I’ve been blogging for years but never about you. You and I… we share way too much history. Every time I tried to write about you, it turned into this really loooong, booooring post. I knew you’d hate that. Can’t I just say “he was my best friend” and expect people to understand? I mean, surely people know what that title entails. I could say “he’s been there for me through thick and thin” but, my God, that sounds horribly cheesy. I could say “we know each other so well we finish each other’s sentences” but that, too, is terribly lacking. It certainly doesn’t do our friendship justice.
Was there more than just friendship? I’m not sure I’ll ever know. Earlier, after telling my sister about all the drama, she asked me, “are you sure you were just friends?” After repeating the question 23 times, I finally sat back and really thought about it. I was unable to come up with answer. I finally looked at her and said, “I hope to God I’m not in love with him.”
I don’t think that passionate, all-consuming, happily-ever-after kind of love is what I feel for you. But God knows I can’t place you strictly in the “friend” category, either.
I’ve wanted to kiss you for years. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT?
But do I want more than that? I don’t think so. (Giant question mark.)
Do I want us to be friends for the rest of our lives? God, yes. More than anything. I can’t imagine a life without you in it. Who will I exchange terribly inappropriate insults with? Who will I complain to? Who will know what I’m trying to say even before I do?
Friday was just supposed to be about you… friends getting together to celebrate a new chapter in your life. A new job. A great job. One you’ve been deserving of for a very long time. Of course, there were drinks involved. I mean, that’s how we do it, right? In hindsight, there may have been too many drinks involved.
Everything was going great. Everyone was having a good time. The doorman of the bar was hitting on me. I didn’t get a chance to tell you about that. It was totally flattering. He asked for my number. Well, he asked me to ask him for his number. Or something like that. It’s been so long, I have no idea how people pick up on each other anymore. But he was 36. Yes, I asked. And while that’s so not old… I’m really hesitant about getting involved with anyone more than five years older than me. (You know better than anyone. That totally backfired on me last time.)
I don’t remember what time it was. I know it was getting late. The bar would be closing soon. We were standing next to each other, on the fringe of our group. Maybe we were about to say our goodbyes? We’ve worked together for so long… saying goodbye, watching you transfer to another property, it was really difficult for me. (I’ve never liked change and this one least of all.) Although, at the time, I believed our friendship would continue, despite you moving on. Oh, if only I had known…
I wish I would have said no to a couple of those drinks. I can’t remember a damn thing we said to each other. It’s all just a vague blur… a rough image in my head of where we standing… what we were saying. Did we confess to having feelings for each other? Feelings stronger than our several-years-long friendship?
I remember looking at your mouth. I wanted to kiss you. But then… I’ve wanted that for a long, very inappropriate amount of time. I never understood it… I never acted on it… but it was there. You’ve known.
Then… from what I can remember through the tequila haze… you said, “but nothing will ever happen.” And before I could stop them, twin tears coursed down my cheeks. How embarrassing. I am not, repeat NOT, an emotional drunk. It is something I take great pride in. Everyone who’s ever had drinks with me knows it. I am fun when I drink. I don’t get angry… and I certainly do not get emotional. Ugh. Emotional drunks are the absolute worst.
But, despite all that, the tears escaped. I retreated to the ladies room. I didn’t want witnesses, for crying out loud. I composed myself, wiped away the evidence. I blew my nose, fluffed my hair, applied lip gloss. Maybe I’d go flirt with the doorman some more.
When I rejoined the group, you were saying your goodbyes. We missed our chance at our own farewell. Your girlfriend… the one you’ve been living with for the last few years?… she approached me with a smile on her face, her arms wide open. As we hugged, she said, “If you tell my boyfriend you have feelings for him again, I’ll fuck you up.” (No, really, she said that.) (And despite having nearly a foot on her in height, I believe it.)
No one seems to recall what happened after I went into the bathroom. No one knows what you said to her. As inebriated as you were, I can only imagine.
You left the bar. We never said goodbye. Our friendship ended that night and I’m just as much to blame. I continued to cry. Kosta? He hugged me. No… he held me. I don’t know the last time I let someone hold me while I cried. But Kosta did. And then he kissed my cheek and took away my cell phone. I guess he knows me better than I gave him credit for.
It’s been two days since that night. We’ve exchanged a few awkward text messages. Earlier today, our friendship ended for good. And I get it. I do. For the sake of your relationship, you need to stop talking to me. If I was in her shoes, I’d demand the same thing. In fact, I’ve been in her shoes before… it isn’t a fun place to be and I can’t even begin to aptly describe how utterly sorry I am to have contributed to any sort of disharmony in your relationship. It’s something I’ll regret for, well, ever.
But, the selfish side of me… maybe the same one that acted Friday night… is more upset to have lost my best friend. We fucked up. I’m not taking all the blame and I certainly won’t place it all on your shoulders… What’s done is done. The only thing left to do is move on. But my heart aches. My birthday is in two weeks… where will you be? Your 30th is just a few weeks later. How is it possible we won’t be there to celebrate with each other?
Earlier today I deleted your number from my cell. It was the smart thing to do. I didn’t want to be tempted with contacting you later. While I was, let’s face it, most likely inebriated. Unfortunately, yours is one of two numbers I actually have memorized. I’m fucked.
I love you, Jason. I am forever grateful for the years we shared as friends. And, trite though it may be, I wish you nothing but the best.