I was thinking about holding onto scraps again, and I realized that there are several interactions with people that I regret, which would be ok if I didn’t get hung up in them for a few weeks at a time. So in an effort to release the baggage and get some closure, I am going to try writing letters that I will never deliver to people with whom I need closure. These are fake names and so on, for privacy.
Well, this is awkward, but I guess I should just start, huh? Things never really were weird between us, and we used to be able to talk about even really intense stuff. I just… you were pretty great, you know?
We were good friends and we laughed a lot. It all worked so naturally. I still remember the conversation that ended everything. You asked me if I knew any girls who liked you, and I paused forever, and said no. I paused because I didn’t know if I should say that I did or not. I had thought about dating you, I’ll admit, but you had never said anything that made it seem mutual! So then, when we were sitting in the hallway, and you asked me if anyone had a crush on you, rather than if I had a crush on you, it just didn’t seem worthwhile to take that risk of saying yes.
I know that you visited my family and met my parents. I know that meeting a girl’s parents can be significant progress towards being more than friends, but I also brought my best friend home the break before that! You were another close friend, and I put you in the same category as her, because I had no reason to think of you as anything else. It didn’t mean anything, even though they liked you and everything went smoothly.
I can see it now- the subtle things that I didn’t understand at the time- why you avoided certain topics with me, why you let me take your Star Wars cardboard cutout, why you regularly made time to fight the Borg with me in the Star Trek arcade game, why you were there for me when I needed someone to process my diagnosis with. Why we didn’t really talk much after that conversation in the hallway, when I said no. It looks like you cared for me, and sometimes, that makes it awkward, because we haven’t spoken in years, we both married other people, and I still have that paper cube from your dad’s office. (I’m using it for grocery lists.)
I don’t really know what to say to you, even now, because we have nothing. We are nothing. And it’s your fault. You never took the risk of telling me how you felt or explicitly labeling the times that we hung out as dates. You were a friend, I interacted with you like a friend, I wondered if we could have been more, but you never gave me the slightest sign that you were ever interested in me as anything else. You’re a good guy who finished last because he never actually signed up for the race- just ran along behind people who were actually competing for a prize.
So, I’m not going to feel guilty about not recognizing your subtle mind games any more, ok? If it had really mattered to you, if you had really cared, you could have said something. It’s not my fault that I did not see something you were trying to hide. So, congrats on your success. You fooled me, and I never suspected that you wanted anything more from me than what you had, so I ultimately discarded my budding feelings for you since they were pointless.
I’m sorry for yelling. I just hate that a single conversation can still bother me now. It’s been years. I just… I needed to say that. And you know what? It’s ok that we never dated each other. It’s ok that we never escaped the Borg either. Some things just aren’t meant to be. So take care, friend. I hope you’re living free too, not haunted by memories of me.