We met in 1996. He was then the silly boy with whom I got
along so well,
the boy with whom I felt connected in a friendly way.
I never would have imagined he'd become someone I couldn't
Someone whom I still love far past the boundaries we have
He made me laugh and he made me smile, but he didn't make me
the "I want you so badly" sense. We'd go on dates, but we
like best friends than boyfriend-girlfriend. I remember
looking over at
him one night while in line for a movie and thinking, I love
him. But I
don't want him. We broke up nearly seven months after that.
I wish I could say that was the end, that we went our
separate ways and
never talked again. Or that we became best friends and that
was all. But
no, I can't. Because we did become friends, but that wasn't
all. I fell
in love with him. Simply. I knew just as I had known I
didn't love him four years ago. It took me four years to understand it, to
work it out
in my mind. But I knew.
We'd go out as friends and I'd wonder what it was like to be
girlfriend for real. Those years ago were hardly anything,
they were a
game. But now I loved him, I couldn't and didn't want to be
him. I was going to tell him, somehow. I had hoped for him
with an "I love you too."
But it didn't work out that way because I never really got
He told me this on the phone one night, while I sat by my
flipped through a stack of cds for a mix tape I was making.
felt literally sucked out. I stopped and felt as if my chest
crushed. I could actually hear my heart pounding in my ears.
"Oh." I wanted to say to him: But I'm in love with you. How
could you do
this to me? But I couldn't. I can't. It's not his fault. I
But I felt like everything had been ripped away from me, my
of us getting together someday. It had no closure.
It was just this thing I was stuck with: wanting someone
When I try to tell this story, I can't convey exactly what
it is we
have. A delicate balance between love and more-than-love (on
my part, at
least). Not long ago, I actually did tell him I was in love
with him. It
was so hard, so very unimaginably hard. I had to explain
carefully; I didn't want him to feel as though he were
letting me down somehow. I'm glad I told him the truth though, it makes it
easier on me.
I know he loves me and I love him, and sometimes I get mixed
up in what
way it is, but I do know it's love.
Whatever the brand.