I can still smell you on my pillows, and that’s both comforting and distracting considering I’ve basically decided to just let you go. I like you, I actually really do. When your eyes smile, my stomach does these little backflips. Sometimes you look at me a certain way, the way I’d imagined so many times in my head for the past six months, and a shot of pain runs through me because I know—no matter how much I want you to be—you’re never really going to be what I want.
The other day you were here, and I had my head resting on your shoulder and made some inane joke that we laughed about. It’s something I’ve wished for so many times, but I don’t feel the way I thought I would. It’s not very warm, it’s not very familiar. It doesn’t feel like where I should be.
That makes me sad. After three years of liking you, three years of steady flirting, and six months of some really sweet messaging, this can’t just be it. I guess that’s the problem when you look forward to something too much—sometimes you build it up in your head in a way that reality could never live up to. Maybe it’s your fault for giving me false hope, or maybe it’s mine for expecting too much. Or maybe it’s neither of us. Maybe we just needed to let this crazy chemistry run its course before it turns into ancient history.
There’s something so tragic about being so intimate an ocean away, and then becoming so distant when I could actually just drive down to your house. Life definitely has a sense of humor, but it’s hard to laugh about it when the joke is on you.
To tell you the truth, though, I don’t think it was a waste of time. I’m glad we turned into something more than we were, even though it’s nothing near where we could be. Wanting you so much is probably half of what drove me to be here, and now that I am, I know I’m where I belong, even though I now also know that’s not with you.
You know what I’ve always been curious about? What you tell your friends about me. Because when I talk about you with my friends, they always say I talk in this certain tone. It’s not like full-on kilig or anything, but I definitely sound like I’m talking about something that’s mine.
Mine. It’s funny to hear when talking about something between two people who have never, not once, talked about what they were or what they wanted. We were never anything. In the beginning, I’d justify it by declaring it was nothing, but at some point that nothing turned into quite a big something.
And although I’ll never really admit it, I do miss you. I miss being able to just show up at your house whenever I feel stressed out from work. I miss spending hours in front over the TV with you, while you blabber on with gossip about other people, the places you’ve been to, and your adorable niece and nephews. I miss your stupid jokes and innuendos, and the little inside quips that would crack the both of us up while everyone else in the group looked at us like we were idiots. I miss you complaining about the Fortuner when you’re driving it and saying I should have brought the Montero instead, and it’s so familiar that it kind of tugs at the heart strings that I’d been convinced had gone numb.
I was being cautious and tried to keep you at arm’s length, but you snuck up on me. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but you’d become this permanent fixture in my world and I liked it. I liked that you never made me feel like I was a hassle, and that you always seemed to make time for me whenever I asked you to.
Remember that last Friday I was home, and you were driving from Dennis and Naomi’s and you asked me if people thought we were together? I look back at that now and wonder if that was my cue. I probably should have taken it, but I was scared and stupid and wanted so badly to see if anything could happen with the other guy. So I made some stupid joke and changed the subject.
Maybe I let my moment pass me by, and maybe this is my karma for stringing you along even when I was talking to some other guy online. But that text you sent me that night, saying you were there for me anytime I needed you, it just made me feel so warm inside that I almost didn’t want to leave you.
I know that it seems like I never took whatever it was between us seriously. And I’m sorry I hooked up with someone else in the six weeks it took you to get here. And I’m sorry I didn’t take the perfect opening to talk about us when you gave it. I’ll probably spend the next few months playing all these different scenarios in my head, and that’ll be all my fault. I mean, I’m glad we’re still friends—and we are, probably more so than any of my other closest friends, and in a way that I never expected when I went home with you that first time—but I can’t help but think sometimes that if I’d just seen the big picture, we could have been more.