Falling in love with your best friend is a long, torturous process. Falling in love with your best friend who has a girlfriend, however, is easier, faster, and more painful.
We had been best friends for years despite our 3-year age difference (which is huge when you take into account we started our friendship while I was in high school and he was in middle school). We spent time together daily, shared hundreds of inside jokes, knew each others secrets better than our own, and talked about everything from the philosophical to the trivial to the unnecessary (he can’t poop with a shirt on – this is something I don’t need to know). I was friends with both his older and younger brother, even taking the younger one to swim practice sometimes. His mother often calls me her future-daughter-in-law, not caring which of her three sons I end up with (her words, not mine). His father once told me that I have helped his family more than any other non-family member has, and for that, he will be eternally grateful. To say I am beloved by his family is not a stretch of the imagination.
Something changed this summer though. Whether it was the oddness of the weather, just summer in general, or the huge changes in both of our lives, I have no idea. I can’t provide an explanation for the why; I can only say that it was different.
From the start of the summer, he vented to me about the growing tension in his year-and-a-half long relationship with his girlfriend. The sex was less frequent and more awkward, and simply being around her wasn’t providing him with happiness, but with tension, anger, and frustration. He was unsure of the future of their relationship, and then out of nowhere, declared that him being in love with me as well as her was not helping him make any definite decision in regards to that future. (Wait, what?)
I had realized weeks before his declaration of love that I had more-than-friendly feelings towards him, especially when his stories of fighting with his girlfriend made me do cartwheels on the inside (and I don’t do cartwheels). Then with his declaration, I was suckered in even further. In my head, it was simple – we were going to be together. Things were not this simple.
We spent Fourth of July together. And we slept together.
A week later, we celebrated a friend’s birthday. And we slept together.
A week after that he confessed to her his unfaithfulness. And in almost the same breath, he confessed to me that it was great sex, he wished he could do it again, and he still loved me, but couldn’t be with me. He chose her.
I made one more desperate attempt to have him change his mind. He rejected me once again, saying he wanted for things to work out with his girlfriend, but he still wanted to be my best friend.
I felt betrayed, yet I tried to move on. Then I found out that I was pregnant.
Two weeks later, I miscarried. I sat outside of the doctor’s office in the sunshine, silently crying behind my sunglasses while digesting that news. I finally decided to tell him what had happened. He barely acknowledged the information, and took the opportunity to inform me that he had been dumped, yet, was trying to find a way back into her heart.
A betrayal by your best friend stings more than a betrayal by anyone else. I have learned this lesson more than a few times. In just three short months, your entire life can be turned upside down, and an entire friendship that has lasted for some of the best parts of your life can be ruined.
Moral of this story: don’t get drunk on beer under the fireworks; it leads to sins and bad decisions.