..."I KNOW THIS IS GOING TO SOUND REALLY INSECURE, BUT CONSIDER THE SHIT YEAR I HAVE HAD I FEEL I HAVE TO ASK ... ARE WE FRIENDS?"
I lean back from the keyboard, feeling instant regret. Why did I just write that? I sound so unbelievably insecure! My heart is in my throat as I wait for his reply. As soon as I pressed send I felt the pierce of a knife through my heart, and with every passing minute, it sinks in deeper and deeper, twisting so the pain is so intense it's hard to breathe. I can't unsend my message, and I feel panic slowly spreading through my body. What if he doesn't reply? What if he doesn't answer the way I want him to? I can't believe I did that! Okay I didn't put my heart fully on the line but I'd rather be his friend than nothing! I have to accept that I can't take it back. I take deep breaths contemplating whether or not to send him a message saying to just forget about it. I don't. It would just make me look more pathetic and insecure in his eyes.
A small part of me is glad I sent the message, for over a year I have been living in suspense wondering. We barely talk any more and when he looks at me ... It doesn't feel like we're friends or at least not like we used to me. I just can't - no, scratch that - won't live any longer not knowing. I need to know. I need a definitive answer. I need to know if there's still hope or if I should just give up and move on. I deserve that at least surely.
I get up from my desk and finish getting ready for work. I stare at myself in my full length mirror: wide, piercing green eyes filled with a mixture of regret, fear and relief stare back at me, my hair falling in soft curls around my shoulders, my cheeks slightly flushed. I look anxious and with good reason. Thinking back, I remember how he once needed me, how I was the only one he wanted when he was feeling scared or sad. I miss that. We were practically inseparable, but over the years ...
He's drifted away and I feel an emptiness in my heart that grows every day. The void that his friendship used to fill.
I just need closure, I think to myself. Then I'll be fine. I'll know what to do.
I glance at the clock on my phone, it's 6:50. Shit! I'm going to miss the bus. I grab my backpack, necklace and kindle and run out the door.
On the bus, one of HIS songs comes on my iPod and I'm momentarily distracted from my book, and I gaze out of the bus window listening to his dulcet tones hold a captivating melody and concentrate on the lyrics, trying to figure out what he was thinking when he wrote this. It's hard to tell. But then that's how it always is.
I arrive at the school ready for my last week of summer work. I can't find it in me to smile when people greet me. The pressure is too much. I just can't wait for his answer. My heart is stuck in my throat as I work, labeling rubbish bins, cleaning out storage cupboards and gutters. I can't keep my head in the present. My mind flits back to earlier in the morning when I sent the message. He still hasn't replied and I start to worry. What if I freaked him out?
Finally, I glance at my phone just after lunch as we are finishing cleaning out a storage room. He's replied!
"I'VE KNOWN YOU FOR LIKE 7 YEARS
"IK WE DON'T TALK THAT MUCH ANYMORE BUT I NEVER STOPPED CONSIDERING YOU A FRIEND"
My heard constricts with relief. Finally it makes it's way back down to where it should be ... in my chest. It's so good to hear. Even if anything more isn't possible, I would rather have him a friend for life than a boyfriend for a year. We'll be going to uni after next year and I know we would break up at the end of this year if we got together. I think back to all the times we spoke in the last year and realize maybe we've just grown apart. I quickly type back a message explaining my question. And then add three more things.
"I KNOW THAT'S WHY I WAS WONDERING. I'VE JUST HAD SO MANY PROBLEMS WITH SOME OF MYF RIENDS LAST YEAR, IT MADE ME WONDER WHO WAS AND WHO WASN'T. I CONSIDER YOU ONE OF MY OLDEST FRIENDS, IT SUCKS (TO ME AT LEAST) THAT WE DON'T TALK AS MUCH AS WE USED TO. I JUST DIDN'T KNOW HOW YOU FELT. I'M GLAD YOU STILL CONSIDER ME A FRIEND. SORRY IF MY QUESTION FREAKED YOU OUT OR MADE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE OR WHATEVER BUT I HAD TO ASK.
"YOUR FRIENDSHIP MEANS A LOT TO ME ... :)
"AND I'VE MISSED IT"
Shit! I really hope I didn't over do it. I feel mild apprehension seize my heart as I wait for his reply or for him to simple read it. I hope he agrees to try. I need him to agree. I don't know what I'll do if he doesn't ...
I hear the *ding* of Facebook telling me I have a message. Heart in my throat, I lean forward in my chair to read his reply. This is his reply:
“OK BUT SARAH YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND SOMETHING
“YOU TEND TO GET VERY CLINGY
“WHICH IS WHY WE MAY GO THROUGH LONG PERIODS OF NOT SEEING EACH OTHER
“I NEVER STOPPED BEING FRIENDS WITH YOU
“IT’S JUST THAT SOMETIMES YOU SEEM REALLY EAGER
“AND IT’S A LITTLE DISCOMFORTING”
“I KNOW I CAN BE CLINGY. BUT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND SOMETHING: I’VE NEVER HAD ANY REALLY GOOD FRIENDS.”
His continued reply:
“SO IF IT SEEMS LIKE I’M TRYING NOT TO TALK TO YOU I JUST NEED A LITTLE SPACE.”
“I UNDERSTAND THAT
“I’VE BEEN TRYING”
“NOT TO BE CLINGY THAT IS
“I’M GLAD WE’VE SORTED THIS OUT. I HOPE WE CAN BE BETTER FRIENDS NOW.
“I’M SORRY FOR ACTING SO CLINGY BEFORE. IT’S UNCONSCIOUS AND I DON’T MEAN TO"
“SO LONG AS WE’RE GOOD”
“YE WE ARE”
“AWESOME. I’LL SEE YOU AT SCHOOL. HOPE YOU HAD A GOOD VACATION”
A tear rolls down my cheek. I know there is no hope for anything more now. And I’m glad it means I can mourn and move on, but still be his friend. I’m glad I understand why he’s been so distant for the last few months. I don’t mean to clingy, I guess it’s cause I never really had any friends when I was younger so now I grasp and whatever form of friendship I can get and hold on for dear life (AKA. get clingy). I hope we can get through this (I hope I can work on this).
I send him one more message:
“JUST ONE MORE THING, IF I’M ANNOYING YOU IN ANY WAY OR WHATEVER. LET ME KNOW. DON’T JUST IGNORE ME. IT MAKES ME THINK YOU’RE MAD AT ME OR SOMETHING AND TO BE HONEST, I NEED ALL THE FRIENDS I CAN GET. (I REALLY AM QUITE INSECURE, AREN’T I?) :( SORRY AGAIN FOR MAKING YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE”
This is the first REAL conversation we’ve ever had, and I feel some weight lifted off my shoulders as I finally understand. In an attempt to start my de-clinging I don’t wait for his reply. I shut facebook down immediately and immerse myself in work and my favourite tv shows. I know I’m the most pathetic person in the world but a small part of me still hopes that I can get past the clingy-ness and we can get back to how we used to be. It’s what I hope for. What I need. But right now … I need to put what he needs above what I do, if this friendship is ever going to improve.
I hope for my sake that it does. Otherwise I don’t know what I’ll do.