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My Apology

By , Gulfport, MS
You were a Junior. I was a Freshman. I remember when we first talked. It was at a home football game. We were sitting in the band stands and my two clarinet buddies and I had been split up. My best friend sat in front of you and at half time she begged me to come sit by her. Reluctantly I agreed, even though I would have much rather stayed where I was because I my other clarinet buddy was in the row behind me and so we could talk, as were some of my other friends.

When I moved next to my friend, you nearly made me go deaf with how loud you played. I can remember complaining to you about it and how you hit me on the head or did something to annoy me and so I did the one thing I knew would annoy you more than anything: I touched your hand. That one innocent action served as the catalyst for the events that followed.

Later that night, you IMd me on Facebook. We talked for a while, and I knew then that I had made a friend. Every day you would IM me. You would tell me your problems and somehow I would make them better. Then I would tell you about whatever was making me life crazy and you would make me feel like everything was actually going to be better. I told you I would always be there for you, and I lied.

I probably should have seen what was coming the day when you shyly asked me for my phone number. “Would you mind if I texted you?” you asked. You didn’t want to force yourself onto me and wanted to remain polite. For some reason I had reservations about giving you my number, but I complied. After that things started changing. You would say things to me that struck me wrong. Telling me that I deserved to be showered in compliments and nothing but compliments all of the time. Telling me that having me as your only friend would be the highest honor possible. These were nice and all, but they made me feel awkward and self-conscious.

Then one day I changed my status on Facebook. “I wish a certain friend would stop trying to set me up with a certain person for Homecoming!” I put. Within seconds of the update, you IMd me.

“I have a question,” you said. “Who is trying to set you up with who for Homecoming???” I told you. One of my best friends had tried to set me up with a guy who would most likely grow up to be a crack dealer. His grades were abysmal and he always wore a plain white T-shirt and jeans. So not my type. “Well, who do you want to ask you to Homecoming?” you asked.

I paused. Something about this question seemed wrong to me, but being the naive freshman I was, I ignored this feeling and gave you an ambiguous answer. “Someone,” I replied. You continued to try to get the answer out of me, and I contemplated telling you. You didn’t know him after all. He was a freshman, and so you didn’t even have a class with him. It’s not like you could have told him.

“Just tell me if it’s me,” you begged.

With this one sentence I knew something was up, but I dismissed it. Still, I didn’t know how to respond, and I did what any teenage girl does when she has no idea what to do. I called my best friend.

“What do I do?” I wailed. “I don’t want to hurt his feelings if he DOES like me, but I don’t think he does so I mean, like, I don’t know what to do! Please tell me!”

My friend went and asked her mom. She laughed before giving her answer, but I thought it was part of what I was supposed to tell you. “Haha, no. You’re just a friend.” That was exactly what I sent. Your response was a simple one word reply. “Oh.”

The next day, both of our lives changed forever. “Alex, I need help. Bad.” That was the text you sent me that started it all. Being the good friend I was, I texted you back within seconds.

“What’s wrong???” I sent you. You told me--you liked really this girl, and desperately needed advice. I should have asked who it was, instead asking only if I knew her. I did, limiting the selection to everyone in band and a handful of non-band upperclassmen. The next twenty minutes were spent giving you advice on how to get you this mystery girl. I warned you, though, that every girl was different and I could not guarantee the success of my advice.

“Well what if it was you?” I thought this was an innocent question just to see if the advice would work on anyone at all and to get my opinion of it. I didn’t realize what you were really asking, and I don’t think I wanted to.

“I would give you the same advice I had just given you.” I should have responded differently.

“Alex?” You asked. I knew what was coming right when you said it.

“Yes?” I replied, praying that somehow you were just going to tell me that it was this girl in your Physics class, but no. She was in your band class. The same class I was in. And you were right. I did know her. I knew her as well as anyone knows herself.

“What if it really IS you?” I took a deep breath. I didn’t want what was happening to be happening. Not when we were such good friends. I couldn’t let this happen. I knew myself and it would ruin our friendship, as much as I didn’t want it to.

“Is it?” I replied carefully.

“Yeah.”

I had to let you down. I didn’t like you, and I still don’t. The point of this isn’t to admit that I secretly liked you, so if through some crazy series you manage to ever actually read this, please don’t get your hopes up. The point of this is to say something I have a hard time saying to anyone. I’m sorry.

We haven’t talked since you told me you liked me, and I take full responsibility. I couldn’t bear to face you knowing that I could have possibly broken your heart, and I also knew from experience that you would probably continue liking me if we continued talking. I panicked. And for that, I am sorry.

But it’s not all my fault. You were insecure and clingy, and you complimented me way too much. When I think of my dream guy, you’re not him. I’m truly, deeply sorry, but I just can’t do it. I can’t go on being friends with you because I’ve been in your situation, and I know having the person say “no” isn’t enough to get you to like someone else. I couldn’t deal with knowing that when we talked, you would be hoping and praying that I would change my mind.

I’m sorry. There’s someone else, and he’s sweet and shy, all while being confident, but not to the point of being cocky. He's the smartest guy I know and one of the few guys who is taller than me by more than just a few inches, and he fills all of my requirements for my dream guy (minus the six-pack; brown, swoopy hair; and gorgeous, deep-blue eyes; but, hey, I can’t have everything).

The point is, I’m done with you, and while I still care about you, you need to move on. We’re going to have to see each other at school for the next year-and-a-half until you graduate, and I would like for this time to be less awkward. So if you ever somehow read this, when you’re over me, please just come up to me and say “hi.” That’s all you have to say for us to be friends again. Don’t try to hard. Just make it natural like it used to be. When things were easy and simple.





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