Ten years ago, I met someone who convinced me that you can, indeed, find a soulmate in a friend. It’s not always about romantic love. He filled the gap in my social life. We had the same sense of humour. He was there for me all the time, and I could talk to him about literally anything under the sun. I loved him, with my all, and I could not imagine going 24 hours without talking to him. We spent so much time together that people started saying we looked alike. It was the perfect story until he went ahead and ruined everything.
I had been dating this guy who broke my heart into a thousand pieces. He cheated on me with several women, and even when I caught him, he was not bold enough to admit it. Who did I fall back to? Jack. He was my best friend, and all I knew at the time. He was the only constant person in my life, and at this vulnerable point in my life, he was my shoulder to lean on.
On one occasion, Jack and I were in his room. One thing led to the other and I slept with him, only to end up regretting it. After that incident, we didn’t talk. I stormed out of his house as though it was his fault, and I isolated. Life stopped making sense on that day. It was the beginning of all our problems.
“Hello, how are you?” Jack said one day after I finally picked up his calls.
“I miss you. My life is sad. I have no friends. You were the only person in my life who I actually trusted,” I responded. Truth be told, I had been dying to speak to him for days.
Just like that, Jack and I had made up and life was almost back to normal. Almost, because there was still a sense of awkwardness in our conversation. A missing piece. It was as though our intimacy had moved to the next level and so we couldn’t move backwards.
Two months later, we were back in his room. We were watching a movie in our typical fashion and it was getting late when I felt Jack getting touchy. I tried to stop him, angrily. He didn’t understand why. In fact, he looked at me as though he was shocked at my reaction.
“I thought we had an understanding,” Jack said, and I couldn’t believe it.
“We’ve talked about this. I told you, I don’t see you in that way. You’re my best friend, Jack. Stop ruining good things,” I told him.
He started to cry, and it was funny how hard he was trying to cover it up and even funnier how much he was failing. As if on instinct, I went close to him and hugged him.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, he started to talk.
“Ever since the day we made love, I can’t get over you. I’ve tried to look at you differently but the harder I try the more I realise that I am in love with you,” Jack said.
I stood there, dumbfounded and unamused. He just didn’t get it. He didn’t understand that I was still heartbroken. To me, a romantic relationship was the beginning of the end. I loved him, but there’s no part of me that saw him in a romantic way. He would always be a platonic friend no matter how hard I tried.
We argued for hours. He argued that I had, in many instances, made it look like I was interested in him too. I argued that he was misreading it all, a concept which he completely refused to understand.
After an endless back and forth, we were now seated on opposite ends of the couch facing opposite directions. None of us was willing to say it, but we both knew what had to be done. We couldn’t go on with this relationship, at least not at that time. Perhaps one day I would meet Jack once again and he would see me as only his friend, and maybe he just needed time.
I picked up my phone and purse and walked out that door, knowing clearly that things would never be the same again between us and we would not be seeing each other regularly now. I closed the door and began to weep. He had been the only constant in my life, and now it had been ruined by a one night stand.
Check out other stories in The Singlehood Series