You are one of my closest friends. And we are young, but we have minds much older than our bodies and our experience.
Two years ago, we met on a high-school dance floor, jumping up and down giddily to something by Justin Bieber. We didn’t get intimate, in the way that most do during high-school homecomings, content just to hold our hands in the air and laugh like everything was perfect in that instant.
We started talking, we stopped talking, you started dating her. Then, you came back into my life, and we forged bonds in our hearts that were surprising, considering who I was at the time and where you were in your life. You confessed to me one evening that you had feelings for me, and confirmed what had been running through my own head. We both agreed that despite this, we had responsibilities to ourselves, and you to her, that we keep it strictly friendly and nothing more.
And to be fair, we just did that. Not before, not during, not after, did I ever betray the desire to be with you. I didn’t flirt, I didn’t make any comment that might’ve hinted at romance. I was so careful.
You two split.
We continued talking, both afraid of something. Then we both found ourselves torn between other people, with the typical confusion of teenagers. I didn’t want to force you into a decision, so I took the easy way out for both of us and chose someone from my past. This was my first mistake.
You started dating another her, and I dated him. Eventually, both of these fell apart as they were bound to, and we found ourselves back at square one. Yet again, I made a mistake.
I didn’t want to lose whatever friendship we’d established; I didn’t want to rush into something at this age with the only person I can imagine a future with yet. And maybe these are just excuses to disguise the terrible, selfish act I committed. Maybe I chose the other him, because he was a pretty face with a silver tongue. I think, even if that was so, I have rationalized this into believing otherwise. But I will not remove the remote possibility of my inherent human nature taking hold of me in a way that is simply cruel to you.
Anyway, yet again, he and I fell apart. And you, you fell into something with someone else.
Cut to today, and now.
You are still with her, three or so months in. And me, I’m wallowing in regret and self-loathing.
I think, somewhere in my last, faulty relationship, the epiphany hit me like a train with no intention of stopping anywhere. (or, I am still just as confused as I ever was, and I have deceived myself yet again.)
I think I am in love with you.
(And if I am not, I am just chasing something that I can’t have.)
You are everything to me, and knowing that I’ve hurt you with the one selfish decision I’ve made recently kills me inside. It tears me at the very core, forces me to analyze who I am. You are one of the few consistent people I’ve had in my life, and if it were socially acceptable for me to kiss the ground you walked on for the rest of my life, I just might.
I regret one thing in my life, and it is that I ever let myself hurt you, that I ever let fear freeze my heart and my logic.
Nonetheless, you see fit to lecture me between the lines, reminding me to consider the consequences of my decisions. We dance around the elephant in the room, but at least we’ve both individually recognized its presence.
I wish I could inform you of this sad, sad turn of events.
But you are happy with her.
I have no right to infringe upon your happiness, and even if I did, I do not think I possibly could. Because your joy means more to me than mine, and I would see to it that yours is preserved even if it’s killing me inside. I yearn to erase yours fears and inner conflicts, to have you hold me and make me feel safe with who I am, and from the world around me.
I wish I had the words to make this all clear to you. I wish that my telling you would change something, that somehow everything would work out, be set into a box, and tied with a red silk ribbon.
I hope I have a chance with you someday.
Because, if not, then I will do the very thing I swore to myself I would never do. I will cling to my regrets like a chinaman to his lucky cricket. I will never forgive myself for an error in judgment that hurt you.
But I suppose I will go back to my prayers and my distractions, and let the world come to me as it will.
One tear drop won’t change the volume of saltwater in the ocean.