You, my dear, are as much a champion of my life as ever. Even when we weren’t on speaking terms, I knew that when, or if (the conjunction of choice varied with my mood) we ever got around to being friends, we would put most friendships to shame. That’s just the way we’ve always been — peas in a pod, birds of a feather, whatever term you prefer.
It turns out that when we finally decided to begin rebuilding, we were even better than I anticipated. So good, in fact, that we easily slipped back into the physical aspect of our relationship, too.
Part of me knew it was a bad idea from the start, but another part of me was secretly pleased. I, stupidly and self-destructively, have never been good at denying myself anything when it comes to you.
It was okay at first. It felt great being near you after so long apart. Riding the reunion high was easy until it suddenly wasn’t. All at once, it seems, the less-than-glorious details of our situation came crashing back into my consciousness.
One, we no longer have sex motivated by love. I don’t know the new protocol for how I should act in the post-coital haze. Do I make small talk? Do I fix my mussed hair? Something I know for certain is that gazing adoringly into your eyes is absolutely not an option, so instead I take to staring at the ceiling as if I’m too exhausted to speak. I’m sorry if it’s awkward; it feels awkward for me too. But what would you have me do? I hate the ceiling, but I hate not being allowed to love you even more.
Two, you could be having sex with other people. I was only too painfully reminded of that when you requested, very reasonably, that I 1) tell you if I have sex with someone else 2) be safe when doing so, adding that you would obviously extend the same courtesy to me. Although that’s very upstanding of you, I really don’t think I’d be able to take it if you found another body for your bed. I know I’m not your girlfriend and that I have no right to care. Even so, I will continue to come to you while simultaneously living in fear of some nameless, faceless female. I’d hate not being your only one, but I’d hate not being one of yours at all even more.
Three, we will have known each other a year this week; we met just a few days before both of our birthdays. We still plan to celebrate together this year, and yet the mental picture falls so far short of what it could’ve been. Unrequited love is for chumps, and so I’ve become the passive friend, bursting with affection and yet staunchly unwilling to show it. Let me tell you, playing it cool sucks, and there’s nothing fun about this emotional paralysis when comparing it to our relationship, which was full of highs and lows. I hate constantly remembering the past, but I hate even more that we have no real future.
Nowadays, you are my best friend. I know so because you never let me forget it. “You are my best friend,” you tell me frequently. I’m truly thrilled that I’m still among your nearest and dearest, but I can’t deny that I secretly miss being your girlfriend.