I’m Not Chris

Author’s Note: I took a creative writing class that challenged me to write short stories. And as any writer would know, we tend to write about things that are close to our hearts. Below is an age=old tale of boy meets girl and falls in love yet the girl’s feelings aren’t mutual. 

There are moments in your life that will be with you forever. Whether you want them to be with you or not, they will always find a way to haunt your dreams, and make you say to yourself, “If only I had never”.

If I had never told her how I really felt, maybe things would have been completely different. One minute you are best friends, always together, constant communication, and the next she’s nothing more than just a fading memory. From nights of long deep, meaningful conversations, to simple, bland text messages that will always make me think, “If I hadn’t.”

Seems as if it was only yesterday she and I were at the bar, talking about her latest break-up, and meaningless hookup. She kept going on and on about an ex-boyfriend who had never loved her and was now making herself wonder if there was anyone out there who even cared about her. “If only she knew how much I cared,” I remember telling myself.

“I just really loved him,” she said to me with tears running down her face. “I flew to California for him, and the way I’m thanked is by telling me I’m not worth it?”

If only she knew how much I cared about her if only she knew how there was someone out there who thinks the world of her and believes she’s valuable. But how would she know if I would never do anything about it?

As she spoke, my mind wandered off to a few days prior to us meeting at the bar. I had been wrestling with the idea of actually having feelings for her, and as I was pacing back and fourth I just could not wrap my mind around what exactly I would even say to her.

“Clearly she would never think of me in the same way I think of her,” is something that constantly kept going through my head. “I’m just a friend,” I would tell myself. “That’s all I’ll ever be.”

I was scared. Not because of the idea of telling someone how I felt, but rather the idea of telling one of my best friends how I felt. Two things could have happened: One, the feeling would have been mutual, or two: she would have no idea what to say.

I marinated over the situation a little longer as I took a sip of my Jack Daniels, and after a couple of minutes a simple, yet intellectual thought came to my mind: “If you tell someone how you really feel and they decide to not be friends with you anymore, was there really a strong friendship to begin with?”

Proud of myself for having thought of that, I decided it was time I told her just exactly was on my mind. What better than taking her out for a drink? Maybe that was my first mistake, but I can’t keep thinking about the “what ifs”.

As she continued talking, it was clear that she was once again heartbroken. However, this time I was determined to make her feel better. I just wanted to show her how truly loved she was, I just wanted to make her smile again. She kept mentioning how great I was, and giving all the signs as if to say “Hey stupid, tell me now!”

And so, without any hesitation, I looked at her simple simply said, “There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

She looked at me half smiling and half surprised, maybe a combination of both, “yes?”

Feeling good about myself at this certain point in the night, not sure if it was liquid courage, adrenaline, or a peculiar combination of both, I looked her straight in her eyes and said: “You speak a lot about guys treating you with no respect. You talk about guys who don’t see you for who you really are. You cry about guys who have no clue how good they have it, and yet I’m right here. I’ve always been right here.”

“What are you talking about?” She said, not sure what was going on

“I’m not sure how you can miss it,” I told her. “I have feelings for you, strong feelings that I just can’t keep inside anymore.”

When I said that, I saw her face and the half blank stare as she said, “I’m not really sure what to say.”

It’s funny, most girls use that line as their go-to catchphrase when things don’t go according to plan.

We’ve been friends for such a long time.

Three years prior, I had begun working with a public relations firm in the city and she had just begun an internship at the same firm.

Her situation was more unique than mine, she was dating the boss’ son, so with that, there was a stigma about her that the only reason she got the job was because of the relationship, I don’t agree with that but I digress.

I didn’t let what people thought of her effect the way I viewed her. Despite what people said about her, she was a good person. She was always smiling, always happy, and she was honest.. to the point of being brutal at times.

I think the first time we talked, was over facebook. One of our bosses asked her and I to work on a client together. She messaged me, I replied.

“Hey, this is Christine from work.”

“Hey, what’s up?”

“I was told to contact you in regards to working alongside you with this new client we are taking on.”

It was all business. It was different, but it was nice.

During those four months working on that client, I got to see a side of her that not many people do. She came off as hard to handle to the outside world, but to the people who know her well she’s the most caring person you can think of.

Fast forward two years. We are now sitting outside her apartment celebrating the Miami Heat’s first NBA Championship since signing the trio of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

“We’ve come a long way haven’t we?” She slurred.

“I guess we have.”

I didn’t know it then, but my feelings for her began at that moment. There was something different about a girl who honestly saw you for you and thought about how long we’ve come.

We were best friends. We would talk about everything, about anyone and anything. There was nothing that “too personal” for us.

So, if that was the case why did I feel helpless when she looked straight at me at the bar and said “I don’t know what to tell you.”

“Look,” I said. “I know this might be too much, but here’s the deal. I told you what I had to tell you, and now I’m going to leave it up to you.”

“I don’t want to lose this friendship we have, the last guy friend who told me he liked me didn’t end well and we now hate eachother.”

I thought of using the cliché “I’m not like everyone else” but decided to go the “We will be friends no matter your answer… let that be a yes or a no.”

We gave eachother an awkward hug good night, and that was it.

The following week and a half were the most excruciating thing in my life. We weren’t really talking, just casual work chat. It was driving me nuts.. How could someone who claims to be your friend just ignore you like this?

Then, on a chilly Friday night my phone vibrates:

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about what you said to me all those days ago. Here’s the thing, I love you as a friend and I don’t want to ruin that, I really don’t. I believe if we were to start a relationship, things would be great at first, but I know me and I would find faults with everything. I think its best if we just stay friends.”

That was all I needed to know.

The days that followed we began to slowly talk about it and we let the elephant in the room slowly walk out. To say everything went back to normal would be a lie.

We never really spoke anymore, we just had random conversations, but you know what? It’s best to keep it that way. The worst thing you can do to yourself is continue to talk to someone you have feelings for when they don’t have the same for you. You will always be at their will and that’s never a good place to be.

Few weeks had passed and she calls me out of the blue. She was in a car crash. Because I still cared deeply for her, I rushed to her side to aide. As I drive her to the hospital she just looked at me and said, “why?”

“What do you mean?”

“I told you I didn’t have feelings for you and I was sure you would just let me go like everyone else. Why then, did you come to help me even after all that? I know Chris wouldn’t have done the same thing.”

This time, I couldn’t resist. I just let out a smirk and said, “I’m not like Chris.

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