From The Other Side Of The Friend Zone

image - Flickr / Holly Lay
image – Flickr / Holly Lay

When I met you, there were no fireworks. I did not see myself as the princess you came to rescue. Instead, as we chatted and enthused over our similarities, I saw something else. I saw a friend. I felt a warmth and security that is unlike romantic love but just as special, if not more. I believed we were companions on the same boat. Well, at least we were at the beginning.

Eventually, you claimed to have fallen in love with me. You professed your drawn out infatuation during a drunken call that followed a series of incoherent messages at 3am. You felt crazy for me and I felt betrayed by you. I was concerned and pleaded with you to stop taking more shots and to get home safe. You hung up on me. The next day, it was as if last night’s episode never aired.

At first, I forgave you and tried to play it cool. There was nothing wrong with you having feelings for me. It was highly likely you confused your friendly affections for me as something else. If not, I believed your loyalty to our friendship will make you move on. It was obvious from the beginning that I never saw you in a romantic light and I was confident that you would respect my feelings the way I was trying to respect yours. After all, I loved you, my friend.

However, you would come to disappoint me and the precious bond we shared. It started with unnecessary favors and escalated to grand gestures. You were laying the groundwork for your desired outcome – to make me yours. Everyone around us knew, so it was no surprise that I would come to know too, as if you hadn’t already planned for that. You were deliberately throwing the ball into my court and it was clear I had only two options: Lovers or nothing.

You put me in a no-win situation. I could not see you in a romantic light but I also could not bring myself to hurt you. I did my best to delay the inevitable but, one day I would have to face you. And when I did, I knew neither of us was coming out in one piece. The moment I said no, it was over for us. You would never understand how much I dreaded this ending. You would never know that I had tried to make myself fall for you endless times. I loved you and I felt ashamed that the happiness you sought from me was beyond my ability. You would never understand how much guilt and doubt I felt over this outcome. I never deliberately seduced you nor did I lead you on. I never wished for anything but friendship.

To my dismay, this made you resent me. I became the bitch who broke your heart. In your eyes, I morphed into an emotionally unavailable woman who could not appreciate what was right in front of her. But you know what? I did. It was you who could not appreciate me. You belittled the friendship we shared. To you, none of that mattered if I couldn’t be yours. I was reduced to an object of conquest. The whole affair was disrespectful. And perhaps the greatest pain is that you might never realize that it wasn’t love you felt for me. It was something else, something selfish and corrupt. For if it indeed was love, you would have been able to see the beauty in what we had and cherished it the way I did. You would have seen that it was just as important, if not more, than romance. TC mark

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