So I fell in love with my best friend…Ok that’s not entirely the truth…
In August I moved from San Diego to San Jose. My boyfriend at the time drove down to San Diego to help me move. We loaded our cars and headed to the Bay Area. At the time the only positive of my moving to the bay was to be closer to him and over course it would be nice to hang out with my fam from time to time. Other than my family and him I knew no one. A week after moving, while talking on the phone on the way to Fresno I found out he had a child and he could not figure out how to deal with both me and the child and just like that we were over. I was betrayed. I had felt something was off, but could not figure it out until there was nothing I could do about it. I found out later he had never meant to break things off officially, but we have both come to the realization it was probably for the best.
Yet here I was in San Jose alone. Before I left San Diego some of my closest friendships had suffered their fair share of strain and I wasn’t feeling close to anyone. I was alone. I started classes, grieved the loss of close relationships while struggling to keep up with school. One of my best friends had recommended a vegan place close to campus knowing I would enjoy their beer selection. And so I started going in about once a week to grab a beer and sometimes a meal. The owner was a kooky guy that always was super nice. I never thought much of it, just grabbed my beer, my number and sat down to read my book and enjoy my break in between classes.
After a few times I started talking with that same kooky guy. We went through a round of 20 questions of likes and dislikes and immediately I felt like I was interviewing for the place of girlfriend. From that moment on we were flirty and we hung out as friends. I loved his place, his dog and who he was. We hiked, puzzled, had dinners, watched movies, and let our guard down around each other. I felt like he was the closest friend I had, but there were all sorts of other emotions involved.
We became romantically entangled only to be quickly untangled again. From a budding something we deescalated back to a friendship. I thought I was super strong, progressive female who didn’t need no man, so of course I let it follow a different course. We remained friends, but in retrospect we were more companions than friends. We spent our non-peopled hours together sometimes just doing nothing. We were friends, but it felt deeper. I off course wear my heart on my sleeve…something I wish came with a warning to those who dare venture near…and I felt myself falling…heck in retrospect I think I knew all along that friendship just was never in the cards for me. He wasn’t my type, not someone I’d naturally be involved with but just like that my heart was involved and I couldn’t extract it without losing blood.
I didn’t initially bother with the issue. He had warned me that he wasn’t a relationship guy. I figured that meant he was too busy with life, family and his business to be in a committed relationship. I understood and felt like I too was not in a place for that sort of relationship. I was busy finishing school, had just exited a serious relationship in August and had a bigger focus. People use the term friends with benefits, but in reality it was always friends with heartaches. The entire time we were “friends” I wanted more. I sacrificed myself and made myself smaller to fit his needs which I realize now was not what I should have been doing, but I had this immense place in my heart for him. I loved him, his puppy, his people so much that I could deal easily without the title of girlfriend or significant other, because friend seemed to carry such a great weight.
In reality he was the best friend I had. Moving to a city alone takes a toll on you. I put all my effort into the first couple months into finding friends. I went to church (though it gave me anxiety every time), I went to beer bars, and I talked to people in class. Nothing seemed fruitful, then all of a sudden this guy in a place I hadn’t been looking became my friend, and so much more.
He had blown me off a couple times for a movie date. We were supposed to see a new Marvel movie and I had waited to see it until he was able. I had a feeling he was seeing someone, but ignored it because “we were just friends” and I had no feels… Except I had so many and was so pissed he had flaked on me twice and then went to Napa with a “friend.” No one goes to Napa with a friend. I knew that. It is one of the most romantical places in the spot and I knew it was a romantical trip, but I pretended it didn’t happen, or at least that it carried no significance.
I went into his place for an event the Monday after he had been galavanting in Napa. On the counter was popcorn bucket for the movie we were supposed to go to…my heart was on the floor. Then just like it was nothing he announced to me that he had met somebody…the heart that was already on the floor was not jumped on and thoroughly squashed. Of course I pretended like everything was great, cursed the fact that I had just gotten a drink and now I had to balance, the need to run out of the place with discreetly gulping my beer so I could leave quickly enough to prevent a watershed of tears, but not so quickly it caused suspicion.
This moment was punctuated by the arrival of one of his good friends, a person I loved dearly as well arriving and wanting to hug. For those that know me I am not touchy feely, also because of this and an elevated sensitivity, if you try to hug me in this type of moment I’m likely to burst. I was a jerk instead and put him off and escaped, but not before agreeing like an idiot to see the movie I knew he had already seen the next day.
I knew that seeing this movie with him would be my undoing, but I knew I needed closure and I needed to grow the courage to say what I should have said months before. We watched the movie, drank beers, got tipsy and headed back to his place. I parked, went up and figured I would crash there and pretend the elephant in the room didn’t exist. Luckily or unluckily for me, he was the one to remind me that there was someone else and my need to escape resurfaced.
He tried to walk me to my car, but I had to stop him. He couldn’t care about me or my well being anymore…I guess that was my logic. I admitted brokenly to him that I had gotten the feels. That I said being friends was enough, but it wasn’t. Ultimately what broke me is that I thought he just wasn’t a relationship guy and finding out that he was a relationship guy, just not with me hurt me more than I wanted to admit. My ego was bruised, my heart was broken. I can’t explain why I loved this ridiculous man, but the heart is a tricky thing.
In owning my feelings I had to own the fact that we could not be friends, at least for now. I also had to realize that it was not my fault in falling for this guy. In retrospect I know that my feelings showed all over the place and the fact he chose to tell me he had met someone while he was behind the safety of the bar while I was completely vulnerable was a dick move. And the idea of it all being the same as it had always been a glorified illusion.
So here I am. It’s been a month. I saw him the other day and the feels no longer showed, but I miss my friend, I miss the pup, I miss the intimacy of doing nothing with someone and feeling completely safe. I miss the people I met through him that I love and respect to the moon and back, and I miss who I was with him.
But I don’t regret it. I don’t regret afternoon runs with the pup, finding sanctuary in his place, puzzling, watching TV, being lazy, meeting his friends and sharing moments of our lives. I wear my heart on my sleeve and while it makes these moments so much harder, I would not undo it for the world. It allows me to connect and love people deeply, unconditionally and without stipulation, I see the best in people because of it, and I get to share fleeting moments of bliss between heartache.
I may not have fallen in love with my best friend, but I did love a friend deeply and completely for a moment and that moment of love and heartbreak reminded me that I’m able and capable of so much more and so much better than this one instance.
So I fell in love with my best friend…Ok that’s not entirely the truth…