Ever since we became friends during freshman year, my best friend Tay and I were seen as interchangeable. It always seemed as if the guys in our lives had some sort of fantasy about the two of us together. Guys going from her to me or me to her happened more than once, and we never really thought much about it – like when her high school crush added me on Facebook and sent me random messages, even though we had never spoken. The first boy I hooked up with in high school had really wanted to hook up with her. But this didn’t bother us – it actually became a joke. Because we had different taste in guys, we never felt like we were in competition. Until one guy took it a little too far, leading to what was almost the end of our friendship.
It all started a few months before the end of high school. Tay decided to have a movie night at her house over spring break and invited a bunch of people, including the guy she was dating. She had told me about him, but never made the relationship sound particularly serious. I was definitely surprised to see him at the party; he was the only guy there. Even though he was there for Tay, he focused all of his attention on me. We flirted for most of the night, and Tay didn’t seem bothered by it at first, so I assumed things were over between them. Before he left, I gave him my number.
Later that evening, Tay gave me a bit of a cold shoulder, but I didn’t think much about it. The next day, things went back to normal, and it never even occurred to me that something was wrong. So, over the next few days, I started to grow closer to the guy from the party. As it was happening, I, for some reason, wasn’t honest with Tay. I told another mutual friend about it, but I didn’t tell her. Our circle of friends wasn’t very big, so of course, she ended up finding out. But when she asked me if I was interested in him, I played it off like I wasn’t. Boys usually didn’t like me, and it seemed like this one did. I wanted to keep him to myself, and honestly, I didn’t want her to be mad at me.
After a few weeks, Tay told me that she was still seeing this guy, meaning he was seeing both of us at the same time. She also said that she had no intention of stopping. I totally rebuffed her. I didn’t want to hear it, and I also didn’t want to believe it. As he and I talked more, I realized how much I liked him. I took him to a wedding as my date where he got to meet some of my friends, who were all as charmed by him as I was. They helped convince me that pursuing a relationship with him was a good idea, even if Tay had warned me against it.
So, I decided to ask him to be my date to senior prom. My original date had fallen through, I was too scared to ask the guy I really wanted to go with, and the clock was ticking for me to find someone. I was surprised and happy when he agreed, but I didn’t tell Tay about it until she confronted me. Prom was a night fraught with tension; Tay and I of course went together with our other friends (in the same limo), so she had to watch me with him all night while people gossiped about us.
After that night, things changed for good. Tay and I were friendly to each other’s faces, but we’d rip each other apart when we weren’t together. We’d write scathing things about each other on our blogs knowing that the other was going to read it and add to the drama. When we graduated, not only did she pull away, most of our mutual friends did too. Even though it was never explicitly stated, everyone took sides, and no one really took mine. And as for the guy? Well, we went out on a date after school let out for the summer and we had a good time. But he tried to get me to have sex with him (he was sleeping with Tay too) and when I told him no (I was a virgin), he stopped answering my phone calls. Our “relationship” was over as fast as it began.
Once that happened, I tried to reach out to Tay to apologize several times over the summer. I got radio silence, so after a while, I let it go. A few months later, we ran into each other at a concert, and I knew I had to clear my conscience. I wrote her a long letter to properly apologize. While she acknowledged the apology, she made it clear she wasn’t interested in being friends. I understood.
After four years of avoidance, we finally saw each other again. I was afraid that it would be awkward, but after an hour, we were laughing and joking like no time had ever passed. It took some time for us to talk about the fight, but when we did, it was clear that we had gained some perspective. I realized that no guy is ever worth losing a friend over. She and I had spent so much time being such an important part of each other’s lives that it was foolish for us to let things happen the way they did.
There was a chance that we would have grown apart anyway, but I wish it came about in a better way. After we did our necessary growing, we have been able to create a lasting friendship. Now, as adults, we have an incredibly strong friendship. We are able to talk about anything, even the difficult stuff and know that we will still be there. It sucks that a guy had to come between us, but I’m grateful that we found our way back to each other.