I don’t remember the first time we met… I was probably drunk, I can admit that because I have a feeling you were probably drunk too.
I don’t remember the first time we spoke… I probably said something stupid, you probably replied with a sarcastic comment that confused me.
I don’t remember the first time we got feelings for eachother… I was probably drawn in by your looks, definitely your smile. What was it about me that you liked? Was it my ability to look so innocent when really I was just so so bad. Was it because of how badly I wanted to show people how tough I was? Was it because despite my disguise, you saw right through it all… Was it because with you, I never had to pretend?
Our story began much earlier than you probably recall. You see a girl can recall a lot, if you give her something to remember, and Billy that’s all you gave me… Memories.
You came into my life in such a confusing time. I had just begun a strange new chapter in my life… I was in a place where I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t willing to trust anyone at all… And yet somehow we became friends. I’ll admit a big motivation for me wanting to be your friend was because I was very attracted to you.
You were completely new, not like anyone I had ever met, and I don’t mean that in the corny sense… I actually do mean that, I’ve never met anyone from the same culture, race, background, looks, personality… You were unique to me, and that just made me so curious.
I remember being flirty with you, and being so surprised that you reciprocated my advances in any way at all, I knew I wasn’t your type but I wanted to be so badly.
Our friendship grew in amongst our battle with establishing our place in this new City, with new people and unfamiliar territories.
Our friendship grew organically…there was no pressure because we were just being us. At that time there was no point pretending to be anything other than who we were. We weren’t trying to impress each other and that is probably what made each other more appealing to the other.
I remember that we hung out and developed a jokey friendship, there was nothing deep about us, we just had fun and that’s what I needed.
I didn’t get to know you, I didn’t really bother to dig deeper than face value because there was no intended story between us. Could that have been the reason why things grew so beautifully? Because there was no expectations or hopes, we both just let things happen naturally?
We’d spend evenings watching movies with other people. At this point I could admit to myself you were attractive, but I had no intention of having any feelings for you, you weren’t my type. But well, you were so funny, you made me laugh, we had opposite opinions over things that were so important. I remember several nights debating such stupid things, we’d get heated and argue about it, but deep down it was healthy debates, and we could go out for a couple of drinks after.
Maybe it wasn’t until University that I discovered a healthy way to argue, I can’t remember a time before you where I could do that.
Then one thing lead to another, movie nights became a regular thing and one night we just happened to sit next to each other. You made some excuse that you were cold and just needed to share my blanket with me, I was naive to think it was innocent, but until that time we both had no reason to believe it was anything more than that.
At some point, your hand was beside mine. I suddenly became so aware of it. I could feel the heat from yours beside mine. It made me uneasy. I was so unsure of why I suddenly became so bothered by it. Bothered why? Because I suddenly wanted you to make some sort of subtle move. This inner monologue started in my head.
“If he moves his hands closer to me, I know he likes me!”
“Why does it matter if he likes me? We’re just friends”
“Oh please, you want him to kiss you?”
“In front of all these people?”
“No…but you could make up an excuse why he should stay behind after?”
Whilst this drama started in my head, I felt your hand inch closer. At one point I even felt your fingers brush against my hand. In the darkness I blushed. My hand was paralysed unsure how to reciprocate the touch, so instead I acted like I didn’t feel it. The movie soon ended and everyone went to their rooms, and I slapped myself thinking ‘You’ve missed your chance.’
We continued our friendship, it was all normal, I even forgot about that incident because I passed it down to me reading into it too much and that you probably just did it by accident.
So came and went another week and we were all back in my room for movie night. Cramped up beside each other, we were once again sharing a blanket. I felt so stiff beside you, so afraid to make an accidental move that would make me look stupid. So instead I placed my hand between us. You put your hand beside mine, and this time it didn’t take long before we were back where we left off. Except, well, we went one step further, for the majority of the movie we were holding hands, as if we were two naughty teenagers with something to hide.
I know it’s silly to think now, but that hour felt like it went in slow motion. I tried to process exactly why I felt so giddy but if truth be told, I had been dating some truly big assholes that I had forgotten what it was like to just have someone hold my hand.
When the movie ended part of me felt sad, but I knew it wasn’t ‘the end’.
As everyone was leaving, you suggested we watch another movie, a few people were interested but in the end decided against it and went to bed, you however insisted, I agreed. I didn’t even lock my door just in case anyone else changed their mind.
For a few awkward minutes we sat in silence, in the dark, watching intently. I don’t know about you but I wasn’t really interested in the movie, I was curious why you had suggested it when you had never really paid any special attention to me except when with other friends. I don’t really know how it happened but we found ourselves just laying down beside each other making fun of how tragic the movie was. It was fun, and I felt myself relax around you. I had my back faced away from you, facing my computer, I felt your warm arms around me. The whole thing caught me by surprise so I turned to you and that’s when you kissed me. A slow, passionate but hesitant kiss. Well Billy, that’s when I knew that you were going to cause me a lot of trouble, and I was afraid I was going to let you.
After that night, we once again went back to normal, we hung out and got closer, but it was like we had this weird friendship. Like we were good, close friends during the day and as soon as it hit 8pm we were something completely different. I know people reading this will roll their eyes and tell me I was a booty call, but it really wasn’t like that, at least not to start with.
One particular night, we went on a night out. It was a foam party, now anyone who knows me knows that I am short, and those who like foam parties know, short people plus foam is not a good combination. Unfortunately no one had warned me about that so when they announced the foam, I jumped right into the middle of the dance floor as the entire floor got covered in very deep, very bubbly foam, I found myself lost. Panic began to set in when a couple not realising my presence had used me as a post to lean on as they dry humped…At least I hope it was dry humping because I would be mentally scarred if it wasn’t. Momentarily I found myself unable to move until a hand grabbed me pulled me up to him…it was you, over the music you shouted ‘what are you doing?’ realising that I had allowed myself to become a wall to a horny couple I laughed and told you. You laughed too and we stood there in disbelief. You leaned over to me to say something and maybe I misread the situation, but I leaned in too and kissed you, if I did completely misread the situation, you didn’t make it obvious because you kissed me back. We spent the entire evening together, and I guess that’s when the love affair began.
I say love affair because tragically, you had a girlfriend and I didn’t know.
I tried to downplay my role as a mistress/home wrecker but really I will admit I was just evil for allowing it. Things had already happened before I found out you were in a long term relationship, but as awful as it sounds, I continued our relationship for another few weeks before I confronted you about it.
In your defence it wasn’t like you had purposely not told me, in fact I’m pretty sure everyone knew but me. Maybe I was just playing stupid because I didn’t want to know? And after admitting that, I know many people reading this will either tune out or think how much the rest of this story is because of my karma, does it matter? Maybe a little.
The thing is I found out you had a girlfriend when she came to visit you. It wasn’t like you told me, or I found out and then I met her, no…I had to witness your relationship for the first time from the distance. Because you and I had been discreet about our late night rendezvous no one had any reason to pre-warn me, but maybe you could have?
Even though I was hurt, because once again I was the ‘other woman’ without realising, I had this weird mentality that after what happened previously with the other asshole in my life, who went on to live happily ever after with that woman (he cheated on with me/ he cheated on me with) I figured that maybe you were my chance at winning for once. But gosh, it’s only now that I realise if you have to fight for someone that way, then maybe it isn’t a good thing and isn’t worth fighting for?
It’s funny though, because you tried to hide her, was it from me Billy? Were you afraid that you would see how upset you had made me? Or was it simply that you were afraid I was going to spill your secrets?
After that weekend, I tried to avoid you, but it’s hard when you’ve established a good close group of friends and you were one of them. I guess Billy, I was just so used to being disappointed by guys, especially guys who acted like nice guys but were secret assholes. I tried to avoid you because I was very upset about the whole situation, but also because I really liked you as a friend and was afraid that I had begun hating you.
When we began whatever the fucked up situation we were in, we had agreed, we were friends first and foremost, we were not going to be tied to each other in any way, we were not going to sleep with anyone within our house to avoid any disagreements, and we were going to keep us a secret to avoid interference.
So why would I hate you? Maybe because for once I deserved to be fucking told if I was the side bitch. Maybe because I thought being your friend first meant I was entitled to some level of respect that you were not showing me. But I knew the main reason I begun to hate you was because you knew that I wouldn’t have continued our relationship if you had just been honest and told me you had a girlfriend.
After avoiding you, we found ourselves alone, high, and having our ‘healthy’ debates. Except now it wasn’t ‘healthy’ and instead of having a fun heated debate we were having an argument that you had no chance in winning. Clue: when you’re fighting with a woman, chances are the argument has already been pre-planned and is NOT about what you think it is. In my anger I told you my frustrations about your girlfriend, and how blindsided I felt.
To my surprise, you didn’t fight with me, you seemed defeated and then begun to tell me how miserable you were with her. You told me how you wanted to badly to end it but she begged you to stay with her, she knew you didn’t love her but for her sake you continued the pretence even though you had long checked out of the relationship.
At what point does it become okay to date a guy in a relationship? Even if he’s not emotionally in the relationship? The answer is never. Never be with a man who is in a relationship because the baggage that comes with that is too heavy to carry, and if you end up being heartbroken and alone thats your fault. Oh and obviously, it’s horrible for the other person, who may or may not still be emotionally connected to that person.
But me? Despite knowing this, fell for everything you said Billy. Why? Because I knew your heart.
We spent many nights sharing some real deep moments and secrets. After emotionally checking out, I spent a lot of time in the rest room. In fact someone lent me a bible to take back home to read. I needed some kind of guidance during this period of time. One night you caught me reading it, and instead of making fun, laughing or leaving me to it, you sat down and read the bible with me.
Were you from the same religion? Were you even interested in the bible? No. Then why did you stay? I’d like to think it was because you knew my heart too, and because you knew, at that time, I just needed a friend.
You asked me once ‘why do you pretend to be so strong?’ and the truth is because I’ve always known people didn’t connect with weak people, people wanted to be around strong people and I was so afraid to be alone I just wanted to be strong too. I hated people seeing me weak, it made me an easy target.
But Billy, you never made me feel anything less than what I wanted, you saw through the bullshit I fed other people and instead saw my soul. You shared secrets you had never told anyone else, I told you things about me I had always been afraid people would judge me for.
I started falling for you slowly and surely, but in the back of my head I knew you were never mine to keep. Everyday I had to remind myself that I couldn’t fall for you. Every time we kissed, I felt the butterflies in my stomach, I just wanted to hold your hands again, I wanted you to kiss my cheek, not just my lips. Is that weird? I feel like kissing on the cheek is way more romantic than on the lips…but you never kissed me on the cheek, I guess that was your way of keeping me in my place.
As time passed we spent more time with each other, I got to know more about you, you shared more about your girlfriend, it always killed me to know that she was the last person you would speak to at night, it killed me more knowing I was the cause of my own misery, I couldn’t speak to anyone about it because I was so intent in keeping us a secret. The warning signs should be blaring out by now, if you have to keep a relationship a secret then there’s something seriously wrong with it, because at this point we more or else had become an out of home couple, but still I had no right to you.
The Christmas holidays drew nearer and during a night out, we had all gotten ridiculously drunk. As I sat outside smoking, you sat beside me and we stared up at the sky laughing at some stupid thing that had happened that night. I don’t know why but that’s when I said. “I think our friendship is a lie” it was a short and blunt statement that hurt you a lot. I could tell how upset it made you by the look of shock on your face. You tried to get me to explain but getting a sentence that made sense after that was impossible, you know why? Because I was afraid to tell you the truth. I had fallen for you, and I didn’t like it at all.
Billy, you had no idea how confused I was about everything. I had begun to emotionally distance myself from you, all the while running back to you whenever you called, I had even begun to see another guy, but still I went back to you, even though I knew you had a girlfriend, I couldn’t help recall the evenings we spent, just us two, no drinks, completely sober, sharing our lives like there was more to us than a casual fling. But I’ve been there before, thinking about something as if it’s more than it is…so I was so cautious.
The night you were going home to go back for Christmas, you called me to ask if I wanted to watch a movie with you and a group of people, I said yes, and 10 minutes later you were in my room. You told me no-one else wanted to watch, but did you even ask anyone else? You told me your Dad would be there to pick you up soon and so I picked a random movie, we watched and it ended up being really good, an hour later, the movie ended and you insisted on us watching my favourite Christmas movie ‘The Grinch’. We watched that movie too, then we sat and talked, you held my hand and pulled your face up close to me, I could feel your warm breath on my face, and I just wanted us to stay that way.
You asked me if I knew what an eskimo kiss was and I shook my head, you rubbed your nose on mine, then you leaned in again and kissed me on my lips, then my cheeks and said ‘now that is my kiss’. You squeezed my hand tight and kissed me again. Your phone rang, and my heart sank, I knew your Dad had arrived ready to pick you up. You told me that you were going to say bye to everyone else, and told me to have a good Christmas. I watched as you walked away.
I felt this lump on my throat because I just wanted so badly to tell you how much I was going to miss you. I went back to my room and lay in bed staring up at the glow in the dark stars wondering whether it was appropriate to text you and tell you that I missed you. I decided against it, then I heard a gentle knock on my door. I got up to answer it and it was you. You asked me to give back a teddy that belonged to one of my other housemates. You had taken it from me earlier in the semester. I took it and assured you I would, we stood in awkward silence, I don’t think either of us wanted to say goodbye. After a few minutes you leaned in and repeated your Christmas wishes, kissed me on the cheek and rushed off. I ran into the kitchen where I saw you get into your car, you looked up to the window, saw me looking, you waved, I waved back and quickly turned away again because I didn’t want you to think that I had come to watch you leave. As your car pulled away, I received a message instantly, it was from you ‘Don’t miss me too much, thanks for saying bye x’ I blushed. I knew that was you telling me you missed me, I knew you knew I missed you too.
It suddenly occurred to me that we never actually ever said anything remotely romantic to each other, and yet, it was like the atmosphere around us did all the talking.
I went to my housemate’s room to give her, her teddy back. She took it and as I went to leave, she called me back ‘I think you should keep him for a little bit’ she told me handing me back the teddy, confused I looked at her. She rolled her eyes at me and said ‘you’ll get it.’ So back I went into my room and it wasn’t until I was ready to bed that I understood what she meant. As I lay with my head beside the teddy, I could smell a comforting aroma…coming from him, the teddy I mean, it was your aftershave, the one I had grown to love, one smell and I felt instantly closer to you. I texted her and asked if she knew about our secret and she responded almost immediately ‘of course, I can feel it every time you’re around each other .’
That thought made me feel dizzy, if she knew then other people must have too, and if other people knew then, it would become more real than it needed to be. If it became real then people would get hurt, and by people I meant me.
You kept in contact with me, you texted me everyday. It made me so happy because I knew it meant you were thinking of me. You texted me words of encouragement and kindness, sometimes your messages were peppered with sweet and romantic things, but never did you once tell me you liked me.
Now I know some of your actions pointed to you having feelings for me, but other times you were so hard to read that it became a bit of a mind fuck and I started to question everything about us. After miserably confiding in my sisters, they suggested that the relationship was not healthy and while we were both very cute and romantic together, for as long as you were in a relationship, I would never be able to have you the way I obviously wanted.
I wrote several draft messages, wanting to finally cross the barrier and tell you how I felt about you but I never sent them…to be honest Billy I had reached a point where I no longer believed any of your sweet messages because I wanted so badly to just stop falling for you, but still you persisted, and told me everything I wanted to hear, we side stepped around the topic of your girlfriend.
When I was sick, you’d ask me how I was feeling everyday, you would worry about me, it was hard to forget you when you made sure that I knew you were there for me. But it wasn’t until you texted me telling me how much I meant to you and how amazing I was and that you wished I could see that, that I made a decision, after Christmas when we return to University, if you hadn’t broken up with your girlfriend (without me even putting that thought into your head) then I would have to cut all ties with you, even as friends, at least until I knew I no longer had feelings for you, but if truth be told, I knew I would never be friends with you again.
Billy I wished so badly you would prove to me that we were different, because in my heart I truly believed that you were the blessing in my life. You were a breath of fresh air, and I knew that in the right circumstance, you could be an amazing partner, my one hope relied on you doing the right thing. One thing was for sure, I wouldn’t be able to move forward until we both returned from Christmas break.
So the holidays came and went and I found myself packing for another Semester. I felt my stomach tie up in knots as I felt the pressure of facing the next semester no longer speaking to you, I thought of every scenario I could, what if you didn’t break up with her? How could we be friends? What if you did break up? Would that mean we would be together? Or would that mean you’d be living a single life? What could these possibilities mean? Would our first conversation be the most painful thing?
Deep breaths Jessy… what will be will be.
END OF PART 1