On Falling in Love with Best Friends
” — To douchebags!” he said, gesturing to Brad. “And to girls that break your heart,” he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. “And to the absolute fucking horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.”
Jamie McGuire | Beautiful Disaster
First time I ever laid eyes on K I was eight years old. We were both eight years old. His dad had just died and his mother was away over at god-knows-where and so he had come to live us.
I remember mother telling us to be good. She didn’t have to. I don’t think there’s a way anybody could be bad to K. With his big, round, beautiful eyes and his voice like a fairy’s
That night I caught him sobbing inside the room with my brother by his side of the bed looking all sad. I didn’t know what the hell to do so I called my mom and we all went over to their room and sat and after a while we all slept off there.
It took him a while to be comfortable with us but after the barrier was broken we finally got lucky enough to see the real K — and my God he was a beauty!
He could make you forget anything with his eyes and voice. You’d simply drown in them and forget anything else exists. He made me laugh till there were tears in my eyes.
Sometimes I’d see him laughing with my brother and I’d remember that night on the bed. That became my go-to personification of evil: whatever can make such a sweet, carefree boy like K into a cowering, sad boy that came to us that night; that is the real evil.
I’d always been jealous whenever it came to K. I wasn’t naturally jealous and I loved my space. But for K, I’d sacrifice all that in a second. I never sought him out awkwardly or anything, but whenever he came to me I was always willing to give him more time than anybody — even my own brother.
And of course I was jealous whenever I saw him making girls laugh — which he did often. So I always wished he came to me instead — and truth be told he did that often too.
We’d laugh and talk and laugh again. There was no denying we had chemistry, and I’d never seen him as a brother. But I’d never seen him as a boyfriend, either. He was a really, really good friend. Perhaps that was because it was the only thing we had left — friendship.
Maybe deep down in our subconscious we had realized we were too close to be lovers and too removed to be really family. So our friendship consolidated on those two premises and became stronger than ever.
I was the first to leave for college. I left when I was fifteen. I was young and I missed my family like crazy. There’s no denying I missed K the most.
When I returned from college after the first semester my brother was so excited to see me. K was nowhere to be found.
“Where is K?” I asked.
“You’re barely home for 15 minutes. You didn’t even ask where mom and and dad are.”
My brother said.
After a while he told me K had a girlfriend; who also happened to be a friend of mine. Mom and dad were out of town and K was hanging out at hers.
I was furious. I tried but I couldn’t even hide it and my brother noticed but he didn’t say a word.
Like I said, you can’t be mad at K and when he came back I ran to his arms and he lifted me and we talked and laughed as usual.
He spoke so fondly about his new girlfriend and that was when I realized that’s all I want to be — his girlfriend that he could talk about like that.
I went back to college with the thought. We talked everyday everybody thought he was my boyfriend. I probably thought the same.
A year after he also went to college. The same one with my brother, different one from mine. But that couldn’t stop us.
We trusted each other and told each other everything that happened in both our lives. He told me he’d broken up with his girlfriend. He told me how fantastic college was and how he’d found a sweet brilliant girl to whom he wanted to devote his entire life. He’d never been so in love, he said. She was his entire world and he couldn’t wait for me to meet her.
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I did meet her and I wanted to rip her hair out of her skull. I didn’t, though, somehow. He took us both out, introduced me as his best friend and at the instant I could tell the girl hated me too. It was no matter.
At the mall she made sure she flirted with every guy she saw just to make K jealous. He probably was, but then he’d turn to me and we’d laugh and talk and in an instant she’d come running back to him — her head almost literally catching fire.
We went back to K’s and when it got a bit late she started making jokes about overstaying welcomes. I was good at taking hints, of course, so I went to my brother’s and we had the greatest time.
I left the next day and I decided I really didn’t want to be K’s girlfriend. I convinced myself that deep down I had never even wanted to be his girlfriend in the first place.
Why ruin our friendship with love anyway? I said to myself.
A few days after my visit I learnt from my brother that K’s girlfriend had broken up with him. Apparently he was caught cheating with the girl’s best friend.
It was pretty funny to me, to be honest. And I laughed like a mad person for a while. I called K and we talked about it. He was so ashamed, I could tell. I had no choice but to console him and make him feel better.
So K became a fuck boy. He moved on from women to women like gear-shifts down uneven roads. It hurt my heart like crazy.
My brother called once and told me they’d had a huge fight. Apparently K had hurt a girl his own girlfriend had introduced him too and even made a move on her, too.
He told me I had to do something about it or he’s done. I was the only he trusted. He was right. So I went back down there feeling highly concerned for K.
I met him at a party with three girls on him like blanket sheets. I dragged him out to the balcony and he kissed me.
The night was remarkably beautiful too and just undertaneth the ruckus and disarray of the party we could hear crickets chirp and beautiful staccato of a choir from a church nearby or far away.
It was beautiful, the night.
He was drunk, of course, K. And I said to myself, that’s why he kissed you. He’s drunk. I was probably right, but I can only imagine what stupid and beautiful things would have happened if I had been just a little bit as drunk as he was. I wished I was and then I snapped out of it.
I stopped a cab and took him back home and tucked him in. The next morning he stood by my bed looking like K again, all stout and brilliant. He woke me up with tea and breakfast.
We went on a walk and he couldn’t remember anything at all from the previous night. It was alright. He was probably lying but it was alright. He had always been more shy and ashamed of stuffs around me than anywhere else.
We walked and we talked and we laughed.
His eyes were as bautiful as ever.
Later that night we sat outside on the grass in front of his house. And that was when it happened.
The night was just as beautiful as the previous one. Perhaps even more so. There were butterflies and a big moon and nostalgia.
He told me about everything that had been happening. He told me about the hearts he’d broken. He told me about his demons. He told me about his father and how much he missed him. He told me about how he’d never miss his mother because he saw her in me.
And then my hubris kicked in and that was the end.
The hubris was that I believed. I shouldn’t have. Not him, of course — I knew he wasn’t lying. But that I believed me; I believed the voice that said I was the one who could save him.
So I kissed him.
And he kissed me back.
He got so excited he ran all around the grass, hooting and shouting, and when he came back to me he said:
“I always knew. I always knew it was you. You’re the only one who can.”
I was wrong.
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