“You’re my best friend!” I said, high-fiving.
“Don’t call me that!…I’m not your friend.” He replied gruffly.
I laughed hard, pulling his hair and he glared at me.
I still laugh when I remember our conversation and the moments we spent together. We’d been friends since 3rd standard. He however used to call me his girlfriend.
I remember the first time he called me that. I widened my eyes and covering my mouth, asked – ‘do you even know what that means?’
He shrugged – “Yeah…I’ve seen films in which heroes have girlfriends…and they say ‘I love you’ to each other.”
I laughed harder that day. He threw an angry look.
I always thought he wasn’t serious; I thought we were best buddies. We truly were, but to him I was not a mere friend. I realized it for the first time when he got me a greeting card with ‘I love you’ written inside. We were 16 back then.
I frowned – “You aren’t serious, are you?”
“Of course, I am. Don’t behave like you don’t know already. I just thought of making it official. We aren’t kids anymore, right?” He replied.
“But…” I paused. I asked myself if I loved him. “No” is what I got as a response.
“Don’t you…?” His eyes dropped seeing my reaction.
“Give me some time.” I replied.
He never asked me again. My heart never said yes either. He slowly drifted apart.
I still miss him. Should I have said yes that day?
Years passed. He left town; we hardly talked anymore. Our families were close, so I used to hear about him from my mother.
A few months back I got married. It was an arranged marriage setup. My husband had asked me before marriage – “Are you happy?”
I remained silent.
“Are you in love with someone else?”
“I’ve never been in love.” I replied.
And we got married.
I sometimes wonder if being honest is a mistake. I could’ve said I was happy. I could’ve said yes to my best friend back in school. Maybe I wouldn’t have lost him.
Right now I’m staring at my husband; he’s sound asleep. The more I look at his face, the more I miss my best friend.
“You’re still up!” His eyes are half-open.
I usually look away whenever my eyes meet his; but today I don’t turn my face away. Maybe it’s time to be honest again and tell him the truth.
“I’m not sleepy.” I reply softly.
“I miss someone.”
“My best friend.”
He looks away this time; I can tell he’s not sleepy anymore.
“I told him the truth. But he couldn’t accept it.”
“If you were honest, then you shouldn’t be worried.”
“I want him back…I want my best friend back.” My eyes start to go soft.
“Why did he leave?”
“He loved me, I didn’t.”
“Maybe he still loves you.” He shifts his gaze to me.
I frown and look in his eyes.
He continues – “don’t you…?”
“Yes, now I do.” I say, blushing.
“Then don’t call me your best friend…you’re my wife, damn it!” He starts laughing; I nudge him angrily.
“I guess I’ve fallen for you my best friend…” I whisper.
“Yes you have.” A voice inside of me whispers back.
– Chirasree, a dreamer.