I don't understand you sometimes.
Well, it's not that I don't understand you; it's the fact that I don't understand how I feel about you.
We've been best friends ever since we were two geeky, gawky twelve year old girls. It feels like another lifetime. Life was simple. We knew who we were, there were no questions. We'd watch silly movies together. You'd playfully mock me for my fangirl crush on Orlando Bloom. I'd call you a hippie for your refusal to wear shoes when you go running. We were Yardsale Divas, always able to find some piece of junk and make it a treasure. You tried to teach me how to ride a bike, even though it never worked. You still say you'll teach me, sometimes.
When things weren't so light and easy, you were still there. My father was leaving my mother for another woman, and you were there to listen to me cry. I could come to your house and you would make hot chocolate. You wouldn't tell me it was all alright. You would tell me it sucked, like it did. But you'd also tell me that you would always be there. You smile and tell me you didn't have another best friend on the side. You weren't cheating on me.
I didn't make the dance team, and you did. I assured you I didn't care, even though I did. But I didn't want you to quit because of me. It's not your fault you are so many times better than me. You're brilliant. You've always made straight A's, even when I nearly failed Algebra II. You roll your eyes at my worrying, promise me in the real world a calculator would do my math for me.
I couldn't shake the thought of how much better you are than me. I asked you to name one thing I am better at than you are. You thought for a long minute. You grinned and said I'm prettier. I'm in love with a beautiful boy, you say. And I am, I do love him. Somehow, that doesn't make everything make sense. It makes it worse, actually. Because how can I love him, still feel this way about you?
My mother was being evicted. Nearly all of my paychecks at my shitty job go to making sure the rent gets paid. My grades were dropping steadily because of the time crunch. I was sure my beautiful boy was on the verge of breaking up with me.
I can remember not thinking clearly, walking to the bathroom. It all seemed so logical. I took a pair of scissors and a disposable razor. I cut the plastic, freeing the blade. I don't know why I did it, but I ran the blade over my thigh, over and over again. I was aware of the pain, but there was also a release. I watched blood bubble up, and I was suddenly horrified. I quickly bandaged the cuts, how many times did I cut myself? I hide the evidence in my bedroom.
One day you come over. I forgot about the small cuts along my thigh, and when I went to change my clothes, you saw them. Your eyes went wide in horror. What was I doing to myself? I collapsed into a heap, crying on the floor of my messy bedroom. It isn't long at all before you sat down beside me, pulling me up into your thin arms. You touched my hair. Why did I do that? You don't want me to hurt. You don't want me to hurt myself. I pressed my face into your shoulder. You let me soak your shirt with salty tears, and all I want to do is stop shaking and stop crying, but I can't. I eventually exhausted myself, not really falling asleep, but loosing real awareness. You put me in my bed and laid down beside me. The line was never more blurry.
We went to a party together, only some close friends. We all sat in the basement, drinking warm soda and prank calling people. The night turned to Truth or Dare. My boyfriend, who of course was never going to break up with me, dared me to kiss you. I nearly droped the grape powerade I'd been drinking. You laughed. You playfully grabbed my face and kissed me lightly on the lips. I'm in heaven and in hell. You kissed me, though you didn't know how I felt about you. To be honest, I don't know how I feel about you.
Now we sit here, in a comfortable silence. You are doing the English paper. I can't focus enough to do homework. Instead I write these words. I think of you. Do I love you? Not as a friend, or a sister. Do I love you? I know I love him. I know I want him, and the white picket fence, and the two kids, and the dog. But where do you fit into that? I love you! I love you, I love you, I love you! I don't understand it, but I love you, even though I'm sure you don't feel the same way. I still love you. I know it now.
Next year is our last year of high school. You're looking to Ivy Leauge schools. I'm looking to staying in town. Will time and distance dull the pain? Dull what you make me feel? I don't want that, not really. I want you near me. You're the only one who can pick up the pieces when I break. I don't want to loose you. If I said this aloud, said I'm scared about the future, you'll roll your eyes and tell me nothing will change. I will always be your best friend.
I wish I were braver. I wish I could tell you how I feel. But I can't, or won't. I love you.