There was this guy; let’s call him Jake. Jake shared the same classes with me back in high school, and naturally, we became friends. We found out that we had so much in common – we both loved watching anime, playing badminton, Skyping, you name it. We had so much in common that we clicked right off the bat.
The day we met, I just knew: I had met my soul mate, my brother, my confidant. He was my best friend – an amazing one, one who’s been through thick and thin with me, and dealt with all my drama and shits. He stuck by me, offering me advice and always reminded me to be level-headed when I felt like I was losing it.
Bottom line, I loved him… but as a friend. It was purely platonic, and I had never once though of him as more than a friend, a brother-like figure (in addition to the one blood brother who I’m actually related to). If anyone asked if we were dating, I’d gag – for show, and also because I’m so utterly disgusted at the idea that I would date my best friend. I just couldn’t see it happening. We connected too well; there was no mystery whatsoever… we got on just a little too well to be in a relationship.
Or at least, that was what I thought.
One afternoon in October, we hung out, like we always did. We went cycling, and we started a DMC about our love interests.
“So, Nancy, who do you like?”
“Hmm… no one.”
“How about Leo? Skye? Or the D triplets?”
“Nahh… I wouldn’t date any of those. They’re just friends.”
“What about me? Would you ever date me?”
“No… of course not.”
“Because… I don’t know. I’ve just never really thought about it. It’s weird. Because you’re so close to me… I – I’d never imagine that happening. Just no.”
“Just no,” I said.
“It’s your turn now. Who do you like?”
That was the moment I knew I fucked up. Real bad. I’d just rejected him… before he could even ask me out. And that wasn’t even the end of it. The wind was starting to build up, as the clouds darkened for the night. So guess what the inexperienced-with-dating-matters part of me decided to say?
“It’s getting cold. I should go.”
Wow. Just casually running away during an awkward moment.
And I avoided him for the next month or so, until one day he finally confronted me, demanding to know why I’d been avoiding him. But it was so awkward. I couldn’t face him, because everything started to make sense. Why he was so nice to me, the things he’d do – always offering to lend a hand, always looking out for me – he saw me as more than a friend. He had, for more than a couple of months.
I’d been so oblivious.
Even after the confrontation, I continued to avoid him… we used to Skype almost everyday, and then… slowly… as I ignored him, we stopped talking altogether. He tried talking to me at school and all, but I would always come up with an excuse, so that I didn’t have to talk to him. Finally, one day, Jake typed a very long message to me on Skype, declaring that he thought the “peak of our friendship” was back in October, before he confessed to me. He thought that he had ruined our friendship with that confession, and he was very very sad, very apologetic for that… for something that he didn’t even do wrong.
We chatted via Skype because I felt more at ease than talking to him vis-à-vis. The next time I saw him in school, I was feeling more comfortable around him. But that didn’t stop me from being slightly cold and detached towards him, because I wanted to ensure that he no longer felt the same way about me.
But Jake was still as patient and understanding as before. He gave me space when I needed it; he put up with all my mood swings (that has only happened after his confession). Then he asked me to be his girl again 6 months later.
At this point, I knew he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. That’s when I thought, “This needs to stop.” So I did what I thought was the best way to avoid him: block him on all my social media, and keep my conversations with him short. I’d always surround myself with my girlfriends and not even throw a single glance at him, even when we were in the same class, even if we sat side by side.
Really, I could’ve handled the situation so much better than I did. But I guess there’s no second chance to redo.
It was rude and mean of me, I know. But then again, I was an inexperienced 15-year-old – I knew nothing about love. Except that it had the power to ruin a friendship which once meant the world to me.
Love may be a great thing, capable of uniting people as one. It’s like an invisible bond between two individuals. Love brings people joy and happiness in life… it heals all wounds…
But what if this romantic love comes in the way of a purely platonic love? Does this then mean that love has triumphed all? That it has destroyed the ultimate gift of God: friendship?