When I told you how I felt about you, this was the thing I feared the most–the awkwardness, that silence preceding how we would eventually drift apart. You see, that was one of the things I was thinking of, when I was having an internal debate on whether I should do it or not. In the end, I did. And now, we’re here.
In your letter, you told me how you would understand me if I would stay away from you for a while, for me to “let my feelings fade.” Then, when the feelings are gone, we can go back to being the kind of friends we were before. We’d go back to normal. I hope it was that easy, how taking some time off from each other would erase what happened (or didn’t happen) between us. But the thing is, it can’t.
There are times when I wish I didn’t tell you that I liked you. If I didn’t, maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. Maybe we wouldn’t be walking on broken glass, careful to say words that might hurt the other (or at least hint at how hurt we–or, at least, I–are). This is what the time off from each other is for, for both of us to heal. Or, for the most part, for me to heal, to move on. You already told me you only see me as your best friend. Even though I would’ve prefered you tell me how much you like me too, that’s still better than nothing. I can live with that. At least I know I hold a special place in your heart.
Even though it’s only been a few days since we last talked, I realized how being MIA won’t help us that much. We’ve opened a Pandora’s Box of some sort. We can’t go back to how we were before; we can’t undo what was done nor pretend it didn’t happen because it did. By the time we see each other again for coffee after a period of being absent from each other’s lives, I bet the feelings would come rushing in. All those weeks spent in covering up the dust left by unrequited feelings and unreturned ones will probably go to waste. In that single moment, by the time I see you and your dazzling smile, I know how my heart will beat twice its regular rhythm, like it’s been conditioned to be that way whenever you’re there. Or maybe, it won’t beat that fast but I know there will be a whisper in my ear, saying, “That’s the guy you loved.”
So, I think it’s best if we let time take the reins. No complete detachment for both of us. We can still talk to each other, ask how we’re doing, have random conversations that made me fall for you in the first place. It will be awkward at the start, I know, but isn’t that how we started as friends? Maybe, in time, the feeling will fade, you might learn to like me, or we will still be hurting for both of our loves that were unreturned. But at least we didn’t drift apart. Did I tell you how I have the bad habit of just letting my friendships fade?
People ask me what makes you different from the others. I always tell them that what we had was based on a solid friendship, one we carefully built without the prying eyes of others. It is one which grew from a common love of Fall Out Boy and all the other bands and songs we spent listening to, each song bringing up different memories from both of us. It is a relationship which was a result of seeing each other’s vulnerabilities and secrets, and accepting them without hesitations.
And I guess that’s why I won’t let this friendship fade. I’ll hold on to you, to us. You can tell me to let go (for a while) but I won’t. I choose not to. For now, let me be a friend, if that’s all I can ever be.