Today was the first day I felt normal again.
It’s fall, which takes me straight back to this time last year. The brisk air, the peacoat pulled out far too early and too eagerly. I bounced to class across campus with WH by my side. It’s the same and it’s completely different.
I talked to a guy today – we’d met last year, on the same night I’d met JKm and gotten his number and hung out in his room. We’d walked to that party together. I hadn’t remembered him until recently. AF.
We did homework a bit together and talked a bit. He seemed eager to get to know me. We exchanged contact info on the premise that we would do homework together again in the future.
It’s far too soon to start anything. And yet, when I’m distracted, I feel like the year had never happened. I feel free. It’s only when I remember that the past comes curling around my ankles…
WH shook things up this morning (again – details later), and I decided to go to JKm for advice. I’d never before, mostly because he’s so non-confrontational I was skeptical he would give advice, and also because I didn’t think he’d want to know about my problems with WH.
And he surprised me by really being good. And the reason I’m writing this is that he surprised me by knowing me far more than I’d thought. More than I’d purposely let on – things I know to be true.
I act with my head, he said, while WH acts through his emotions. Himself acted through a mix of both. I was so direct, he said, and maybe that was why I failed to understand WH’s secrecy and reclusiveness.
But what struck me is that he saw that I was a thinker, not a feeler. I think that’s a quality of myself that I tend not to broadcast, and I compensate by acting very much in a different direction. How did he see past that? How did he know?
He’s much more observant than I thought.
Go to gym, see if I still want to be friends with him.
- You hurt me by being on and off friends with me randomly and without warning all last semester, and especially the beginning of this semester. I stopped feeling welcome/good/happy around you because you always shot me down and avoided me, while I was unprepared and without an emotional safety net because I expected a friend to do anything but.
- Things are weird for me now because I feel like you’re going to do it again, and I question why I continue to subject myself to rejection when it fucking hurts.
- I’ve decided to forgive you.
- Will we still be friends? Only if we have open communication, and if you’re bailing on me randomly again, please tell me and let me know why. On my part, I will call you out on it. And that time would probably be the end of our friendship, because I don’t have time for this frenemy shit.
Fuck this. Of course I want to be friends with him still. It’s WH.
I thought about confronting WH earlier today, and when the lounge dwindled to just the two of us and the tension was palpable in the air, WH just came out and said it.
“I just want us to be back.”
I wasn’t going to talk to him at that moment, but it just sort of came out.
“You never told me why,” I told him, keeping my voice steady. “You apologized, but you never explained.”
And he vaguely explained then. Apparently he’d still liked me up until we got back from winter break. That’s why he’d stopped texting me back. That’s why he’d been distant. And while I sort of get it, it’s shit. It was really shit. Why didn’t he tell me? He didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable.
But dealing with shit up front is so much better than letting one person be confused. Letting one person think they’d done something wrong, or that they had some sort of personality flaw that made them unfit for friendship. Letting that person chase the other and lean on that shoulder that isn’t there because it’s not feeling the friendship but is too wussy to let the other know.
WH, you were a straight asshole to me. I don’t trust you anymore. And I don’t know whether to let myself trust you again. I don’t know.
WH acknowledged, at the last minute before going separate ways for the night, and in one apologetic sentence, that he’s been pulling away. I acknowledged that I had noticed. And then I went inside, shutting off discussion. My thoughts on this:
- We got very close, very quickly at the beginning of last semester.
- Feelings got in the way and things got weird.
- When we pretended that feelings healed there was still a very tangible feeling of restraint that we both displayed around each other, and a avoidance of displaying vulnerability in order to show that we were both ok and moved on.
- That never ended.
- I held on tight, determined to make the friendship work.
- WH pulled away because of reasons previously discussed.
- Divergence of expectations = stress and feelings of platonic rejection on my part.
And although he apologized and acknowledged and shit, I just feel like we’re ultimately not going to be friends for the long term. And although it hurts, I think I’m at a point at which it’s really a waste of time to put more effort into a relationship that will, in all likelihood, end after this year. Time spent with him is time not spent forging new friendships that will actually last, friendships that have no history and dead ends. I also have realized that WH is not committed to a friendship with me – he is quick to ditch me, quick to leave me out, and slow to reach out. WH is on the hunt for new friends.
And I think I’ve learned enough from my senior year of high school and all the passive shit with WB. And I don’t need a repeat of that.
He’s been acting so weird. Never – and I mean never – excited to see me. He used to light up when I walked in the room, and now it feels like he’s speaking to me out of obligation. And he makes all these disparaging comments that are jokes, but pointed, cruel, too-true to be ironic, masked stabs. And I’m just not a priority.
I can’t believe I thought of rooming with him just last week. During break, I guess I just forgot how weird things were between us. It’s so much easier to be friends from afar.
We were so tight the first few weeks, and I don’t know what happened.
That’s incorrect. I guess I sort of know what happened. Feelings got in the way, and continued to get in the way even though we both don’t acknowledge them. And then I depended on him too much as a friend – more than he planned to depend on me, after he’d ruled me out as a girlfriend. And while he drew away, I just kept – keep – pulling.
And I’m thinking it’s just time for me to stop trying so hard.
And yet, I’m so dependent on him – for homework, for someone to eat with. And it’s taking such a toll on me. When WH gets on my mind, I get deeply sad.
I have to distance myself, but I can’t distance myself physically – only emotionally.
As for talking to him? I don’t know. From what I’ve learned from WB, talking fixes things. But I can’t force him to be friends with me, nor do I want to make him feel obligated towards anything. He wants to pull away. I have to let him.
So I guess that’s it, then.
You know what’s the best feeling in the world? It’s not being admired by other people. It’s not being popular with the masses. The best feeling is being trusted by someone you care about. There’s something so fulfilling about being that person that another human feels safe being vulnerable with. And it’s worth everything, that feeling.
And then there’s texting JKm and smiling uncontrollably.
JKm, JJ, JH, AM, WH. I have so many people to catch, and to catch me.