Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Sometimes, I feel like my life is a movie.

I am sure that, at some point or another, most people do too. All the bad things happen to you at once, and you (The Main Character) are sucked into a circle of self-doubt and reflection, complete with a 5-star musical soundtrack (courtesy of your "Sad Songs" playlist), when suddenly, a light bulb lights up in your imagination and you see The Light.

You now have A Plan.

So I will tell you mine, with a brief intro.

For about 5 years now, I have maintained a beyond-strong male-female friendship with an amazing guy. We met in high school, on a drunken night in the neighbourhood. He was friends with some of my friends, and we soon started hanging out. Let's call him Andrew, for protection's sake. 

He was MC in our school's variety show, which I was singing and dancing in. One night after rehearsal, Andrew and my best girl friend at the same came over to hang out. We all ended up watching movies, and cuddling like hippies. I never dared take an interest in him, I can't even tell you why I didn't, but I guess at the time I was just so comfortable being his friend. I never had to worry about anything with him. Our intentions were so innocent.

I guess the fact that he kissed my friend also had something to do with it. Or rather, she kissed him. Just like she had kissed so many of the boys in our school, without any of them being the wiser. And Andrew, after kissing her, knowing one of his friend's was madly In Love with her (ass), confessed his betrayal to his friend, like the good person he is.

My friend was furious at him afterwards. Things go fuzzy for a while after that, but I just remember getting closer with Andrew. We shared taste in music, listening for hours, showing each other songs we loved, making CDs and lying around listening to them, noggin to noggin. We would sit in the back seat of my parent's car, holding hands. But I never wanted to kiss him.

After we were friends for about a year, his dad got a job transfer to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I think just about every girl in our school cried, and a handful of guys as well. We hosted a farewell party for Andrew in the drama room, where the red-eyed crowd exchanged stories and tokens of rememberance with him. I gave him a letter, telling him how much I would miss him, and the rest of it is fuzzy. With the letter, a mixed CD, full of the most depressing songs we had listened to together, and some that we hadn't yet.

His father later expressed to me his Delight at listening to the CD with his melodramatic teenaged son, all.the.way.to.Nova.Scotia.for.fourteen.hours.straight.

Our innocent relationship only grew thicker and deeper with time. Over the past five years, we have visited each other numerous times, sharing music, stories, adventures, insights, and even beds, but never even kissing. Never an ounce more was added or taken from the pool of ambiguity we share together. And so things have always been unclear.

But I didn't realise that they were unclear. I accepted these romantic activities, and I accepted the most intense and curious bond I have with anyone without question. I never thought it was strange to want to hug a person so badly, never thought that it was strange that we never even tested a kiss, because he never said it was strange. And it just felt right.

Over time, we started dating in our seperate worlds. He would tell me of his stories, I would share my woes, and we would help each other try to understand the opposite sex's intentions. I felt like it was the best friendship- all of the insight, all of the fun, all of the love, without any expectations, or pressure.

Two and a half years ago, he found a girlfriend. I remember his description of her: "Anne, you would love her. She is just like you." Right down to our favourite TV show and stuffed animal. 

So a month later, curiously enough, I found myself a boyfriend. We even took a trip together to go visit Andrew and Girlfriend, which turned out to be quite a successful test of denial. Everyone got along seamlessly, as if the situation were perfectly normal- to have such a strong, sexless relationship with the opposite sex that never fades and instead grows. On the trip, my jealous, immature side came out when I got mad at Andrew and Boyfriend for hanging out playing Nintendo while I "rotted away alone". Boyfriend reacted as I would expect, with no apology and only a reason as to why I shouldn't care, and then retreated to the shower. When he was in the shower, Andrew sat down beside me, and told me he was sorry if I felt left out, and explained why he didn't think I would be bothered, and that it wasn't his intention. He gave me a hug, squeezed my hand, and we looked up at each other with that feeling that I so often feel with him - of holding back. Of wanting something more. And then Boyfriend came out of the shower, and we quickly let go, not as if we thought it was wrong, but just because we thought Boyfriend wouldn't understand how deeply our affections ran. 

A year after dating Boyfriend, he broke up with me. First break-up, big shocker, big mess for me. After a few months of sour behaviour and sulkiness, I decided to take a last-minute trip to Halifax, to escape; get my thoughts in order. And most of all, though I hated to admit it, I knew seeing Andrew would make me feel better.

When I got there, things weren't as wonderful as I had imagined. I thought of the good old days with Andrew, when being alone together was as healing and wonderful as medicine. This time, Girlfriend was in the picture. Every. Single. Day. I wondered if her friendship with me was completely sincere. We had bonded and gotten along when we met the year before, and she knew how important I was to her boyfriend, so she befriended me instantly. But there is a suspicious strangeness that I feel about her fondness for me; I feel she might be following the old rule: friends close, enemies closer. We must be an ideal for the post-Sex and the City era; Frenemies.

On that trip, I found myself slapped between a happy couple and my own anti-couple misery. It was not the best thing I have ever felt. But Andrew, no offense to men but sometimes you are all the same, was quite clueless.

The next time we saw each other was September 2008, a few months ago. Andrew came to visit, with Girlfriend of course. I had landed a musical gig at a department store, and he arranged his trip to coincide with the show, so that we could play together. We never had before, but we threw some covers and a few originals together, and played a great show. Our chemistry as musicians only further thickened the bond. And Girlfriend stood there, for each of the three sets, and watched us like hawks.

HOW CAN YOU BLAME HER? You are probably asking yourself. Okay, so far, you might be taking sympathy for Girlfriend. And so am I. Perhaps she is an obstacle in the trajectory of things to come for me, and it is completely bad-karma inducing to try and kick her out of the way. And plus, I really do like the girl.

But there is something about Andrew that has gotten in the way of every single thing I have ever felt for another guy. He is like this little voice in my head that whispers something, and I can't help but compare him to everyone I meet. And this is starting to get in the way with my life!

So I guess you can say, that somewhere in the ambiguity of our friendship, I have gotten lost. The innocence of the platonic relationship we once shared has vanished with time, experience, sex. 

And I wonder if he ever gets lost in it.

And from this loss, I have slowly started to crawl back up, collecting memories, feelings, realities. And the reality is, I think my feelings for Andrew run deeper than friends. 

And somewhere in all the confusion, I have hatched A Plan.


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