He was clean-cut, athletic, and a little goofy. He didn't care what people thought about him and would sometimes make others laugh while he danced to Britney Spears.
No wonder I liked him. Read more [+/-]
I just graduated from high school. All the friends that I knew would either enlist into the army or hope to be promoted to assistant manager at Wendy's. I chose higher education; breaking clean from the past with a great opportunity for a new life, new social group, new friends.
It was the first day of Freshmen Week. Only freshmen and 'Welcome Wagon' volunteers would be on campus. I walked down the halls wondering what college would hold for me. T.J. lived a few doors down from my room. He was from a suburb of Long Island. His school had sports fields and he had lettered in three sports. He was in college on an athletic scholarship.
"Come on in, make yourself at home!" With those words, a two year friendship had begun.
I didn't like T.J. at first; I thought his roommate was cuter. But what better reason to visit his room and see his roommate than to befriend T.J.? As I got to spend more time with these two, his roommate became less and less attractive, including making an ass of himself on his drunken nights. At the end of the first semester, I had fallen for T.J. instead. And thus starts another "one-sided love" relationship.
He was straight; he had his high school sweetheart; but he had class with me. So I played my strengths: I tutored him. I had convinced myself that if I showed how much I cared for his wellbeing, he will see how much I loved him, and he will love me.
In return he taught me everything there is to know about his sport, Lacrosse. I made it a point to learn everything as I could see the sparkle of enthusiasm in his eye as he explained the nuances of ball handling. He would teach me how to cradle and pass. We would toss a few during our study breaks.
I thought we forged a great friendship by the end of the school year. He gave me a Lacrosse stick to practice with over the summer. "I expect you to be able to toss the ball behind your back like I showed you," he said with a wink. He must have seen the disappointment on my face because he gave me a hug before leaving. I spent the whole summer practicing, thinking about how proud he would be. He never called once.
At the start of our sophomore year, I had become resentful that he hadn't called. "Is that how friends are?" I thought. "I helped you with your classes. I learned how to throw behind my back. The least you can do is pick up the phone, and ask me how I'm doing."
My expectations of our friendship would continue to escalate and so would my resentment. He would continue to be entrenched in his sport and his teammates, casting me off to the side. I would make friends with the rest of the team to be close to T.J. As time passed, we'd see less and less of each other. I would cry at night wondering why he didn't call me to hang out.
Nearing the end of my sophomore year, our relationship was drastically different than the year before. I was extremely depressed that he wasn't telling me about his escapades as I cooked him dinner. I decided to smoke up for the first time to forget (and celebrate the end of another school year). Bad idea.
I was still depressed, but now that my mind wandered, strong feelings of resentment kept washing over me like crashing waves. I had to do something before I drowned in sorrow, so I wrote a letter to T.J. The only part I can remember was the beginning, "I don't think we can be friends anymore." And crying. The rest of it probably dealt with what I expected from him and how he had disappointed me. I wrote two pages, front and back. And then I taped it to his door and went to bed, still high.
I woke up next morning with a start. It took me a minute to realize what had transpired the night before. I crept toward his room thinking if I took the letter back, our friendship would still be salvageable, somehow. As I reached his room, peered in, I saw that he was halfway through the letter. Embarrassed, hurt, and hungover, I crept back to my room and locked the door. He never spoke to me again.
This would be the second time "one-sided love" ended a friendship. But this time, it was my love for someone else. This would scar me for life; and I wondered if X. went through the same feelings because of me.