Jose stared at him. He was, in her mind, an incredibly beautiful man and he was having one of his ‘famous’ house parties. Her mind drifted back to how things used to be. They used to have ‘a thing.’ Short but sweet; they used to do everything together. She liked being around him. She couldn’t put her finger on it. Perhaps it was his charismatic presence, or the way he remembered everything about her, or maybe it was that he didn’t want her the way she wanted him.
It wasn’t that he didn’t care; she truly believed that he did care for her. They had remained friends after all, he insisted. Over the summer they had gone their separate ways. Promising to rekindle what they had when they returned from their travels. However life never turns out the way you expect it to. While he had been backpacking he had met a girl. He was infatuated with her yet when they finally met after that long summer he was hesitant to tell her that he had met someone.
As he told Jose about his summer love, she had smiled, nodded her head and whispered how happy she was for him. On the outside she appeared calm and accepting. “Let’s stay friends,” he’d said. “Nothing will change. It will be just like before.”
“Sure,” she replied. How could things possibly be the same?
That night when she arrived home, she closed the door and instantly crumpled to the floor. It was like her legs could no longer bare the weight of what had happened, as she lay on the floor of her apartment she finally let herself feel. All her unspoken thoughts finally surfacing. The tears pooled and ran down her face, her breath heavy, came out in uncontrollable sobs. How did this happen? How could she have fallen so deeply for him, when he clearly felt nothing for her?
In the morning, the sunlight made her stir and for that brief moment between dreaming and waking she felt calm. However as she moved she realised that she still lay on the cold tiled floor of her apartment. Her muscles were sore, her eyes swollen and red. She glanced at her phone. She had a missed call and a message from him. He wanted to go for lunch later this afternoon. She couldn’t meet him. She couldn’t be friends. It was too hard. “We can’t be friends,” she typed.
Half an hour later her doorbell rang. She knew it was him. She opened the door, he looked angry. So she took a step back and folded her arms across her chest. He took one look at her and his expression softened. He brushed a stray piece of her from her face. “What’s wrong,’ he asked, his voice shook a little as he realised he already knew the answer. He pulled her into a hug and she began to sob. “I like you,” she cried, “I really like you.” Again her legs gave way but this time she didn’t fall upon the floor. He lifted her to his chest and placed her on the bed. “I didn’t mean to make you sad,” he whispered. “What can I do?”
The answer she gave and the answer she wanted to give varied completely. “I can’t be friends with you.”
“You’re sure that’s what you want?”
She nodded her head, not trusting herself to use words. “I’ll always be here for you, you know.” He kissed her on the forehead and held her close. She didn’t want him to leave, her tears poured down silently from her eyes leaving wet patches on his shirt.
He got up, and without looking back he walked out of the room. This was the last time he would walk through that door. The thought filled her with a heavy weight across her chest. It felt tight and everlasting.
Of course it wasn’t everlasting. One year on and things were the way they used to be. It had been hard initially and they left many things unspoken. Her feelings for him eventually began to fade. They were friends. Like he said they would be.
She gazed past him; there at the other side of the room flashing her his sexy white smile was her man. He tipped his head gesturing for her to come over. “You never dance with me,” he teased.
She smiled up at him, this incredible, patient man had made her realise what she wanted. For a long time she had held on to what she had thought she wanted. A friendship with the man who broke her heart but deep inside she knew she had always wanted more. As she searched his face she knew.
Sometimes you have to give up the things you want, for the things you want more. And everything she wanted more stood before her now.
“Let’s go,” she smiled, and without looking back they walked out of the room. She knew this would be the last time she would walk through his door and as she walked out she felt the weight finally release from her chest. Now she definitely had everything she wanted.