We are all Connected in some way. It’s a strong bond to one another. May it be just a small conversation about the time or the weather. Or just a brush on the shoulder as you pass them by on a busy street. My connection to her was deeper. It was the connection of love and friendship. Though I never felt the same way about her as she did to me, she never gave up hope. There was always some sliver of hope that I would finally say yes when she, again, asked me out on a date to which I always replied no. She didn’t understand – couldn’t understand – that I only liked her as a friend and a comrade.
We’ve grown up together. We were best friends since we were in diapers crawling around my old living room, trying to eat some piece of moldy cat food we’ve found along our journey. But as senior year started to come to an end, I didn’t really know how to tell her. It wasn’t a break up yet it was. I was pulling away; or at least have been pulling away from her for a long time, since sophomore year.
I looked at her from across the room; her curly red hair flowing down her back and concentration chiseled across her face. She looked back at me, her face slowly etching on a smile. I quickly turned back to the history teacher as he droned on about the American revolution and how it impacted the lives of the people. I couldn’t concentrate. I knew what I was going to do. A part of me felt horrible for it but the other part felt happy like a heavy weight was being lifted off my shoulders and chest.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, the bell rang. I quickly grabbed my books and bolted for the door before anyone else. I stopped outside the door. Flocks of students rushed out with Mr. Henry screeching out tonight’s homework assignment. She lingered behind, waiting patiently for the kids to exit before leaving the room herself. She seemed surprised to see me waiting for her which fueled my anxiety over this decision. I took deep breaths as she stopped in front of the door. Before I even let her say anything I blurted it out.
“Leave me alone. Don’t talk to me anymore.” I close my eyes, walking away from her before I regret what I’ve done and take it all back. This was the end for both of us. And this is how I had to end it. Maybe, years later through divorce and children and jobs and college, we’d meet again. Maybe we’d be different. Maybe.