“Who’s that?” My roommate called from over my shoulder. He must’ve come back from his shower before I had the chance to hide my shameful internet stalking.
“Just a girl” I replied skittishly.
“Just a girl, my ass”
“Okay! She’s… an old friend. From my old town”
“An old friend or an old friend, huh?” he said, thrusting his hips in a provocative way.
“A friend!” I reiterated, “She was friends with my best bro.”
“Oh man, that blows” he said while rubbing his towel through his hair as he walked into the closet to change. “She’s cute!” he yelled out.
He’s right. It does blow. Not that she’s happy with someone, somewhere else in a far away land, but that I never realized I loved her until the very second it was too late. We spent day after day together, just doing stupid stuff like pulling pranks or playing video games. So full of energy, she’d pull you off the couch on even your worst days. She also gave the best advice, and although I always took it, something never felt right. Not about the advice, but about the girls I was with. Her insight always fixed my problems but never the sickening feeling in my gut that these girls were all irrelevant and that I may never just be happy. If someone was giving me shit, she’d be right there bashing back on them. She never let anyone walk over her or anyone she cared about.
I guess I always thought of her like a sister, or rather I felt that’s how I needed to think of her since she’d been with my best friend for an eternity. They were happy as far as I knew and the three of us made a great team, so I never thought more about the tingly feeling any guy would get when a girl like her even spared me a glance.
And it wasn’t until the very last day before I moved for the 7th time across the country that I realized I’d made a huge mistake. The night before my flight took off, she was sure to come over and stay as long as she could. When I walked her to the door though, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and hugged me tight for the first time in a long time. This rush of overwhelming feelings came over me. Not feelings of lust or ambition, rather those of familiarity, because I realized that this was the last familiar thing that I’d feel for a very long time. And I hugged her tight right back.
As she began to pull away, I refused to let go of her waist, I found myself eye to eye with the most beautiful creature alive. She did not smile. She did not cry. But she looked inside me and in that moment we connected and we both realized how we wasted the last 4 years of our lives.
I could’ve kissed her. Turned her whole world upside down. But I couldn’t break her heart anymore considering tomorrow morning I’m flying away and may never even speak to her again. So now I browse her facebook pictures from time to time, wondering if she ever does the same. But we’re just old friends living new lives in separate worlds.