I could feel much of anything, I was a very cold, dead person. “It just doesn’t work”, was something we both kept saying. So he drove me home
On the way home we said that we were going to give ourselves a few days to think it over, but at the last moment I said that we should just make a decision “here and now”. You see, I thought that we had to be together as “more than friends” or not speak to one another at all. He wanted some gray area until he could “figure” things out. Of course though, me being who I was I said, “I don’t care either way”. I regretted saying that the moment it left my lips
We decided to stop talking to each other. “This is so hard”, I kept saying to myself as soon as I walked in my house. Within a day I caved and texted him. We were such good friends, we talked about everything and I couldn’t just quite like that. Jacob and I agreed to talk, and basically we were back to square one, but with one small alteration. I told him up front that I had feelings for him, and he said he was dealing with a lot and that he could give me an answer on his feelings toward me. However, he promised me that he would be straight with me from now on, if he had something to say then he was going to say it. Everything seemed perfectly fine.
I worked at Sundaes that summer, scooping ice cream. I was working when I saw him;when I saw him with her. “Are they on a date?” I thought to myself, “No, of course not,” I reassured, “we are friends, if he was dating someone he would have told me”. When I woke up the next morning, I felt a bit unsettled. I checked Facebook (as any bored teenager would do in the middle of the summer). That’s when I saw it.
“Jacob **** is now in a relationship with Kate **********”. It rocked me to the core.
“If you didn’t have any feelings for me, you could have just said so. I didn’t have to find out through fucking Facebook”. Thus began my very first argument, via a communication tool filled with flaws: texting. Looking back on it, I’m a hypocrite. I preach that if you need to say something, that you should call them. In retrospect, I don’t think I wanted him to hear me cry.
“Are you ok?” he asked. “No,” I said back, “I’m hurt. It takes a lot to do that to someone like me.” For the first time in my life I had let all walls down around me and let someone in. That person I let it left my heart in a bunch of broken pieces. He had a way of making me feel emotions, he made me so happy. If he had told me he didn’t have feelings for me, I could have gotten over it. What killed me was that he promised that he would be straight with me, and then he didn’t even both to tell me that he found a girl.
You know me, right? That I’m emotionally distant and cold. Can you imagine me curled up on my window seat bawling? Or throwing things around my room in a fit? I wasn’t used to dealing with emotions as it was, hurt like that was like walking into a 400 level Latin exam. For a normal girl, a first heartbreak is big. It kicked my ass and cut me open, I’m still not over him. I didn’t tell anyone, no one knew. Just when I thought I was doing alright, it would hit me. I would find myself on my floor, some random night, just crying about it. It took me six months to realize, and admit to myself, that I didn’t just have feelings for him, I loved him.
That’s why I was, and still am, so worried about messing our relationship up. When we wanted to be “more than friends”, all I could think about was how I wasn’t over him yet. I had learned so much from my broken heart. I realized that it takes two people to break a heart. I discovered that because I couldn’t express my feelings for him, I lost him. I sure as hell wasn’t going to lose you.
I desperately don’t want to hurt you. I keep seeing myself thinking and doing some of the same things that I did in my other relationships, and I am trying so hard to fix my mistakes. Looking at the calender on my phone, it’s crazy to think we have been together for almost six months. Every single day with you has been better than the last.
I’m happy that I wrote this letter to you, Kyle, because I don’t know if I’ll ever tell you my story otherwise. Right now you are the only thing in my life that makes sense. I ache to spend time with you and love looking at your beautiful shining eyes. Something about you calms me and silences my racing mind. Even though I still think that we are “Bros”, I’m infinitely thankful that we are more than that. Literally every other aspect of my life stresses me out right now except you. Without you I would be a complete mess, and I’m pretty sure that you have no idea.
Leaving you behind in the states at the end of this summer will be the hardest thing that I will ever have to do. You are truly the greatest and most wonderful bro that I will ever grow to know.