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The Closet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Wow! What a kiss. It was my second kiss, but it was so spectacular that it seemed like it was my first. His name was Matt and he was supposed to be my friend, but then things got a little too friendly. The problem? He was supposed to be dating my best friend Rebecca. I'm not sure how it really happened, but I started to fall for him (if Rebecca had known, she would have said that I "crashed" for him). I spent about a week sitting with him at lunch and going out of my way to see him in the halls, but he was so dense that he thought that I was just being super nice to him.My other best friend Meri (who was also best friends with Rebecca) was having her thirteenth birthday party. She invited Matt in hopes that he and Rebecca would "hook up."

At the party, I told Meri that I really liked Matt, but to keep it a secret. I soon realized that if you tell one person a secret, it is no longer a secret. I was in trouble. Within minutes the party-goers were buzzing about my news.

I went upstairs to escape the pressure of "Hey, ask him to dance," and the ever-famous phrase "He told me he likes you."I sat on the foot of Meri's bed gathering my thoughts for about five minutes when somebody knocked on the door. It was Matt. He thought that I was mad at Meri. Mad didn't even begin to describe my feelings toward her at that moment.

"I know that you want to be more than friends, and I'm sorry, but I really don't think that it would work out between the two of us." As he said this I could have sworn that my heart was shattering.

"Are those your shoes?" He was making a feeble attempt to change the subject. I wanted to be cold and tell him that if they were on my feet they most likely belonged to me, but I just sat there with my mouth shut. "Hide-and-go-seek in the dark!" Meri's mother yelled up the stairs.

Meri picked the teams. Matt and I were coupled up. The lights went out, and I realized that nights were darker than I remembered. My hand found its way into his and we went up the stairs to find a place to hide. We chose the closet in Meri's room.

My heart was pounding in my throat while we stood there in the silence. I was concentrating on the rhythm of my breathing when he spoke up. "Did you mean what you said before?" His voice cut through the silence.

"Yeah." I could have kicked myself for that response. But what was I supposed to do? Lie?"I really do like you ... I ... I just didn't want to ruin our friendship." As he said this he started to kiss my neck. I felt this warm heat run through my body as the tips of his fingers brushed over my neck. He tilted my head and kissed me.

At that moment I felt as if I was finally in synch with somebody else. All time stopped. To me it was the most beautiful thing in the world ...

Then Rebecca opened the door.

My friendship with Rebecca lasted about another two weeks, but I think it was over in her mind that night. My relationship with Matt lasted a record-breaking five days.

I soon learned that friendships are too precious to risk over boys. After all, boys come and go as frequently as airplanes at any international airport. Joni Mitchell described this lesson best in "Big Yellow Taxicab" when she sang, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?"

Taking things for granted is a mistake that many people make over the course of their lives. I never knew how much my friendship with Rebecca meant to me until it ceased to exist. -


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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