My Love Story - Part 2
Picking up where we left off in part 1...
My best friend Carlie was having a dance party for her birthday. Chuck was there that night and I found myself being drawn to him all night. I was aware of where he was on the dance floor and would dance in his general direction to make sure he was aware of my presence too. At this point, I wasn't particularly interested in dating him, so this was notably odd and each time I found myself drifting toward him, I asked myself what I was doing.
This night I reconnected with an old friend named Cam whom I hadnt seen in a few years. We really hit it off that night (in a friend way) and I knew we would be spending more time together. Cam had met Chuck just the week before and they had become instant friends. As the summer went on, Cam, Chuck and I became inseparable friends, hanging out nearly every day, often until 4 or 5 in the morning.
Everyone joked that Chuck and I had chemistry, but of course we both denied it and went on being just friends, but to be honest, I would sit by him or drive with him more than anyone else and flirted harder than any 'just friends' have a right to. At one point, after a long night of just the two of us that ended at 4 in the morning with both of us soaking wet because he has forced me to sit on my neighbors sprinklers, I said "You know I like you, right?" to which he replied "Yeah. You know I like you too, right?" but that was the end of that conversation and we pretended it never happened.
I moved away that summer for a job in Alaska and when I came back, things in our friend group were just a little different. School had started and new faces came into the mix. There were a few girls in particular that would flirt with Chuck and it really bothered me, even though logically I knew that we were just friends, I still felt an ownership over him. He was MINE to flirt with. Its stupid, I know, but I think even then, I knew I wanted to be more than friends with him. Our friends continued to pester us about why we weren't dating, and I remember one night pulling some friends away from the group to insist that they stop teasing us because "it was just never going to happen".
The "You know I like you, right?" conversation repeated itself a few times, and each time nothing came from it. Neither of us wanted to ruin what was a really good friendship.
He was a good enough friend that he was around my family a lot and my younger sister Missy took a particular liking to him. She would even call him up and force him to drive her to go get food because she was too young to drive. When Missys good friend passed away unexpectedly on her birthday, I asked a few friends to send her a happy birthday text to help cheer her up. He went out and bought her a present and delivered it to her. You guys - that was the begining of the end for me. I admired that one act so much because I knew he did it for HER, not to impress me, but because he genuinely loved my little sister and wanted her to have a happy birthday. How could I keep pretending not to have feelings for my best friend after that.
The next blow to my defenses came the night before my older sisters wedding. Chuck and another friend called to see if I wanted to hangout that night and I invited them over. Between the time I extended the invite and the time they got there, I noticed my mom and sister were stressing about wedding stuff and I offered to help. I told my friends that I was no longer available to hangout but they could come help if they wanted. Chuck came and helped for a few hours that night. Again, I knew that it wasnt a ploy, it wasnt a move to get me to fall for him. It was just who he is - a guy that lends a helping hand when he sees the need. Maybe it was because love was in the air, but the day of my sisters wedding, I couldnt stop thinking about him. He showed up to the reception that night and I got so nervous. He was my best friend and I was nervous to see him. I knew I was in trouble.
After all the wedding frestivities, we went to a friends house for a party. As we walked to the friends house I wanted so bad to reach over and hold his hand. It was honestly excruciating for him to be RIGHT THERE and not be able to reach out and hold his hand. I was like a pathetic love sick puppy that night, sick to my stomach with butterflies at just sitting next to him. Forlorn and longing. It was so sad.
We left the party and stopped to drop our friend off at her house. The three of us sat in her driveway for a long time, hours, talking about who knows what. At one point, the conversation drifted to who in our friend group we would make out with if we had the chance (typical 19 year olds, right?). Of course we said each other, but it took us 10 minutes each of pretend hmm-ing and ha-ing to get the courage to say it. Our other friend finally went in her house and he started to drive me home. We drove in silence and I had the BIGGEST internal struggle trying to get the courage to tell him how I felt, and then pushing it down for fear of ruining the friendship or getting hurt.
When we got to my house, I was ready to burst. I couldnt say nothing. He got out of the car to hand me a box of stuff from the wedding, and I saw my chance. He handed me the box, I swallowed my pride and prepared myself to tell my best friend I was in love with him. Then - nothing. I didnt say it. He got back in his car and drove home. I went in my house and tried to sleep but I couldn't. I had missed my chance. But this is where the beauty of texting comes in. I suddenly found my keyboard strength and sent another "You know I like you, right?" texts at 2 in the morning. (I cant believe I did it through texts! I should have said it in person) He responded in the same way he had before "Yeah, you know I like you too, right?" It was the same thing that we had done before but something had to be different this time. I wrote back "Yeah, but what are we gonna do about it this time?" He responded "I dont know, but I do know I want to have this conversation in person. Lets go to bed, Ill see you tomorrow"
The next day was the LONGEST DAY OF MY LIFE. Our friend group had plans to go see a friends band play at a local pizza shop that night. Time passed so slowly until it was finally time to go face him. I showed up a few minutes late and there he was, sitting with his gorgeous ex- girlfriend. Like are you kidding me?! I wanted to just leave. What was she doing there? And why was she literally only talking to him all night. Like I honestly dont think she left his side. Is that true? Probably not, but thats what it felt like. Pure torture. She is a nice girl, who, as it turns out, just didnt know anyone else there very well and spent the night talking to the only person she felt comfortable with. Our friends band played and we decided to leave and the plan was to go to my house. His ex girlfriend asked him for a ride home and I knew I didnt stand a chance. I knew I wouldnt get to talk to him like I had hoped. A few friends showed up at my house, but he wasnt anywhere to be seen. He was off making out with his ex girlfriend, I was sure of it. I was such a sad sack that night you guys. Pining girl was not a role I played well. My friends decided to leave because I was being such a downer, and just as I was walking them to the door, guess who pulled up to my house...
To be continued in post three! Stay tuned.