I have a terrible habit of falling in love with my best friends. It started off with just slight crushes on my kindergarten buddies. It was strange to be crushing on your girlfriend, the same person as your boy crush was also crushing on. Ah, the joy of a young bisexual Simona. Later on, when I got to school and more sex curious I ‘explored’ with two of my best friends, guess what, yeah, they were also a boy and a girl. I also had a crush on both of them.
Fast-forward to high school, and somewhere along the way, I found myself in love with one of my best friends. Unlucky in love. Besides a drunken night of sloppy sex and a few times of brief making out, we were never more than just friends. It didn’t help that I moved across Europe and would only see him once a year. Every time it would be heartbreaking. Still is. It’s been over 6 years.
It’s the best feeling of being in love with your best friend, but it’s also the most heartbreaking kind of love. I love him too much, I could never be selfish with him, and I want him to be nothing but happy. And so, I’ve met his girlfriend, I’ve petted his dog, I’ve seen their home, and I’ve sat at a dinner table with them complimenting the meal she had cooked. Every time I see them interact parts of me crumble. He’s kind and doesn’t show too much affection with her in front of me, he knows that it hurts me. I’ve always wondered if we had ended up together in some alternative universe, where I didn’t move, and he was single. I asked him that once, parts of me wanted to hear from him that he had wondered too, but he swiftly changed the subject. My heart broke again.
I’ll never forget the night before I was leaving for the UK. We were sat in his car, 2 minutes of peace before we were picking up his girlfriend at the time from work. We had grown apart that summer after I graduated high-school. I was in my own bubble of packing, savouring last moments and waitressing for 12h every day and he was in a happy, budding relationship. The night he met her, I was there, ironically I was the one encouraging him to go out with her then. How stupidly blind I was to what was right there in front of me. Those 2 minutes were our last private goodbye, he knew deep down that I wouldn’t be returning back home, and I knew that I’d never be able to get over him so I had to leave. He told me he was proud of me and that he didn’t want me to go, but he never asked me to stay. It’s ironic because I had people around me that had asked me to stay. I was dating someone that summer, and he asked me to stay, he had a plan and everything. Yet the one person, who I would have stayed for, never asked me to.
And so, I got on a plane broken-hearted hoping to the life I had led thus far behind me. And I did. It worked for the first year until I came back for the summer after my first year. I went to his high-school graduation (he’s a year younger), the second our eyes met I was a goner. After that summer, I left again, and since then, I’ve only seen him a handful of times. I stopped telling him when I was coming home. Parts of me never want to see him, parts of me are dying to see him every time I go back. I’ve missed so many things in his life, there are so many gaps in our friendship. We don’t talk anymore like we used to and parts of me think the boy that always cuddled with me even when we were just platonic friends is no longer there. He’s a man now, a man that I don’t know. I fear that he’ll marry this girl and won’t be there to see it because goddamn it, he’s still my best friend and I want to be at his wedding.
I wish I could say that the boy with eyes blue as summer sky was the only best friend, I’ve fallen unlucky in love. But no, life is cruel that way.
When I first moved to the UK, I made friends with a girl on the first day. We’ve been friends since despite her having moved to the states now. She was also an EU student and moved to Newcastle with her best friend. Over the years we bonded, and despite people coming in and out of our friend group, the 3 of us always stuck together. After she moved to America, I became a lot closer with her friend. And then even closer. And somewhere along the way, I fell in love with her. It’s kind of a running joke in my friend group that I’ve been trying to get her to sleep with me for years, but she’s so god damn straight. This friendship, while heartbreaking, comes nowhere near the devastation that I felt over my best friend from home. With her, we can’t complicate it by having sex or mudding the waters. It’s easier to deal with heartbreak if you know you never had a chance in the first place.
I told her I was in love with her once and she laughed, a full-on belly kind of laugh. She then realised I was serious and promised to keep a straight face, so I said it again, and she laughed again. I look back at it fondly, it didn’t crush me because I always knew that it was something, I had to tell her, but it wasn’t something that would ever be reciprocated.
So here it is, a fundamental flaw in my character, I fall in love with people, whom I let to see the real me.
When I was in high school, my family was falling apart, and I fell out with my stepfather. I still remember the next day at school, barely holding it together. I was dating someone at the time, and he helped me a lot. But it was my best friend, oblivious to all the shit that was happening, he made me laugh that day. He was the only person that could do that. He saw the real me, and I fell in love with him.
For a few years now, I’ve been struggling with depression, a concept foreign to me as my upbringing never recognised the importance of mental health. When my doctor put me on antidepressants, I went home to her, crawled in her bed and cried. She didn’t know what was going on, and with time, I started opening up to her more and more. She knows everything there is to know about me – every dirty secret that I have. She knows the real me, and I fell in love with her.
There is something beautiful about tragic love. There is a reason why stories such as Rome and Juliet, Jayne Eyre and Pride and Prejudice has become literary classics. However, as beautiful unrequited love is, it fucking suck living through it. And with that, I’ll set off to lick my wounds with a bit of kindness in my heart for myself, and I encourage, if you’re reading this, to do so as well (not the wound licking but the kindness part, hahah).