Ugly Ducklings part 2

The second regret: I should have told him our senior year.

From the time we were freshmen at ??? University, my friend had a place where he would go and disappear to. I couldn’t reach him there, nor have the peace of mind of knowing where he was.  Whenever he would go to that place, it gave me a feeling of restlessness. It was as if I was missing a part of myself when he wasn’t around. When I would feel this way, back when I was freshman, I didn’t know how to define those feelings; so I didn’t take them seriously. I left it alone.

In the beginning, I was upset when he refused to tell me where his hide out was. It was uncharacteristic of him to be so incredibly stubborn. I didn’t know how to manage this ‘new side’ of him and as a result, I became quite frustrated with him. At the time, I thought I was being betrayed. Wouldn’t you  feel the same if your best friend of X-amount of years suddenly didn’t want to tell you things anymore?

On the other hand, I knew that we were at a point of our lives where we could be considered two grown people. We weren’t kids anymore, and it became impossible to tell each other everything like we still were. When I realized this, I tried to abate my anger and not stress the problem any longer. I tried to transform my frustrations into a running joke. It remained this way until he finally brought me to this park our last year in college.

It  was my Junior year when, like an epiphany ,when I realized that I liked him more than just a friend. When I became aware of the fact, I became more self-conscious around him and he could do no right by me. So when he said “I won’t take you to my hide out” as usual, I thought he hated me and wanted  me to be gone! If I had to choose a lesson learned from that period of time, it would be that it is tiring being upset all the time. Bearing the full brunt of my wild mood swings, poor guy, he became the poster child of the confused man by semester’s end.  Poor me too.

When I reminisce about our freshman and sophomore years, I would think about how I’d half jokingly ask  him to reveal where his secret hiding place was and how he would avert the question. With all of the nothings that he gave me, my feelings were being steadily hurt every day. But guess what?? During mid-Fall semester, Dude yelled at me in the courtyard, in front of everyone. He told me to stop bothering him and that I was being annoying. Who knew that even Dude had a breaking point? I was so shocked and embarrassed by outburst that I didn’t speak to him for a week . That was the first and only time he had ever yelled at me. I never knew him to be the kind of person who had buttons to push.

All in all, I thought I was going to die that week. I couldn’t stomach the thought of him hating me. At the end of that week he took me aside to apologize. Of course I forgave him. For some reason I couldn’t stay mad him. I found it to be a great relief to find out that he didn’t hate me.

The day he apologized, he attempted to justify to me the reason why he wouldn’t tell me where his “spot” was. He explained that “we needed to have time and space that we can call our own because our lives are  already so interconnected”. He went on to say, “my momma knows your mom and your daddy knows my dad. It’s like we already said our vows. And I know that’s how we  look to everybody else. How am I gonna get a girl like this? All the girls turn me down because they think I wifed you Buddy (lol).” I agreed with his excuse so that we can move on, even though it left a bitter taste in my mouth to do so.  After the apology, I only teased him about his hide-away every once in a while. At that point I never actually expected to see it.

I was so surprised that, during our forth year, he took me to this park. When he brought me here all that he had said was “This is it!” The park looked beautiful under the night’s clear sky. The temperature was cool and the breeze was gentle. The aura of park at night was lively. It was as though it were trying to entice you into sharing its excitement. I was already enticed. This is why today reminds me of that night. It’s the magic of the park to suck you into it’s jolliness minus those damn ducks.

That night, for some reason, I thought he was going to tell me that he was in love me. I had hoped that he going to tell me that he was going to dump that trashy,”environmentalist/ wanna-be actress/model chick”  that he met that Fall. I was prepared for this melodramatic proclamation. Why else would he finally take me, his best friend, a woman, to a place that took her 4 years to find? It was as if fate was trying to prove me wrong. I found out  that my thought couldn’t have been any more irrational. He told me that he loved that nicki wannabe. He told me that he’s gonna marry her and make her his babies momma and …after a while his words became incoherent to me after he babies.

That night was like a whirlwind. He just continued for the rest of the night to say things that sent daggers through my heart. That night he’d rather as well have sat me in my car and shot a bazooka at it because he was already killing me. I was heartbroken and my mind was as blank as a canvas. I felt as though I had lost control of everything surrounding me. At that point, I had never contemplate that someone else could enter his heart and maybe taking my place. He was out my reach and that was something new to me. As natural as it is to breathe, I asked him “Why?” When I realized what I had said, I covered my mouth trying to muffle the pain in my voice, while hoping that he didn’t notice. When I had said “why?” it was silent for a long time. The moment we spent in silence gave me the time to calm down and to wipe away my tears. He spoke first, ” Aren’t you happy for me?” he asked in a complicated tone. It was a tone that indicated to me that he knew what my “why” was asking and that he was going to feign ignorance. At the end, I didn’t know how to respond. When I answered him “Yes” should I have sounded happy? indifferent? or humoreous?  Either way I would have still felt my heart exploding into smithereens.

My  other biggest regret my Senior year  was that I lied.

I shouldn’t have said yes.

Maybe my honesty would have resulted in a delightful outcome, somewhat different from today’s.

If I had said, “You shouldn’t love her. You should love me” instead of “yes”. What would he have done?

Would he have taken me seriously or lightly? To say something like ‘ I Love you more than just a friend’, out-of-the-blue could be considered crazy. But for some reason, his “complicated” tone at that time gave me hope .

My reservations about telling my best friend that I love him aloud was what held me back.

But if I had taken that 1% chance, would I have been happier? If so, then maybe I wouldn’t have had to cry all that night.

Click to check out pt.3!


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