Thursday, February 10th, 2005 • 5 Comments on You Always Said We’d Still Be Friends Someday
Remember when you were sixteen and your best guy friend came over after school a couple times a week to hang out and study? Your bedroom door was closed, your parents were at work, you were talking about where you wanted to go to college and what you wanted to do with your life. You should have been studying the Bolshevik Revolution, but the subject on your mind wasn’t Russian, it was French. You wanted him to kiss you so badly you couldn’t stand it. You repeated it like a mantra in your head: Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me!
But the first kiss never happened, at least not until graduation. Then you both chalked it up to emotions running high—you didn’t want to screw up your friendship with romance, right? You were friends—the best of friends—and that was all. Eventually, you convinced yourself that was enough. You might never be boyfriend and girlfriend, but your friendship would survive all those other messy teenage relationships and you’d look back on high school and laugh together. That’s what you told yourself anyway, but that feeling of kiss me! never entirely went away.
Back there in your bedroom with the door closed all those years ago, you thought he didn’t kiss you because he didn’t like you. Years later, you realized that he had as big a crush on you as you did on him.
(The six hour marathon phone calls? The almost daily notes left on your car at lunch? Giving you the combination to his locker in case you needed to borrow something? Changing his schedule so you could have the same classes together? He
It’s only in retrospect that you realize you were both afraid of the unknown, of things changing between you, of losing that connection you had, of messing up the status quo. You needed your friendship to get you through the crazy years of high school and you convinced yourself it would last forever.
But it didn’t last. You went to one college, he went to another, your phone calls and letters trickled away as adult life intruded in so many wonderful and amazing and frightening ways. The years passed and you thought of him only occasionally—when you heard a particular song or saw a movie on cable that you’d gone to see with him. You grew up, you kissed your share of boys, fell in love, and fell in love again. The boy from high school, your best friend, faded from your life, your memory, and, finally, your heart. You almost forgot what it was like to ache for him to kiss you. Almost, but not entirely.
If you had known the friendship wouldn’t last, you would have kissed him. You would have just leaned over and kissed him. If you had known the friendship wouldn’t last, you would have realized you had nothing to lose.
And everything to gain.