In college, you will fall in love for the first time. You will fall fast and deep, but the depths are disguised in a cloak of friendship. To you, everything will seem like it is progressing at a slow steady pace, because your friendship is growing organically. It won’t be until spring semester when these feelings seep from innards of your heart onto the forefront of your brain where you are forced to confront them. Your friends will have known since at least October. Deep down, you will have, too.
As the shy, complex girl looking to connect on an intimate level with her partner, a best friendship developing into more is exactly how you have always pictured love. While people in high school were dating, you were waiting for a more “mature” love. Forget the passionate love that rips each other’s clothes off. You yearned for the companionate love where you intimately cuddle at 4 am talking about the inner workings of each other’s minds. And your best friend will be right there with the love of your dreams.
For almost a year, you’ll think that your actions speak so loud that no words are needed. You’ll spend every day with him. He’ll tickle you, because he knows you’re unnaturally ticklish and it’s the only way you’ll ever get over it. You’ll build him a paperclip chain as a countdown to the Boston Marathon and he’ll tell you it’s one of the most meaningful gifts he’s ever gotten. Your salutation to each other will be “I friend love you.” Yet you’ll be too scared to even tell him that you like him.
Eventually, another woman will enter. He really likes her. You should tell him that you like him, but you won’t. They’ll form a relationship. She’ll be his girlfriend, but your relationship with him won’t change. At least it won’t for a while. He’ll still come to you for an emotional connection until the tangled interweaving of your lives become so complicated the web collapses.
The summer following junior year will be full of dramatic exchanges via text message and in person. Over text he’ll tell you to never speak to him again and that will be the end of it. You’ll never see him again and your heart will be broken. When someone knows your soul, it makes it easy for them to crush it. Futilely, you’ll question what went wrong when the relationship was so perfect. It’s not until you realize that, no, it wasn’t perfect that you will begin to find closure.
Now that we have reached the end, let’s take a few steps back. The clues will be there, but you’ll miss them and that’s okay. You are young, naïve, and looking to open yourself to another person while discovering their being. You should know to walk away when another woman enters. He’s letting you know that you are not his lover. You should know to run when he is dating another woman yet your relationship with each other barely changes. Deep down you will know that continuing such an intimate relationship while he is dating someone else is a mistake on both of your parts.
Coming to terms with the existence of these clues is painful and you’ll balk: But our spirits will connect and produce so much happiness. True, in the beginning you will be happy, but by the end your happiness together will be only a series of vivid memories.
This relationship will teach you how to genuinely open up to someone. And through failure, it will teach you when it is best not to try and fix something that is beyond repair. Save these lessons in your heart, because I know that they will come in handy someday.