JUST FRIENDS 

​We grew up together. 

You were always my closest friend.

And when we became attracted to each other, you murmured we should be just friends. 

It was frustrating but I accepted that, because I didn’t want to lose you completely. 

We were best friends. 

But I loved you. 

And I knew you loved me too. 

We’d hang out, eat meals, watch movies. Sometimes I wished the movie would never end. 

We’d hold hands and I’d rest my head on your shoulder, and you whispered we should be just friends.

A few years passed with us being just friends. 

Men were interested in me, but I only had eyes for you. Still, we were just friends. 

It started to frustrate me. I didn’t understand why you kept turning me away. 

Then came your many love interests, the women you seemed to choose over me.

What did they have that I didn’t? 

I screamed this question at you in a drunken rage, tears streaming down my face as I screamed why on earth didn’t you want to be with me. 

You looked angry too as you replied that you and I are just friends. 

And that’s when the light went out. 

I gave up. 

On you. 

On the idea of us. 

On everything to do with you 

That night I walked away from you, and deleted your number. 

I was done chasing you and I couldn’t remain friends with you either. 

Things would never be the same again.

A year and a half later I was back to my cheery self. 

I was over you, I had a great job, new friends, and I was loving life. 

I hadn’t seen you in that year and a half and I didn’t want to see you. 

You had shattered my heart and the rejection was hard to get over. 

YOU were hard to get over. 

But everything was great now. I even had a bit of a crush on my assistant manager, and he seemed to like me too. 

Everyone said we looked cute together, and I’d get embarrassed but I secretly agreed. I liked Edric Smith a lot. 

A month later, Edric approached me after work and asked if I’d like to meet up outside of the office. 

My co-worker Sabrina nudged me as she walked past, and I knew she wanted me to say yes. 

So I did. 

A week later, I was waiting anxiously for Edric to arrive at my home. 

We were to eat out, and then go to a jazz club, to unwind, have some drinks, and get to know each other. 

I checked my hair quickly before my phone rang. It was Edric, telling me he was outside. 

We had a really great time. I couldn’t believe Edric was so sweet and caring. He was a stern manager at work. 

He asked me so much about myself and I asked him a lot too. I really liked him. 

When he dropped me home, I remembered you. And I became scared. 

I had to ask Edric. 

“Before things go any further, do you see anything in me? Would you like to date me? Or do you want to be just friends?”

Edric smiled at that before he moved closer, and he gave me a tender kiss. I was surprised, but pleased as I kissed him back. 

When we broke apart, Edric caressed my cheek before me murmured “I see a lot in you. Yes, I would like to date you, and I want to go steady. We could never be just friends.”

I wanted to hear those words from you all my life. Instead I heard them from my boss, and it felt pretty amazing. 

I fell hard for Edric. I loved him and he loved me. 

Three years later, our son Raymond was born. A year after that, I married Edric. 

My family and friends were all there, pleased for me. 

When it was announced we were now man and wife, and I was kissed, I noticed someone I had left in the past. 

It was you. 

Our eyes met. 

In yours, I saw pain mixed with regret. I don’t know what you saw in mine but I wanted to know why you were at my wedding.

In a jokey way, you said you were a family friend and my mother invited you. 

I snapped that you stopped being a friend of mine years ago. 

You responded that didn’t mean you stopped caring about me. 

That may have worked on me when I was younger, turned me into mush back then. 

But it didn’t work now. Your charm didn’t affect me at all. 

You could see that. You sighed, and asked if we could talk. I sighed too, and replied you have five minutes. 

You took a deep breath, and then you quietly said that you didn’t expect me to walk away from you that night at the club, cut you off, and move on. That you were waiting for the right moment to make me yours. 

I replied that you waited too long and so did I. 

Before you could say something else my husband joined my side, asking “Who’s this Mrs. Edric? A friend?” 

You said yes, but I said no. 

“We were friends a long time ago. And that’s all we ever were, Edric.”

You looked really hurt, and I took my husband’s hand. 

Smiling because I finally had closure and was at peace, I walked away from you, Edric at my side as I murmured “We were just friends.”

********************************

Life is too short to hide your feelings from the ones who mean the world to you. Just say how you feel. Don’t settle and be just friends! 

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Makala Thomas. 

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The Bubble

I feel like I’m trapped in a bubble. Time is meaningless.
Nobody understands the way I feel. My partner doesn’t, neither do my friends and family.

It’s me alone.

In this bubble, people laughing and joking around me, getting on with life.
Me, I’m just here. Over-thinking. Screaming at the top of my lungs and nobody seems to hear me.

A cry for help.

Alcohol doesn’t help. It just numbs the feeling of hopelessness and makes me forget.

And so I drink.

Family around telling me I’m not myself. But what do they know. What will they ever know.
They never took time to understand me. Everyone has a close relative, they all have some kind of click or bestie.

Me? I stand alone.

Trapped in this bubble of swirling thoughts and problems.
Not knowing when it’s going to end or how it will end.

Sadness.

I want to cry. All I have left is my education and even then that got screwed over time and time again.
So many thoughts, feelings and fantasies. So many dreams. Some shattered, some remain.

I have no idea how much longer I can stay feeling trapped like this. Feeling trapped in a bubble.

So much stress.

So much stress that I can’t palm off on someone else. So much I have to deal with. Struggling so much to stay sane that I’m almost insane. Not knowing what to do.

Thinking of solutions.

Run away. Cut off everyone. Start again. But it’s not that simple.
Too much has gone on. I need to stay motivated, upbeat and happy.
Being happy is so much harder now.

All I have is myself. Just me. And now I see. I should be my top priority. I should put myself and my life first.

A smile in the mirror. A stressed, uncomfortable sad smile. But it’s something.

That smile is like a light bulb flashing over my head. I’m smiling. I’m worth it.

Somewhere along the line, I realised I’m strong enough to get through these troubled times.

Somehow, without me realising it, the bubble burst.

Makala VP Thomas.