No promises were made, no goodbyes were said, what were days of silence turned to weeks, before I knew it months. It’s been a year now, no calls, no texts, no emails, not one encounter. It felt so long ago yet I remember it as if it were just yesterday did I make the mistake of giving away my unconditional love.
I met him for the first time in the month of April, during a group project meeting. I didn’t think much of it, just another guy in the project. For a year, we never talked, only exchanged a few short emails about the project. We met again, just the two of to further discuss details following the project. I searched my head of the meeting from a year ago, to remember how he looked like, for I had not paid much attention on him. When I saw him, Peete, I laughed to myself, he had the craziest hair I had ever seen, for it shot about four five inches straight up from his scalp, dark silky brown hair, dark brown eyes and black squared frame glasses, he was tall and slim. I smile because he looked so dorky, his sweater looked like a little kids because it was big, yet really small on him. As we sat down and began talking as two strangers, the atmosphere was not quite intense yet not awkward all at the same time. Silence was appreciated. That’s when I found out that he was quite the musician but had little to no skills in drawing. But I was not going to just let him sit there while I did all the work, so I kindly forced him to draw along with me. We had a few laughs. One of my close friends was there as well, he asked how Peete and I met. Without even looking notifying me, he said we’ve been friends since middle school. I had sat next to him in science for I had no other choice. My friend asked me if it was true, I smiled and agreed without lifting my head. I explained how we became partners, I would make fun of him, and broke his glasses because I got mad at him. I even said I burned him once doing a lab with acid, but you couldn’t see it because his shirt was covering it. We all laughed. Peete then said that we grew really close, but he made me mad so I stopped talking to him, and we would only meet once a year to catch up then go our separate ways. He got a text from someone, looked at the time and said he had to leave. I said I’d walk him out, so I did, and at the door, he gave me a hug, I came up to just the lower part of his chest, for he was 6 ft and I was only 5 ft. He laughed then asked me if I thought my friend really believed us, and I told him, I think he did. We both laughed and he walked out. As I returned, my friend looked at me, and said, “was that you’re ex-boyfriend?” I laughed and explained that no, we met because of the project, and how that was only my second time every seeing him. My friend said, “good because that would have been awkward.” We smiled, packed then left for home.
Since that meeting, we started exchanging texts more often, we talked about everything and anything. Soon, I couldn’t stop picking up my phone just to check if he had text me yet He was three years older than me and was currently working the night shift as a merchandise stocker at the local department store. . I found out he was a really cool guy. Soon all the boxes in my “ideal man” list started getting checked. His goal was to one day be a great conductor, which isn’t typical. We had so many things in common, for starters, we were both had the same birthday, our ideals and morals were quite similar. He wasn’t into drugs like most of the people his age, he didn’t like drinking and he loved his family and friend, instead of sleeping from a hard days of work, he would rather spend his time hanging and catching up with friends. He played video games, read, knew how to do flips off the ground, he was smart, but didn’t rub it in, he was good with computers and he was tall. Although I loved the color green, I was quite obsessed with the color black and red, which were his favorites. He was even part Taiwanese, I always wanted a mixed man.
To my disappointment, soon I found out he had a girlfriend; they’ve been together for a good year, and are living together in an apartment. But even after finding this out, I still wanted to talk to him. We had breakfast one morning, I didn’t get anything because I don’t usually eat that early, but he insists I get some breakfast too. I said no, he refused, and as the waitress brought over his breakfast, he started eating, half way through his breakfast, and he cut away half his pancake and put it on a separate plate as well as splitting his bacon and eggs. Then he slid the plate towards me, I smiled and shook my head in a no motion, he glared at me for a second, and then continued eating. I laughed and returned to sketching on the table. When Peete was almost, he quiet down, as too see if I would notice. I looked up, and realize he was staring at me. I slowly lift my head from my paper, and look up. I skimmed his face, his skin was fair, his hair shorter than the last time I saw him, traced his thin jawline with my eyes. 23 years old and 6 ft. tall yet he looked like a little high school kid, his baby face, and his kidish charm that I so loved. I asked him what he wanted. He replied, “you will eat your part of the pancake.”
I glared right back at him and replied, “no, and you can’t make me even if you wanted to.”
He lifted his fork off his plate, and stabbed the triple stacked strawberry syrup covered pancake, with a big childlike grin on his face. I tried to define what his next move was. He picked up the fork with the pancake on it, and headed straight for my face, before I knew it, they were pressed right up against my mouth, I was so shocked my eyes grew large and my mouth dropped opened, and in went the pancakes. Peete laughed really hard and said, “told you I could make you eat them,” and smiled a sly smile. As I chewed, I laughed and said to myself, I couldn’t believe it really did that. We both laughed, I stared into his sore eyes, for he had been working through the night for a good 13 hours straight yet he stilled had the energy to feed me half of his pancakes and laugh. Soon after, I needed to head home, so we hugged and then went our separate ways. I saw nothing harmful, for it was just breakfast with a friend.
I already knew I didn’t have a chance, and no way was I going to try and break up Peete and his girlfriend, for it would have killed me if I knew the reason for their failed relationship was caused by me. So I kept my distance. But the more we talked, the more I grew to like him. He asked me why I was still single and I couldn’t give him an answer. He said that I was reasonable and almost a righteous person, if he had been single when we met, that even if I said, no, he would have asked me out. Without realizing it one day, he accidently found out that I liked him through one of my texts to him. He just laughed and said he already kind of knew, he just wasn’t a hundred percent positive. I asked him if he was going to stop talking to me, he said no, because I was a really good friend, and he would hate to lose me as a friend. As time went on, I the feelings I had for him grew more and more. Peete knew I liked him, but I wonder if he knew how much. I started keeping my distance from him, not texting him right away, as well as if not necessary, I wouldn’t text him at all. But as we talked less, I began to miss him more and more. Everything reminded me of him. Two to three days without texting him felt like the darkest hours of my life. Until I told him that we probably shouldn’t talk anymore because being his friend was a little difficult for me. He told me that he would be sad losing me as a friend, but understood where I was coming from, and that I will find someone who loves me for everything that I was. I really wished that I could hate him, but he’s so nice, so pure, and almost too innocent, I wished he stopped talking to me so that I would have something against him because holding a grudge is easier than letting someone who’s made your life so much better, go. For a week, we didn’t talk. As I tried to hold myself together, it was the hardest days every. I didn’t feel like eating, the light through my eyes seemed dimmer, I grew pale, and didn’t want company from anyone. I don’t know what came over me, I just couldn’t stand not knowing how he was doing, so I texted him, but after I sent the text, I felt really stupid. I had been doing so good trying not to talk to him and here I go messing everything up. I asked him how he was doing, and that I hoped that he had been getting enough sleep. A few days later, I received a text. It said, “for a couple of days, I could not find any sleep, but after reading your text, I was able to sleep that night. I have so much to tell you, but at the moment I really can’t remember any of them. I missed having your company. I’m doing good, how are you?”
I told myself that we were only friends, and nothing more, if I wanted to keep him in my life, I would have to tell myself over and over again that we were only friends and nothing more. Soon we both went on doing our regular days of work. And everything seemed to be going back to its normal self.
Before I realized it though, I couldn’t stop thinking about him again. As my mind struggled for air filled with thoughts of Peete. What am I supposed to do? When I’m with him, I can’t find any words to say, but think about it later when I’m not with him. Waiting for texts from him seemed like time moved at the pace of an ice berg. I want to tell him how much I’ve fallen for him but I don’t. I stop talking to him because it hurts too much knowing that we will never be together. I asked him if he was happy, and he said that he couldn’t ask for more, he was as happy as he could be. That made me happy, but I caused me great misery, if he was happy, that’s good enough for me, and that I never was needed. Knowing that he’s happy makes it easier to leave his life. Days turned into weeks. I didn’t say goodbye, I didn’t tell him how I felt. I deleted his number, but I had it memorized already, and the memory just wasn’t going away. The nights grow long and I find myself wasting away, food lost its taste, the weather always seem dark and dim, I distance myself from my friends, I just wanted to be alone, left in the dark listening sad songs. I wished that if I closed my eyes hard enough I would just disappear. But would he even notice if I went missing? I dear not text him for the tears would start building up again.
One night, I’m on the ground alone in the dark, my friend walks in and lays right next me. He asks me, “how are you doing?” I shrug and turned away from him. In a serious tone, he says, “you should call him and just tell him how you feel.”
“because, I already know what he’s going to say.”
“how do you know what he’s going to say?”
“….because it’s happened before, he just told me that I’ll find someone that really loves me for who I am. You don’t even know how much I want to text him, or call him and hang up just so I could hear his voice. I can’t stop thinking about him. But I can’t tell him how I feel, I already knew that he had a girlfriend, it wasn’t my place to fall in love with him.”
“you can’t help who you fall in love with stupid.”
“you’re not supposed to fall in love with someone who’s in love with someone else.”
“so you’re just going to end it like this?”
“I don’t know…I don’t know anything anymore.”
“you should call, or at least email him, you should let him know how you feel.”
“maybe I’m just afraid.”
“afraid of what?”
“that if I were to tell him the truth, that it might really be the real end.”
“so….maybe in a way I feel like if I don’t really say goodbye, it won’t really be over…”
“but you’re already not talking to him, what difference does it make? You have nothing to lose.”
“it makes me sad, knowing that I may never ever talk to him ever again if I told him.’
“……………you need to… move on,”
“you’re right, I’ve got nothing to lose, and I need to move on.”
It’s been years now, and I haven’t written, text or called him. I live as a coward in the shadows. I imagine he probably married the love of his life, had kids and is living the rich man’s dreams, with his perfect family. I feel dead on the inside. I smile but deep inside I want to cry. I laugh but inside, I feel nothing. Being alone seemed to be the best decision. Solitude looked the easiest path. I do believe that I could be happier trying to find someone new to love, but the moments I shared with Peete, although not many, are my most treasured. Although he never knew, I gave him my heart, my first love, and my last love. It wasn’t true love that was lost, for it was my unconditional love.