This story is very dear and personal to me, and it was a very emotional experience writing it all out, so I hope you enjoy! READ AND REVIEW!
I know we aren't expected to be perfect in this life, but can't I at least let go of the hate I feel for my former best friend and move on? He hurt me in a way I never thought I could hurt and that thought frightens me. How does someone who could seemingly care less about you now, still have that power to hurt you, despite the fact you two don't even talk anymore? I've never had to convince myself that I hate someone before. It just seems for me, not liking someone is so much easier than hurting and grieving over the loss of that loved one in your life and remembering all of the times you two spent together and how much you love them. I've lost best friends before (one I just lost a few weeks ago, after this one I am describing, due to her lack of wanting to listen to my side of the story and judging a little too quickly about my life's decisions...), but it has never hurt as much as when I lost him. I don't think I've ever loved someone non-romantically outside of my family so much and that truth and recognition astonishes me, but also terrifies me. A love like that is heaven to feel, but hell to get rid of. I'll tell you a little story on how it happened.. (FYI: I'm covering a little over two years here, guys...)
I guess you could call this the prologue (haha)-
I was with my family at a family event for my church that was taking place at one of the family's houses, a wealthier family in my church who's house we hosted many parties and events at. There were people swimming, playing football, sitting on the lawn on blankets eating food, and there were crafts and little games going on all around the huge yard for the children to be entertained while the adults and older youth mingled.
I was sitting on a blanket with my family, chatting with a good friend of ours who goes to church with my family and I, when I hear a girl I know (coincidentally the girl who lives at the house we were at) come to sit down next to us on a blanket of a family I have never seen before. My curiosity is automatically sparked, seeing as though I knew and/or recognized nearly every family at the event, except for this one.
They have to be new in our ward, I had thought as I watched them out of the corner of my eye, not wanting to be rude by exiting my own conversation.
The lady I was talking to then started speaking with my mother, so I took this opportunity to glance over at the small family next to me. A mother, father, and a boy who looked to be my age, maybe a year older, laughing with this girl I had known for years, along with his family. I sensed him look at me a couple times, but him and I never made eye contact. I had my shy moments around new people, and being in the awkward position I felt I was in at the time, I did not go over and say hello or introduce myself and welcome them to our ward.
The boy was soon forgotten as I got up and went to chat with a small group in my ward.
Now this is where the story really kicks off.
It all started back in the first month of my sophomore year of high school, which seems like forever ago when I put it in that given context. Youth in my area were having an Olympic event for our church where we could go and participate in fun activities with each building (which we call 'wards') such as swimming, track events, kickball, basketball, tug-o-war, etc.. I believe this was the first year of them holding this event, and I probably wasn't as excited as a plethora of the youth there were, given to my lack of interest in sports (haha), but I still went to participate anyway and be with my friends. The event itself couldn't be all that boring with them there, right? We definitely all weren't Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps or Jesse Owens, so I shouldn't feel any shame in my lack of a, should I say...successful...sports background.
I was spending a lot of time there with one of my good friends in my 'ward'. (I'm going to skip over names for the sake of the story, seeing as though it would be embarrassing for me to jot them down on here. All names shall remain anonymous.) Her and I were joking around about my recent player of an ex boyfriend that I had there who kept trying to make eye contact with me, and she was teasing me about that, seeing how my seeming lack of interest in him now was driving him physically crazy. A few people I was close to noticed, but I made no move to talk to him. Him and I had had a rough ending that I'd rather not get in to. I'm pretty sure I've ranted on about him before anyways on multiple social networking websites.
So my friend and I were talking, waiting for an event to be announced, when the boy I had seen at the church party a few weeks before starts walking over to my friend and I. He says hi to my friend (who I later find out is his cousin, small world) and my friend briefly introduces us. He is all smiles, a bit shy, but overall just a super friendly, laid back guy. While most of the guys in my area were running around like crazies (haha), he was just so chill, easy-going and mature. I found I could, on a maturity level, relate to him easily, but I never thought I would really talk to him after that.
Later on people around us were getting ready to participate in the dodgeball event that was taking place in the gym, and seeing as I am only 5'2 and 3/4, I was terrified to be playing with all of these older guys who were no doubt 100x stronger than I was! I am one of the smaller girls in my area, so a lot of people in my ward take notice to protect me and a few others so we don't get hit too badly during this game haha. BUT, due to their protection, I am often one of the last people in my group to be in the game, which is scary all in its own way, let me tell you.
My friend started up a conversation with another girl near us, which left me waiting for the game to start, looking around me, all alone and with no one to talk to that I was really close with. I'm the kind of person that is often okay with being alone at times, not always having to chat up the first person I see. The guy from earlier seems to take notice in my being alone, because he walks over to me and sticks his hand out, smiling and a bit quietly asking me, "What was your name again?"
I look at him and smile, shaking his hand before responding, "Kaitlyn." We exchange the typical and casual "it's nice to meet you," before the game starts and we are all running around our sides of the gym, dodging balls and trying to be the last one in, laughing at one another in spite of ourselves and lack of coordination for most of the girls.
My friend and I are soon reunited and her cousin comes over to join us. The three of us are inseparable for the rest of the day. Her cousin is like a shadow that will not leave me alone which I find I don't mind because he's a really funny guy. The two of them constantly teased one another and acted more like brother and sister; I could tell the two were very close. He didn't seem to really know anyone at the event, which was understandable considering he seemed to be new to the area, having never seen him at any church events. My suspicions are later confirmed that he was from Nevada and had moved to California when his parents divorced and his father remarried (the woman I had seen them with at the party).
We continued on the rest of the day, joking around, participating in sports, eating lunch together, and overall just laughing about anything and everything. I look back at old pictures from that day taken by a plethora of the leaders and laugh to myself, seeing that even if my friend wasn't around, her cousin was right by my side. That was when I inwardly started calling him my shadow haha. It seems you notice things in pictures that you didn't notice at the time. I really didn't even realize that he had been around me so much! The pictures explained things all on their own, and I knew this guy would not be leaving me any time soon. I wasn't sure what to think of it, but the thought humored me in its own way as I allowed him to follow me around and found joy in his company with my friend.
The day was soon over and my friend left me because her ride was there to take her home. We were at a local high school, where we had maneuvered so that we could use their pool for the swimming games. Many youth were waiting in the parking lot and soon many were gone, which practically left me alone with this guy.
He sat down on the lawn near the curb next to me, pulling out his phone so that he may check to see if someone was coming to pick him up and had not indeed forgotten about him. I was doing the same (haha), which left us a little bit of time alone together to talk.
We didn't say much, seeing as both of us were, not necessarily shy, but just quiet and tranquil. We didn't talk about anything really, just sat their in each other's company before my mom pulled up to take me home and I said goodbye and that it was nice meeting him. We did not talk about seeing each other again or keeping in contact.
I went home that day and predictably went on the computer, checking my email, Facebook, and whatever social network I was apart of. I was surprised to log on no longer than ten minutes after being home to see that I had a friend request. It was from that same guy. I couldn't believe he had found me on Facebook so quickly and had looked for me so instantly after leaving each other, but I accepted his friend request and was soon notified that he had commented on not one, but THREE of my pictures. Now this may sound a bit stalkerish, but I can assure you that he was completely harmless, haha.
I had a picture on my page of a self pic of me with my blue colored contacts in, and he was quick to comment "You have beautiful eyes ;)" I still remember the comment to this day haha because that was the comment that practically started our inseparable friendship with one another, me explaining to him that they were not my real eye color and he jokingly said that he already knew that and we laughed about it. He soon asked for my number and we talked every day from that event. I could tell that this guy really liked me, but I felt a little guilty, seeing as that I did not have the same interest in him and I didn't know how to go about letting him see that. So for a couple months I continued to just treat him as a casual friend, who I could talk to about anything. I was surprised to know that his parents were both a member of my church, but he was not. He told me that his dad had gotten baptized when he remarried, but this guy did not get baptized during that time and continued to not be a member of the church, which surprised me because he was a really great guy and already had such a wonderful background and an attitude that portrayed to me that he already had been a member. So it had came as quite a shock.
I went to church that Sunday and was surprised to see him and his family sitting in sacrament and we waved at each other, smiling. He sat with me in Sunday School and my friend teased me about her cousin liking me, as well as a few other girls in my ward as the weeks progressed of our friendship and they saw how close him and I were.
I invited him to come to seminary (which is a church class Mormon youth ages 14-18 can attend every morning at 6 am before school), and he was hesitant. He told me he was NOT a morning person, but would come just because he wanted to see me. The thought made me feel a little guilty, but I was happy that he was going to start coming to seminary all the same, because I found I wanted to see him too. My best friend.
He came regularly just like any student in my class, except for the days when I wasn't there. He acted very romantically towards me and I could see that it hurt him when I did not react positively towards his gestures and words, because he often treated me more like a girlfriend than anything. To this day I still feel sick inside that I hurt him over all of this.
Him and I got in to the point of our friendship when we were calling each other 'best friends', texting every day, hanging out almost every day at my house and his grandparents' house (his family was living with them until they found a house of their own) and until the girls in my ward were constantly asking me if he was my boyfriend and if we liked each other, me having to explain that we were just super close and enjoyed each other's company.
Two months later, still as close as ever, he was over at my house and we were watching Superman, because he was in shock I had never seen it, especially when he drew a picture of Superman and gave it to me (he's a great artist) and I started jokingly calling him my Superman, changing his contact name in my phone to "Superman." (haha) That night when he was going to go home after the movie, we gave each other our usual hug saying goodbye, but he surprised me this time by kissing me.
Now, this was my third time kissing a boy, but let me tell you...it felt weird. Like kissing someone, not quite like a brother, but not a romantic interest either. It just didn't feel right and I pulled away, quickly saying goodnight and smiling like nothing bad had happened at all, when all I wanted to do was cry, because I felt so much that this was going to ruin everything that I had with him. We always told each other that we loved each other, but I was revealed to the fact that while I loved him as a best friend, he was in love with me.
From that point on, to my relief, nothing really changed. He still acted the same way towards me, and after telling him how I felt, which hurt him in its own way, he did not trying kissing me again, other than a kiss on the forehead or cheek, which didn't bother me. There was still drama in our friendship, mainly when he was overwhelmed with the fact that I didn't love him that way and it hurt him the most, or when I was dating someone. His parents could see how emotionally connected he was to me and how much he cared about me, and they were not happy, to say the least. Especially his stepmom. She's actually a reason that him and I are not friends today.
So to spare you more details of our friendship in between, we got closer. He became a member of the family, was over almost every day after school, and to my own excitement, two months or so after him and I meeting, he started taking the missionary discussions! He came to church, seminary and mutual (a casual activity for youth 12-18 once a week) regularly, and 3 months after us meeting, a month after missionary discussions, he told me that he wanted to be baptized. I was overwhelmed with joy and the holy spirit. I was the very first person he told that he wanted to be baptized, before the missionaries and even his own parents. I played the piano for him at his baptism and supported him the entire way through. Seeing my best friend baptized, to this day, was one of THE BEST days of my entire life. I didn't know I could feel joy like that for someone else. I felt like I was at my own baptism.
I could see a difference in him. A new light. When I thought that he was already perfect in his own way, flaws and everything, when he wasn't a member of the church, after being baptized...I saw a new happiness and glow in his eyes. I'll never forget that day. I still wish I saw that same glow when he looks at me and goes about his life. But I don't. And that breaks my heart.
So after doing the math, around a year after his baptism, he met this girl. She wasn't a member of the church, nor did he ever see her in person really, but apparently they had gone to school together before she started homeschooling. She still lived in the area, but he never saw her, due to her overprotective Catholic father, who did not want her fraternizing with a guy, especially a Mormon guy.
Apparently the two of them connected on Facebook, if I remember correctly. He told me about her and they were soon texting. Because him and I were so close, he thought it would be a good idea if I became friends with her. So we briefly spoke on Facebook and I thought she was pretty nice. I was jealous because honestly, I really had hoped that she wasn't going to be pretty at all haha (sorry to that girl if you're reading this ;P) but I found that not only was she pretty, but she was really nice. Which sort of sickened me because I was hoping she was going to be really shallow and that my best friend would get over her. Now I know that sounds REALLY selfish, especially because I wasn't romantically interested in him and I couldn't keep him to myself forever, he was eventually going to have to move on, but I felt I was going to end up losing him to this girl. He was talking to me, but not the way that it used to be. He didn't really talk about her that often, but I could tell that he liked her and thought she was pretty cool. He also used to complain that he could never see her in person and that he was sad about that. I felt bad for him, and just wanted to make him happy, but I wasn't sure how to do that. A part of me was also a little bit mad that while he was starting to like this girl that he was still in love with me. A BIG part of me just wanted him to move on, but I was also afraid that if he did indeed 'move on,' that we would lose that closeness that we had. So whenever the girl was brought up, I tried not to think anything of it. I ignored the issue.
Eventually my best friend got really mad at this girl because of horrible things that she was saying about me that to this day he would never tell me, no matter how many times I begged him to just tell me and that I would not be effected by it. He told her some really mean things and they pretty much stopped talking. I wasn't happy that she was GONE really and that they had ended their friendship like that, but I felt like a lot of drama was over, so I WAS happy for that reason because he was happier again.
A few months later, this same girl texts me. Her and I had been pretty good friends for my best friend's sake, but hadn't talked since him and her stopped talking and the drama began. Apparently she had texted him too, if I remember correctly, and they were casually talking and trying to fix things. Mind you, my best friend was stubborn as heck and you could not get him to forgive and forget easily. You still can't. At least that part about him hasn't changed.
Despite knowing this girl had been so awful about me, I didn't really have a grudge towards her. I figured it was childish to hold such a grudge against her and still be mad at her over something so stupid, so I just let it go and started talking to her again. After all, we all make mistakes and say things we don't mean out of jealousy or anger. We mainly just talked about my best friend, and how she was trying to get him to talk to her again and how mean he was being to her.
All in all, he ran into a little trouble down the road (that I'm not going to mention for the sake of personal matters that certain readers possibly could come across), he told me about it, got caught by his stepmom and he got in trouble and was not allowed to talk to me or this girl anymore. He wasn't allowed to text ANYONE, period. Now, I had known that his stepmom from day 1 had just decided that she hated me for no reason at all, I'd like to believe. I've pled with her, apologized, asked what went wrong, but eventually she just blocked me from her phone, Facebook-anywhere that I could possibly contact her or her son. I was devastated, to say the least. I didn't know how to cope. Trying to forgive and forget, this girl and I kept in contact after that and still are in contact with each other almost every day, despite the fact we've never met in person and she moved away. We often talked about my best friend, but now we don't talk about him anymore. He disgusts us too much to mention, I guess (hahaha.) The memories are just too disturbing to relay.
A month after being blocked out of my best friend's life, I received a text at 11 one night from an unknown number. I had just gotten into bed because I had early morning seminary the next day
and I wondered who could possibly be texting me. I opened the conversation, and tears sprang to my eyes instantly. It was from my best friend. He told me that he quickly got his phone and was texting from an app. He apologized for messing up so badly and told me how much he loved me and missed me. He told me that this wasn't forever and that he had to listen to his parents right now and fix things. I understood at the time and tried to cope with that, convincing myself that he had no reason to hate me and that he wouldn't just forget about me, not after everything we had been through. He told me he could never hate me and that he would always care about me. And then he quickly had to go and said goodnight and again promised this wasn't forever and told me that he loved me again.
I haven't talked to him since then. I saw him every week after that. It's been 8 months since that text. His stepmom still continues to ignore me, and now even HE has resulted in ignoring my existence.
I eventually had to start going to a different ward with my boyfriend, because I couldn't handle seeing him anymore at my own building. It was tearing me apart, mentally and physically. Where he used to look at me all the time and look so sad, now he barely looks at me and doesn't even seem effected. He's changed so much in my eyes.. I don't really know what to do about it anymore. I stopped going to mutual and started homestudy seminary, which is like homeschooling for seminary, so I wouldn't have to go and see him every morning. Thanks to homeschooling, I've never had to go to school with him. I haven't seen him in a month. I've done really well at avoiding him. But I know in my heart that I can't hide from him forever and that I'll have to face him and my fears at some point. I've decided I'm going to be strong. I'm going to go to mutual this next week and see him and not cry. I am going to pray for strength. Because while he is not in my life anymore, I'm still holding on to his promise of this not being forever. Even if it is and we never talk again, I know I'll overcome this.
R&R! Thanks so much :) xx
OH... This is a personal message he wrote to me last year that I wanted to share. Sometimes you don't realize what you had until it's gone :,(
You are everything a woman should be and what every woman hopes to be. You're pretty, smart, funny, talented and you just have that ability to make anyone smile. Oh and to top it all off, you are MORMON! haha everyone loves you and you are the best friend I could ever ask for. You make everyone want to be a better person. You make me so happy and make me smile all the time. Sometimes it even hurts my face beacuse you make me smile so much haha. I remember the first day I saw you, it was at some party at the (A/N: I'm not going to put the name he put for the sake of copyright) house but you probably don't remember haha I didn't even know your name yet. Then the first time I actually met you was at the Mormon Olympics and you wore red shorts and a white and blue shirt. You were amazing and beautiul then and still are. I'd had never met a girl as amazing as you are and still haven't. You are perfect to me. I'm so lucky to have you in my life. That was August 27, 2011. I've known you for exactly 393 days or 9432 hours or 565,920 minutes and I've loved every second of it. I love you Kaitlyn (Special K) Merry Christmas!"