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One Small Decision
Last night, a night that would change my plans for the next two years. My friend and I went to a junky carnival. I had contemplated going because it was a school night; I really just wanted to get some sleep. My friend convinced me to go, but little did I know, I would meet a few people who would have a huge impact on my life. One of these people taught me a lot about maturity and hurt on a long rocky road of a friendship. The other has become one of my best friends and plays a great role in the person I am today. I have truly learned how the little decisions that may seem unimportant can actually have great significance.
Meeting these boys was actually quite a funny story. I had gone to the carnival with my friend Katherine; we met up with our friend Taylor and her friend Riley. Riley and I had an instant connection. It was like we had been friends for years. As the night progressed, we found we had so much in common. Later, we met up with her older brother John and his friend Andrew. To be honest, I ignored they were even there at first. As a young sophomore, I had little interest in seniors. But later that night, after everyone had left except Riley, John, and I, we all began to talk more. John was quite funny and charming, but I figured I would never hang out with or speak to him again. Boy was I wrong.
The very next day, Riley and John both requested me as a friend on MySpace. I accepted Riley’s without a second thought; I accepted John’s just to be nice. Later that night, John messaged me on MySpace. We began talking and he told me how cute and nice I was. Being the awkward and uncomfortable 14 –year-old I was, I managed to find an excuse to leave the conversation. My birthday was the next day and I said I needed sleep. He proceeded to pull a total one-liner,
“Well I guess I deserve your number so I can send you something special on your birthday.”
I actually gave him my number for some strange reason. And this is where the real story begins.
Just some innocent conversation would lead to a much more complicated situation than I ever intended to get myself into. I recall on my birthday John had texted me four times wishing me a happy birthday and asking how my day was. I also remember responding with a simple “good” because I was annoyed and a little weirded out by his persistency in waiting for a response. In fact, I was so creeped out that I did not talk to him after that. But, one day in choir changed everything. We were watching a movie and I remember all three of my girl friends around me were texting their boys they were infatuated with. I felt excluded, and in an effort to include myself I texted John knowing he would respond.
Conversation with John was awkward at first, but things quickly changed. Most of the awkwardness was caused by age difference; he was almost 18, and I had just turned 15. Once that issue was soon overlooked, we began talking virtually 24/7. I was so smitten, but I was too hesitant to show it. Soon our conversations become much deeper than our usual shallow and petty conversations. Tension between us grew, and my emotions become more and more evident, and so did his. Yet, neither of us wanted to admit how we felt in fear of ruining the friendship we already had and creating complete awkwardness.
I really started to care about him but I had trouble expressing it without deliberately saying it. It came to a point where I was so frustrated and impatient I just came right out and said it. Unfortunately, I did not get the expected response. Instead, I was rejected. I was hurt and confused; he had been sending me all the signals to make me think he felt the same way. I did not understand what was going on at all, but it was at that point I had learned to expect the unexpected. Boys are so unpredictable, and the signals they send should be analyzed carefully because they often intend quite a different meaning.
Even though this created some slight awkward tension, we continued to talk. We grew really close again, but that soon ended once again. I became so obsessed with figuring out what I did wrong I began to drive him away. Neither of us were the most mature people, and we did not handle this so well. We had a lot of trouble getting along and we began to argue and disagree a lot. At this point we were both so fed up. There were so many communication issues because neither of us wanted to provoke any vulnerable emotions anymore. This is where our friendship ended temporarily. It just was not working. I was incredibly hurt, but my immediate response was to shut him out of my life because we were both too immature to handle the situation. John and I are both stubborn, hard-headed people who are persistent in getting our ways. We clashed heads many times and we had trouble communicating without impatiently responding in anger, rather than processing the situation. As I look back, I do regret the way I handled the entire situation, but I have also learned I cannot dwell on this either. I must take what I have learned and move on. Our story does not end here though.
Over the course of the past year, our friendship was on and off. I still really cared about him, but many of our previous problems reoccurred. There was no real effort to resolve these issues, and due to that lack of effort we could never seem to make it work for a decent chunk of time. Our friendship can be described as a rollercoaster; there were ups and downs, some were great some were absolutely horrible. But the most recent plummet really hit me hard.
John attended my Winter Casual this year with another girl. I thought it would be very interesting to finally see him in person for the first time in months. We exchanged a long hug and that was about it, considering I was about to go to the bathroom. I did not see him for the rest of the night, but he did text me after. He began flirting and acting like he did before all the drama. It was the first time I saw the John I missed in an incredibly long time. We soon admitted we still had feelings for each other, but that time of emotional high was short-lived. We cut things off because the arguing resumed so quickly. Within a couple of days he had a girlfriend that he is still with today. They are happy together and I respect that. The timing was not the best, considering we are not friends right now because I got so upset with him initially. I have finally moved on and am making my best efforts to mend our friendship. It is a process that is not easy, but it is worth the while because we have been through too much to give up on each other.
In the middle of this road with John, I grew closer to his best friend Andrew. I remember we began talking on MySpace a little over a year ago, but I don’t remember how we even began talking. John was upset by our friendship at first because there was that instant click that was never there with John. Andrew and I quickly became really good friends. We talked every day, no awkwardness and no weirdness, regardless of the current status of my friendship with John. I knew Andrew and I would be close friends for a long time, but I did not realize how much of an impact he would have on my life now.
At the time, my mom knew little of John or Andrew. I did not really tell my mom anything because I feared she would not approve of me talking to boys, especially those who were almost three years older. She had some idea about John, but she had zero idea about Andrew. After quite a few months, I finally decided to tell her. I was shocked by her openness in the situation and excitement that I actually had a guy friend I was talking to regularly. She encouraged that we hang out before he moved away before college, but we unfortunately never had the opportunity. My experiences with Andrew have caused me to grow closer to my mom and realize that I can tell her everything because she is completely supportive of me no matter what. I do appreciate the bond Andrew has unintentionally helped me developed with my mom. That strong bond has a lot to do with the person I am today because my mom is my rock, but we would not be so strong without that initial push from Andrew.
Not long after I finally told my mom about Andrew and I’s friendship, he moved away for college. He moved about 1,500 miles away, and talking to him at first was quite difficult because he was always so busy. We went from talking all day every day, to talking for twenty minutes every other week. I considered him one of my good friends, so it was hard not being able to talk to him all that often. I soon adjusted because I understood his busy life and how I, a kid who lived so far, was not a priority in his college-lifestyle. As time progressed, we began to talk more and more again, but things soon took an unexpected turn once again.
Andrew dropped out of college and moved back home. I was so shocked that I did not even believe him when he told me. Confusion consumed my mind; he showed no signs at all that he had intentions of dropping out. When he told me he would be attending junior college down here in the fall, it really sunk in that he was being serious. He was back for good. Although bringing Andrew down here was intentionally for a not so great purpose, it turned out to have an underlying purpose that has changed the last month of my life dramatically.
Soon after he returned, he agreed to go to my prom with me. Early in the week before prom, he came over to sign some papers and just hang out. Things were kind of weird because we had not seen each other in so long, but the awkwardness soon faded and we had a good time. Prom was an even greater time. He was an incredible gentleman and we had so much fun together. But as the night progressed, he became very affectionate, which is so out of character. Thoughts ran through my head, “I’m confused. What is going on? Do I like this? I think I do, but this is weird. What is he expecting of me?”
I was so confused I did not know how to react; we had always been such close friends and nothing other than that, but now that could all change.
John texted me a couple days after prom, “So you and Andrew?” My immediate response was to deny anything he could tell Andrew to make him think I thought we might be something more. I was so unsure of the signals he sent, I did not want him to think I just assumed I then thought we might be something more just because we held hands or he had his arm around me. The rude and condescending attitude I had towards John is what I think turned Andrew away, because after this conversation, Andrew was never that affectionate again. When I was so blatant towards John, telling him I did not like Andrew at all, I am sure he told Andrew and most likely blew what I said out of proportion. I realized that I could not blame John though; it was my own fault for being so harsh and not necessarily saying what I feel in order to not upset John or create awkwardness between Andrew and me.
Despite the incident with John, Andrew and I continued to talk all of the time. We have recently hung out almost every weekend, and we have grown so close. Andrew coming back was truly a blessing in disguise; he has truly become one of my best friends and my trust in him has grown so much. He is now a huge part of my life. He will always been there for me and I can tell him anything and he will not judge me. Now that we are so much closer I am finally comfortable enough to return the favor. We’ve already faced a rough patch since he has been back, but it made us that much stronger because I did not give up on him and I did my best to get him out of his slump. He is one of the best friends I ever had and will have. He has influenced the person I am today by the confidence and trust he has built within me. I don’t know what I would do without him.
Now I sit in a position contemplating where to go from here. I don’t know if taking the chance to see if we are meant to be more than friends is worth risking our friendship. On the other hand, if I don’t say anything we could stay the exact way we are, but chances of that happening are slim. I am sure he would sooner or later have a girlfriend and I would be pushed out of his life then. In both scenarios there are pros and cons, and determining which outweighs in each situation is quite difficult. It is one of those decisions I am going to have to make. Who knows what my choice could lead to? Maybe a sequel?
One small decision to go to a carnival generated this whole story. I learned the importance of what seemed like insignificant choices, and how choices I make in the future can create another story that will have a large impact on my life. There were some good times and some not so good; not every situation ended how I intended it to, but I know everything has happened for a reason. The mistakes I have made have influenced me, but they do not define who I am, instead they have taught me how to improve. Having an experience like this could all happen by one simple decision, and that is why I still contemplate where to take my future with Andrew.