When I was in freshmen, I went to a high school that shared its building with another high school. Basically, St. Marcellinus was a newly built high school and at the time, we only have two years worth of students occupy the building; the freshman, and the sophomores. And because of that, almost half of the classroom in the school were vacant. This allowed another school, Saint Joan of Arc, to use those available spaces until their new school was built.
I didn’t really think much of it until I met Jasmine.
My first period was French and the classroom happened to be at the border at which my school and Saint Joan of Arc, were separated. One day, as I was waiting in front of my classroom for the teacher to come and open the door for us, I happened to catch a glimpse of a cute girl from the other school who was also waiting for teacher.
So this continued nearly every day, I get to my class early just so I could get a chance to look at the cute girl before she entered her class. I think I did it often enough where she eventually recognize me, because one day I came across her Facebook page and recognized from the pictures that she was the same girl.
Thirteen year-old me said, “What the heck? I’ll leave a message.” I said, “Hey, you look familiar? Do you go to Saint Joan of Arc?” She said, “Yeah! You go to St. Marcellinus right?” Quietly I mumbled to myself, “I been noticed.” And that was the start of a new friendship.
We started meeting up before our first classes, and although they were short, I cherished it. We even began strategically planning the paths we took to our next classes just so we could briefly run into each other. She gave me this nickname, Kev, and it just stuck with me and so I called her Jazz and turns out she liked it. We talked about what hobbies we do and how we spend our free time. She found my art really impressive and having her support really made me want to do better and improve my skills. I still remember her saying, “Kev, if you ever become a famous artist, don’t forget me.”
Eventually we found ourselves talking everyday, whether its at school or online. I really liked her but was it worth the risk of spilling my feelings and possibly making our friendship awkward? I mean, I was happy where we were. We shared personal secrets with each other, she came to me whenever she had problems; I came to her with mine. Intimacy was probably the only thing separating us from being a couple, I became acquainted with one of her close friends and even she thought I should ask her out.
But I’ve never done that before, I’ve never had a girlfriend at that point and everything before that was merely a series of crushes on girls that I never had a chance with. But I thought to myself that if I was ever gonna have a first, she would be my pick. I decided to tell her how I felt. I believe that has a good chance seeing as how we were best friends. We already had that bond, that trust. I told myself that if she does say no, I would respectfully accept it and still remain friends with her… and that’s what happened. I wasn’t sure if there was someone else or anything, but regardless she just didn’t see me in that way.
I felt crushed, but it felt amazing to get that off my chest. She didn’t find it too weird. She was an open minded girl. I was happy that I still got to stay friends with her and even though I could never breach that barrier I was alright with it. If you’re one of those people that claim you got friendzoned, but complained about it like she owns your relationship then that’s not the friend zone, that’s the pity zone. I obviously didn’t get over her right away. To help me get over my feelings I sat and binge watched every romance shows on Netflix while eating around two-tons of Napoleon ice-cream. My feelings still lingered along with questions of why I was inadequate as a boyfriend.
But I guess that’s the mistake most people make when facing rejection. They just invest so much into one person that they get tunnel vision and when they get rejected by them they can’t fathom the possibility that maybe their adequate for someone else. I came to realize that, and soon enough Jazz and I were back to our usual friendship. She became interested in other guys; I became interested in other girls. But we were still there for each other.
In a way, it was probably for the best that we didn’t end up together because at the end of my freshman year, I came to her with some news, “My dad got a job in St. Louis, I’m moving.” And this definitely wouldn’t be the last time I hurted someone by leaving them.
We’ve been best friends for a year, and it wasn’t easy for us to say goodbye. I had no idea how long I’ll be in St. Louis. I couldn’t promise her I’d be back, but I definitely visit from time to time. We still kept in touch online, but she wanted to keep her update special, so she preferred to write letters.
However, while we had all these methods of communicating we were in two different worlds, two different environments. I made new friends and when her school finally moved to their new building, she found new ones as well. We started talking less. Eventually drifting apart; not as total strangers. We would still be what you consider friends but not like before. And that happens. We can’t always find someone or something to blame for it. As long as you enjoyed the experience, then it was definitely worthwhile. And even if you didn’t, it would at least make a good story.