Friends, Lovers or Nothing ?

Friends, Lovers or Nothing ?

“Why do you always write about heartbreak?” your sudden question throws me off guard. The eerie glow of the small table light brings your serene expression into view.


“It feels like  you are in constant pursuit. You keep wanting to do better; to want better for yourself. But you keep making crap decisions.” Your epiphany leaves you pretty darn proud!

I chew the end of my pen, as I watch you ruffle the sheets of our medicine notes. You throw me an expectant glance. I know then- I am too much of a coward to admit the truth.

“We are all creatures of habit. If we have never experienced better, we are oblivious to its existence.” I offer meekly.

As I sit there, in that dingy library, in the midst of our approaching Medicine final, watching the sides of your lips curl up into my favorite smile, I know I’m damned.

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“Oh come on!  He was so totally hitting on you. You are ignorant to your own beauty.” You roll your eyes, in mock exasperation. You order another whiskey soda. I sip my gin and tonic, and brush it off.

Our final had just gotten over. We had both managed to sail through, somehow. The memory leaves me dumbfounded: I am seated behind you, as the last minutes to our exam are announced. Every strand of hair on my hand is acutely aware. I attribute this to the nervousness of the exam, rather than the presence of any genuine emotion. It has barely been two weeks. Nobody can suddenly fall in love with their best friend in that much time, can they? You look back at me, the worry distorts your handsome features.

As my body inadvertently inches forward in comfort, I know I’m damned.

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“Hey, are you awake ? Could you come over?” you choke over the phone. I sleepily stare at the watch- 2:04 A.M.

“I’ll see you in ten.”

I teether in your doorway, unsure. You wave me inside. My eyes hastily sweep across your room. The place, I know like the back of my hand- Your clothes are in a bundle over the bed. I know you meant to do your laundry on Tuesday, but got lazy. I glance at the portrait of your mother that adorns the space opposite your bed. I know, that it is your dearest memory of her, of how you would like to remember her, before it went south. Before, she ran away with your father’s best friend. I know you like to keep a bottle of Jack in the drawer under your sweaters. “It’s  always better to be prepared for a rainy day” you would solemnly swear, each time I raised an eyebrow.

I stride toward you, in an almost gallop. I gently tug the bottle of Jack from your hand. “Tell me everything” I urge.

I stroke your hair as you silently sob into my lap. You tell me about her. About, how she left you for another man. How you are petrified of turning into your father. Maybe, you are making all the mistakes you vowed to never repeat. Maybe..your lost, glassed over eyes find mine. You’re searching for answers, begging for understanding.

As I feel my heart shatter into a million pieces, hearing you recount how much you love her, I know I’m damned.

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“So this is it, we are finally graduating. Doctors, can you believe it?” you declare excitedly.

I watch you with your black hat, and your grown up clothes. You are standing in the corner, clicking intimate selfies with her. You usher me over. I politely, decline.

As my chest swells with pride watching you walk that stage, I know I’m damned.

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“For better and for worse” you glow, as you slide the ring on her finger. A quiet spectator to her grand promises of love. Her words are drowned out by the hysteria in my own.

I promise to love you in :

An always let you have the last sip of Jack Daniels way . An overly protective, sheltering way; embracing your very last tear. A way that loves you, even when you are your father. A way that would never emulate your mother. An always let you copy answers in our medicine exam way. A way that laughs until our insides hurt, in countless dingy libraries. A forever and always kind of way. But most importantly, in the present. A way that always shows you that, this very moment with you , is the finest. A way that holds back the truth; defeatedly. A self destructive, breaking my own heart, by being your best man kind of way. In realizing that unrequited love is painful. But living without you, is worse.

In a way, that hopes to never have another heartbreak to write about.

You embrace me in a bone-crushing hug, and I am jerked back to reality. As I feel my stomach somersault, I know I’m damned.

“Promise me, no more stories about heartbreak” you playfully yell, looking back at me. A mischievous grin is splattered across your boyish features.

As the words to my next article form in my head, while you exit the chapel with her, I know I’m damned.

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