I was reasonably young when I first met her. She was cute, fun, and just great to be around. She was a very likeable person. I think everyone wanted to get to know her or be her friend, and boys in particular, wanted her to be their girlfriend, especially my close friend.
My close friend at the time wanted to be her boyfriend so bad that he made it known to everyone. He would go above and beyond trying to do things for her, even though we were pretty much kids. Any little money he had, he would buy her something. And it is funny, because she really was not the type to really want anything, but he insisted.
The three of us would often hang out and play with each other. In a way, we were as close as three kids could be. And I loved it. I loved that I had two very good friends who I felt were the best friends anyone could ask for.
Then one day, she pulled me to the side in private, and told me how she only wanted to be friends with my friend. I had an inclining that was the case, since they never acted any different around me. I remember asking her if she told him that. And she said “yes, multiple times”.
If you knew my friend, you knew that was the truth. You could tell him something over and over, and that would not stop him from doing something that he was already going to do, and I felt that applied in this case as well.
She had asked me to talk to him, and try to explain it to him, and I did. But again, it did not matter what I said either. He had made up his mind that he was going “to marry this girl someday” and that he would not give up trying. It was weird at the time, but honestly now, I have to give him some credit for being so tenacious and determined to win her over.
When she and I were alone again, which was rare cause my friend was always around, she asked me if I spoke to him, and I told her that I did. And she was disappointed that I was not successful in getting him to understand. She then said, “I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but if I have to be mean to him to get him to not like me in that way, I think I will.” I shrugged, because I did not know what to say, but what she said next changed things. She said, “If I were to have a boyfriend, I would choose you over him.” And then she kissed me on the cheek, and ran off to a group of some of our other friends.
I was stunned, but I am also sure that was the first time I ever kind of blushed. I had never really seen her as a girlfriend, and that is probably because my friend liked her so much, I never had a chance to think of her in that light. But at the time, it seemed she thought of me in that way, at least a little. I am sure I was reading too much into it at the time, but I could never shake that moment.
Over the next few years, we got a bit older, but the dynamic between the three of us was pretty much the same. Though she occasionally got mean with my friend, they always mended fences, and he continued to vie for her affection. And I was mostly, just there, and then I noticed something.
The times when he was not able to hang out with us, she and I would still have a good time in each other’s company.
We would play with each other, poke fun at each other, and often smile at each other. When we would sit down, she would always sit very close to me, leaving no room or space between us. Sometimes, we would have deep conversations, and she was just lean her head on my shoulder. Even today, I remembered how pleasant her scent was to me. She smelled so good, and it made me want to be around her more.
So, I then began to be more playful with her, and more affectionately teasing towards her. And I think she liked it. Every time we said goodbye she would give me a kiss on the cheek if my friend was not there, or a long hug if he was there.
And I started to feel him notice that she and I seemed closer, and that is when I realized that she and I could never have anything more than this. She was the love of his life, according to him, and I could not hurt him in that way. And I think she felt the same way.
The mere fact that she would not do certain things if he was around, meant she was mindful of him and trying to be considerate of his feelings.
See, at the end of the day, we were always good friends to each other, and understood that the friendship took precedence over anything else.
The two of them never became girlfriend and boyfriend. She and I never became that either. And eventually, we all went our separate ways. But, I am grateful for the moments I had with her. Even at the time, I think what I had with her was enough for us. Of course, we probably would have explored more if it was not for my friend, but what we had was still really great.
Every now and then we talk. And that is why I will never forget The Girl Who My Friend Liked.