My echo

“Why do you always go for the bad ones?” He asked.

I sighed. He made me want to cry. I had 100 things that I wanted to say to him right in that moment. But I didn’t. I never do. I just shrugged my shoulders and gave a half smile.

Mr H and I, share a closeness that I have never had with anyone before. He knows me better than anyone else does and yet we have a distance between us that enables us to be more frank, more open and more honest with one another than we are with those we see each and everyday.

Whenever I am drunk it is Mr H that I call. When something good happens in my life, I excitedly tell Mr H. If something goes wrong, I turn to Mr H. We share the mundane and we share the extraordinary. He is my confidante and because he does not know anybody else in my life I can (and do) rant about my parents when they’re being unreasonable, moan about my friends when they are annoying me and like now, run sobbing to him when men let me down.

For months years, I took him for granted. He was like my gay best friend or a brother.
Then, one day, I woke up and smelt the coffee. I love Mr H. I am in love with him.

Nobody compares. I trust him with my life. He makes me laugh in a way that nobody else does and at times when laughing seems impossible. He is my moral compass and gives better advice than my dear mum. We fight like lovers fuelled with passion and competitiveness and yet I am always secretly happy for him to best me, as I know he is for me.

Somehow, he went unnoticed for years as I moaned to him about the guys who have seemingly taken precedence in my life. About the ex-fiancé, the stalker, the stingy ex, the phone guy, the one who lied about his name etc etc. He stuck by me through all of that. I stuck by him as he went through girls, liked them, dated them and moved on. He was just a constant in my life as I was one in his.

We talk about everything and yet nothing at the same time. We are comfortable with one another and content. I love him. I feel like I have made a discovery. I want to shout it from the rooftops.

Except, it’s crap. Really crap.

I am in the ultimate friend-zone. He is my best friend and to lose him (for whatever reason) would be the least desirable thing, I cannot even begin to imagine it. So, I won’t take the risk; I can’t. My feelings may be unrequited- who am I kidding?- They probably are. This terrifies me. I feel like a gay man, in love with his straight friend. Or a woman, in love with a married man. I am trapped.

But this won’t go away, this isn’t a phase. It’s not something I can shut off in my mind and continue regardless. Our friendship now has another layer, unbeknown to Mr H. I am reading into everything he says. Adding meaning where I know none is intended. This is torturous! I cannot just date other men- because other men, simply do not compare.

How do I win in this situation? I cannot be without him but the more that I see him and the more I speak to him, the more I fall in love with him.

I want to shout from the top of my lungs. I want to yell out to the world that I love him. But, when I do, all that I hear back is my echo.

Do you know what’s worse than “the one who got away”? The one who is getting away in front of your very eyes because you cannot do anything about it.

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