I Can’t Like You, Either
Look, I know you like me. And I wish you didn’t, because I can’t like you, either. I wish that I could, but that’s not allowed… But I wish it was, because here’s the thing: I like you, too.
I don’t know when I realized it; I’m not sure if it was before or after I knew about your feelings for me. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I know you’re fighting your feelings, and believe me, I’m fighting mine. I know I cause you pain and I hate myself for it. I know I’m leading you on and I’m so, so sorry.
Here’s my secret, though… I don’t want to fight those feelings. I hope you keep up that strength you’re using to keep silent, because if you don’t, I’m not sure that I can keep myself in check. Please don’t tell me. Don’t make me answer.
I want you in my life in that capacity, the capacity where we both get to say “I like you” (or substitute in another “L” word if we’re really feeling daring) without any guilt or fear or sheepish embarrassment, and then just succumb to all those irrational feelings that got us into this mess in the first place.
It makes sense to have you in my life like that, and if it wasn’t for that one thing, that one insurmountable hurdle that’s stopping me, I’d be telling you that I like you too until I was blue in the face. It doesn’t really matter what that hurdle is, but please know that I fucking hate it. I’d give up anything to have that obstacle disappear. Except for the cause of the hurdle itself.
You’re the one missing puzzle piece that I’ve been looking for. I don’t know if you’re the center part that brings the entire picture into focus, or the corner piece that stabilizes it all, or the keystone bit that holds up all the other pieces, because I can’t ever actually fit you into place. It’s that goddamn hurdle stopping me, staying my hand. But what I do know is that you make everything else fit together all tight and tidy. Without you, there’s a giant gaping hole where nothing else can possibly fit.
I have to choose between everything else…and you. I don’t get to have both. And I have to ask myself, which part is more important? Which is more complete without the other?
I can’t like you, either. I know I said that already, but maybe if I keep repeating it, it will finally sink in and become reality. Or maybe I’ll just start saying “I don’t like you” to try and convince myself. That’s what they say, right? Repeat a lie enough times and it becomes the truth.
Why can’t we just do that? Act like a pair of broken records that play the same lie over and over again until it becomes the truth and we can go back to the way things were before we got all sentimental and emotive.
I know you can’t like me, and I can’t like you, either. But that’s not stopping me, and I’m sorry.
A | A | A
If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”