Today, on this beautiful morning I did something extraordinary.
Something I thought I would never do. Or ever have the guts to do it.
I told my best friend that I loved him.
His reaction wasn't the loving reply “I love you too ” that I so desperately wanted in return.
But an “oh”. An oh. Nothing more. Nothing less.
He stood there in complete silence, staring down at me and just as I was about to say “say something” the school bell rang to signal the beginning of our next class. And he walked away, just like that. I couldn't believe it, after all this time I would have thought he would have guessed that I liked him, like REALLY liked him. And yet, all I got was a stare and a turned back.
Ok, so the timing wasn't great. He had just started going out with Lisa and our final exams were in less than a week. But I needed to get it off my chest so I could concentrate on my final exams and finish Uni with the grades I wanted because lately he was all I could think about.
I should really explain how on earth we got into this situation in the first place.
I began when I was ten. We had just moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Las Vegas due to my father being promoted to CEO of a major energy firm. My mother insisted that our new home was to be “normal”. With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining come living room, kitchen and a garden. That was it. No swimming pool, basement or games room. Our family was well-off and had been shunted for this fact for many years. I now see why my mother wanted a change but telling a ten year old that she no longer could swim in her back garden wasn't an easy task.
“But why mummy, cant we move it from our old house to here?” the ten year old me quizzed.
“If you miss it that much, I suppose we can get a paddling pool”. Mum tried to get me to compromise for hours but I wouldn't budge. I was a bit of a brat back then..
I stormed up the stairs into my drastically smaller bedroom, slamming the door behind me and sat upon the window seat overlooking several rowed gardens. I looked over into the garden next-door who had their paddling pool out. All four of them seemed to be having fun using the pool water as ammunition for their water guns. They were all running around the garden in their swimming costumes, squealing and enjoying the sun. I wished that I could join them.
And thats when I first saw him.
He wasn't taking part in the water fight, only he was lying in the sun reading a book. Someone must have called him as he looked over his shoulder and his cute baby face produced a white gleaming smile. Even for a ten year old, at that age you know when your attracted to someone who makes your heart flutter. I watched for over an hour until they were all called inside, I guess for tea, and then I was alone.
Our next encounter was at a supermarket, days after we had moved in. I remember it because it was the first time we spoke to each other. He was trying on football sunglasses in the clothes isle and pulling faces and poses in the mirror with his mum. We just had to be walking past and he caught my eye. Watching him I couldn't help but let off a loud giggle and he turned around to see who it was. It was me. And it went from there…
We introduced ourselves shyly and our parents had regular chit-chat. Our families began to socialise together in the form of formal dinners, parties and outings to the zoo. We regularly went to each others houses to play and eventually became practically inseparable, almost brother and sister. We started the same high school as we co-ordinated our applications which is where we began learning what life was really like. Learning to drive a car, learning the value of money, getting a paid weekend job, taking care of our sick family members and knowing how we should celebrate our lives and be thankful for them, toasting to good health.
We also learnt the value of our friendship. Often I was bullied as I was slightly chunkier than most of the girls in my class. My best friend would often defend me and kissing noises where made by my abusers. We attended mad house parties together where one of us would occasionally get very drunk and the other would turn into mummy, making sure that we got home safely. We helped each other with essays and team projects, sharing books with valid information and not at any point did we show signs that it was more than friendship.
More than being best friends. Until…