Most of us have that friend that is so close to us that other people think you’re dating. I used to have one. Everyone thought we were together-together. We would laugh then explain that we were nothing but best friends. It was all okay for us. We didn’t mind that people were constantly asking if we were together. We loved spending time together—hugging, holding hands, watching movies, listening to music, or just sitting side by side with no word spoken.
January 1, 2014
Everyone was outside, breathing in the smoke of the New Year. I was in my room with my best friend, Justine. We were supposed to watch a movie together but she fell asleep on my lap. So, I was left alone to watch “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”. I was in the middle of watching the second movie, “Shutter”, when Justine woke up. She looked up at me then smiled.
“I’m sorry.” She pouted.
I squeezed her hand. “It’s okay. Really.”
February 14, 2014
Pink and red were everywhere. I felt like I was going to vomit upon seeing one more bouquet of roses, or a box of chocolates, or heart-shaped balloons. I already had my hands clenched to a fist when Justine held my hand.
“Chill, grumpyrella.” She gripped my hand.
We went to our favorite place, “Little Café”, then settled on our favorite spot—the table for two at the corner. Our order already arrived when I realized our fingers were still intertwined. I stared at our hands. I felt something inside of me twitched. I pulled my hand free from her grip then focused on my coffee.
March 31, 2014-April 1, 2014
JUSTINE: Grumpyrella, I gotta tell you something.
JUSTINE: I THINK I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU.
KATHY: HA HA! Very funny, freak. #AprilFools
JUSTINE: Damn. Can’t you pretend to believe my jokes? =/
I almost believed her but I saw what day it was, and that was painful. I shook my head in disappointment [or embarrassment] that I expected it was real.
May 28, 2014
It has been half a week since I arrived in Baguio. Justine was a bit pissed because she had no idea I had planned something for vacation. I wanted to tell her but she would insist on tagging along, and that was what I was avoiding. I needed alone time. I needed to clear my head and clear my possibly existing feelings for her.
JUSTINE: Can I call?
KATHY: Maybe in a bit. When I have the terrace all to myself.
JUSTINE: I miss you.
I missed her so bad. I wasn’t used to not being with her most of the time but as much as I wanted, I was aware that I needed time apart from her. She had no idea what the trip meant to me. All she knew was that I wanted to see my grandparents.
I didn’t reply. Who knew what her voice could do to me?
She would visit me to school whenever she would be free from school works. We would hang out. I acted normally as if I wasn’t hiding anything.
August 9, 2014
It was my birthday.
She gave me a book that I’ve been searching for months. Also, she gave me a panda stuffed toy because she noticed that I had dark circles around my eyes. The stuffed toy was huge that it was sort of funny how I had to carry it around, looking like a little kid. People would ask who it’s from and I would say it was frim my best friend, but they would sometimes ask if it’s from my “boyfriend”.
September 9, 2014
It was her birthday. I gave her a pendant in the shape of half a heart, which she could freely put in whatever accessory she wanted. She was somehow busy that day that I wasn’t able to pull off my whole plan. I gave her the box filled with all the things I wanted to give her then spent the rest of the day in “Little Café”.
October 23, 2014
JUSTINE: She said yes.
JUSTINE: Just that?
I didn’t reply. She was talking about asking out some girl. I couldn’t blame her since she had no idea that I had feelings for her.
December 23, 2014
It has been two months since we last talked. Justine was knocking on my door at around eleven in the evening. I opened the door only to see her looking so angry.
“What the hell is going on?” I asked as I watched her stormed in my room then sat on my bed.
“That’s the first thing you’ll tell me after two months of not talking to me? What the hell is wrong, Kat? Is there something you’re not telling me?”
“I was in love with you! I went to Baguio to forget my feelings but I couldn’t. Then when you started dating her, you just had to rub it in my face. Just, it hurt me so fucking much.”
“Why didn’t you tell me? I have been in love with you since that moment in the horror train—summer 2012. I thought you were straight and so I didn’t want to make things awkward then ruin our friendship. Cliché, I know.”
“No. Stop. Jus.”
“Kathy, I love you.”
“I love you too but,” I sniffed, “you’re with her.”
“I’ll break up with her.”
“Why not? Don’t you want to be with me?”
“It’s not that. Of course, I want to be with you but you can’t just leave her for me. She loves you.”
“It’s okay, Jus.”
Timing was certainly a bitch. We were almost there, almost together but “almost” is never enough.