Just Friends | Teen Ink

Just Friends MAG

By Anonymous

Final class of the day; I’m almost done. I’ve managed to avoid him for the majority of the day, somehow escaping his attempts at conversation. Always somewhere to go, something to do. Sorry, no time to chat. If I can just stay out of sight for the next fifteen minutes, I’ll be home free.

Rushing into the crowded hall, I push through the swarm of buzzing students. I fight against the flow of bodies, the warm crush that threatens to overwhelm me. Desperate, I keep shoving, longing to reach the safety and quiet of my locker. I’m almost there, just a bit further. Finally I’ve made it, and he’s nowhere in sight.

I open my locker and lean into it, sighing with relief, when I see him. I straighten up, hurriedly shoving everything into that tiny metal box, but my hands aren’t cooperating. My nerves are making me shake, disconnecting my mind from the rest of my body. I struggle to remove myself from the impending situation, but as I start to spring away, he grabs my arm and says, “Now can I talk to you?”

And that’s when my heart sinks. My stomach starts to churn and I know nothing will be the same again.

Somehow I always knew it would come down to this moment. A silent showdown in some empty hallway, the echo of slamming lockers long since faded, but the shouts of students still lingering in the air. He stares at me, expectantly, awaiting an answer. I look at my feet, purposely not listening, not looking at him. I don’t want to hear it, don’t want to see him proclaim his love. It makes no difference; it doesn’t change the situation.

I’ve known him since first grade. I’ve seen him pick his nose and suck at kickball; I watched him grow six inches like a beanstalk and, with all the grace of a newborn calf, give himself a concussion on a shower head. We’ve been friends for what seems like always, but never ventured anywhere beyond that. To be honest, it never occurred to me that he could someday be more than a friend.

“Did you hear me? I said I like you. I like you a lot.”

Don’t say that. Anything but that. Talk to me about the weather, how horrible Mrs. Matthews is with her evil calculus equations. Even sports would be better, (and you know how much I hate sports). Just don’t say those words. Why would you say something that could irreversibly change our friendship?

“I’ve liked you for so long. Didn’t you know?”
Yes, of course I knew. I’m not stupid. I was – I don’t know – I guess I was hoping it was just a crush. Something fleeting, a passing fancy. Puppy love, if you must, but apparently not.

“Say something, anything.”

You don’t mean that, not really. I know what you’re hoping to hear, what you want me to say. I can’t and I won’t. I look at you and I see a brother, a friend, not a boyfriend. I don’t think anything could ever change that in my mind.

Everyone knew we’d end up here. That’s the rub. The whole freaking world probably knew that sooner or later we would clash at opposite ends of the spectrum. My parents, my friends. Hell, even your parents and friends knew it. They told me it was cruel to lead you on, but I never meant to. I never meant for it to go this far; it just never seemed like the right time to say, “Hey, we’ll always be best friends.” I never, ever wanted to hurt you; I just didn’t want to let you go.

I’ve deluded myself for years, lived in denial for so many summers, and now it’s senior year and you’ve finally found the courage to tell me how you feel. I’d love to blame you for this awkwardness, accuse you of letting this non-relationship charade drag on over the years. But truthfully, it’s my fault that we’ve reached this point, and I have to make things right.
I take a deep breath. This is it.

“Yeah. Me too.”

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This article has 380 comments.

on May. 30 2021 at 6:54 pm
SparrowSun ELITE, X, Vermont
200 articles 23 photos 1053 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It Will Be Good." (complicated semi-spiritual emotional story.)

"Upon his bench the pieces lay
As if an artwork on display
Of gears and hands
And wire-thin bands
That glisten in dim candle play." -Janice T., Clockwork[love that poem, dont know why, im not steampunk]

maybe if he manged to get her to date him, she ended up actually liking him

CrazyKay said...
on Mar. 6 2018 at 12:53 pm
CrazyKay, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Only dead fish go with the flow.

I've just added to favorites! Great job!

This is great. Excellent. I love it.

*adds to favorites*

LI ang said...
on Apr. 15 2017 at 6:35 pm

surya_k BRONZE said...
on Jan. 27 2017 at 8:05 am
surya_k BRONZE, Chennai, Other
1 article 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies ... The man who never reads lives only one. - George R R Martin

Haha true. I've changed so many schools I don't know my friends anymore.

on Jan. 12 2017 at 10:10 pm
TheEvergreen SILVER, Birmingham, Alabama
8 articles 0 photos 64 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never laugh at live dragons." -JRR Tolkien

A good read! Thankfully I have never been in that situation

Reburta said...
on Jun. 21 2016 at 10:49 am
This was amazing!! Youre super talented. Keep on writing at all costs :)

on Dec. 6 2015 at 7:10 pm
KayeIsWriting SILVER, Oxford, Alabama
9 articles 0 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!" - Franklin Roosevelt

I'm in a situation like this...Wonder if I should do the same...? lol

on Oct. 23 2015 at 8:27 pm
LillyBow BRONZE, Weiser, Idaho
4 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, keep your eye out for part two, it's coming out soon!

on Oct. 23 2015 at 8:24 pm
LillyBow BRONZE, Weiser, Idaho
4 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed! Part two is coming out soon, so keep your eye out!

on Oct. 23 2015 at 8:38 am
LittleRedDeliriousPrince SILVER, Parma Heights, Ohio
7 articles 0 photos 100 comments
This is an amazing piece. If it's a true story, and even if it's not, the bravery required to admit something that has been so suppressed for so long. You captured it perfectly.

kt0616 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 1 2015 at 10:05 am
kt0616 BRONZE, Clearwater, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I'm reading this in my creative writing class, I was just wondering if this actually happened to you?

on Apr. 27 2015 at 9:08 pm
RationalIdealist BRONZE, Orinda, California
3 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
― Mark Twain

This reminds me so much of a situation in my life right now. It's a really hard situation with what feels like millions of possible solutions, all wrong. Thanks for expressing that pain through your writing.

on Jan. 20 2015 at 1:05 pm
EmilytheBelleofA. DIAMOND, Athens, Georgia
81 articles 5 photos 1486 comments

Favorite Quote:
To love is to be vulnerable; Triumph is born out of struggle; We notice shadows most when they stand alone in the midst of overwhelming light.

I love this. In a lot of ways, I can connect to it. It's absolutely, lovely and filled with feeling and honesty. I think this one, many can connect too. You're a beautiful and wonderful and talented writer and person. You have such a talent and greatness and light and a beauty that is your own; and so much more. All of this and just so much. Thank you so much for sharing this, my friend! I absolutely, love this. Also, congrats on having this already published in Teen Ink's magazine because you truly deserve it! Thank you, again. :)

on Sep. 22 2014 at 10:40 am
sincerelysammy, Easley, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments
I am just now reading this in my creative writing class and i just wanted to know, why did you write this?

on Jun. 4 2014 at 2:47 pm
Caitibug SILVER, Powell, Tennessee
7 articles 0 photos 10 comments
*adds to favorites*

on May. 13 2014 at 1:37 pm
GhostMatrix SILVER, Bradenton, Florida
6 articles 3 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live Each Day To The Fullest. -Quote From Somewhere Else-

I'm Whatever You Want Me To Be - My Quote -

Yea i see this happen alot, so i can kinda relate.   Wait, so at the end she said yes? As in yes i'll date you or yes i liked liked you too?     Well i liked it anyway, got pulled into normal reality. I day dream alot.           Good Work.         Keep Writing.

on Apr. 21 2014 at 11:53 pm
Viktorya BRONZE, New York, New York
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Do not shed your tears for those who shan't cry for you.

Absolutely love the ending and the whole mood of the story! 

on Apr. 21 2014 at 9:11 pm
Kailuasurfer GOLD, Honolulu, Hawaii
10 articles 8 photos 7 comments
You have an amazing, intriguing writing style. I love it!