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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ASU chapter.

“We are just heading in our own paths at lightning speed, and I’m not going to stick around much longer. I can’t do this anymore, I’m sorry.”

I’m crying, she’s crying, we’re on the floor in my apartment. My unfinished dinner sits still, listening from the kitchen counter as we’re in the other room. Suddenly, I find eye contact impossible and the vinyl that admires the bottom of my shoes, is my new view. I’m heartbroken, but I knew this was destined to be over.

The helicopter whirl of phone calls, texts, and FaceTime requests suddenly came to a stop. Dead in its tracks. She walked out of my front door for the last time that night, and I cried. I cried and cried and cried, but not of melancholy. Well, I lied. Yes, I lost my best friend, but it was time. Holding on was more painful than letting go, and it was time to finally be selfish.

I spent time searching for the reassurance in others, when I knew the right answer for a while. A test I didn’t have to study for, but the kind where the information is just easy to understand. You know that feeling, where you just, like, get it? That was me. 

I found my solidarity and confidence in breathing the fresh air of the public transit and smog. There is something about waking up early to what was left of last night. The remnants of broken glass, someone’s missing credit card on the sidewalk, and me. I was alone, truly alone, and this is the first time that I felt content. 

I fell into a rotation of work, school, and not getting enough sleep. I would open one job and close the other, but the business brought me comfort in socializing again. I made friends, I hung out with friends, and I wanted to be a friend. Change felt good this time.

I listened to Florence + The Machine and fought my melatonin, but I felt alive.

“My sister just came back from Ireland. She’s heading back to work with us as well. You should meet her sometime. She also loves books.”

The thought of her loving books? A world traveler? I couldn’t help but fangirl about the thought of a possible new friend, acquaintance, coworker? I’m not sure what to think right now, I was infatuated with the thought of someone having similar interests as me. I needed to study for this test.

A few coworkers and friends met for volleyball at a local court, and I was nervous. I haven’t hung out with friends in a long time, especially ones that asked me to personally join them. I felt like I belonged.

Something about stadium lights and a thin layer of sweat from the Arizona heat, I felt the rumble return. She walked back to the picnic tables and my feet were moving before me. I wanted to know her. Like, know her


The thought of her. Our matching tattoos and eye contact is enough to make a cold room feel warm. My light blue shirt was suddenly turning colors from the nervous sweat I broke out in, and butterflies migrated from around the world to me, right then and there. The rumble seceded. I was at home with her.

I knew that I was going to see her again the next time we all hung out, but I had no idea she would be the one. The one I would think about over and over and over. Maybe she thought of me that way too? 

I saw her a few days later when I walked in to start my day. Our schedules overlapped and she grabbed her keys and left. She said “bye” on her way out, but it didn’t feel like enough. I wanted to ask her about her day, tell her about the book I was reading, give her the book I brought with me, ask her what she liked to do when she wasn’t reading. I wanted to get to know her, but I was too scared.

“I think you have puppy dog eyes for Ally, and you’re mad obvious about it!”

My coworkers caught on quickly that something was surfacing, and I couldn’t contain it anymore. I confided and word vomited. I had no way of stopping it. I felt like a teenager again and it was refreshing to finally say something that was so beyond bottled up inside. I knew I had a problem on my hands, and it was the fact that I wanted to talk to her about anything and everything, so I needed to send the first message. 

“Maybe she has the same feelings? I’m scared she doesn’t. I’m scared she is going to just treat me like a friend and that things are going to be awkward, so I have to practice playing it cool.”

The next weekend, the same friend group went bowling. I am smiling at the group text saying the time and who was going to be there. I check my phone a few minutes later, a text from Ally is unread. She’s going to be there. I smile in the mirror as I change my outfit a hundred times before I find something that looks plain, but I think will grab her attention.

The night came to a close, and Ally rode home in my passenger seat. I felt like she could tell just how nervous I was just by the way my seatbelt felt much tighter than before. I was squirming in my seat at the thought of her stealing a glance at me whenever she wanted. I wondered if she was jealous about the road and how it stole my attention from her.

We hung out for 12 hours. Talking, laughing, sharing stories about Ireland and what made us mad about the world. I couldn’t help but think that I could have this forever and no one has to know, but I wanted everyone to know. I wanted Ally to know.

“You know, please help me get this girl into my life. I feel like I am journaling and reading and ranting about her to the point I’m feeling I am annoying you, and it’s just time for me to just go for it. I think I’m going to kiss her!”

Yeah, I’m going to kiss her. Something that made my heart physically beat out of my chest, but I felt like I could do anything after about two shots of espresso and a reapplication of my deodorant. I was nervous, yet excited. I felt like I was going to mess this up, but I knew that if I didn’t then I could live a happy life. We met at her moped.

“Yeah, I drive a moped. I think motorcycles are hot, so I didn’t want to get that special license or whatever and ended up buying this instead. I love it”

How do you look at someone with your face that looks exactly like the heart-eye emoji and not word vomit? I held my composure, but it was challenging. We talked for about an hour before I stopped making eye contact, and she knew. I had a feeling that she knew because she’s literally the smartest person in the world to me, but how did she know?

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

She smiles, shakes her head, looks away. My face is red. I’m scared that she is going to shove me away, saying she doesn’t see me like that. I didn’t think I was ready for rejection, but I knew that it was bound to happen. I mean, I had been turned down before on Tinder and Bumble, but this was a face-to-face interaction, and I was absolutely terrified something wrong would happen. I take a deep breath.

I felt my nerves ease and I could see that she was nervous as well. How intimate could this be? It was the perfect moment to just say it. Out loud. To her. In front of me. 

“I’m nervous because I don’t want to mess this up, and I think about you a lot. I’m thinking about you right now, and you’re standing in front of me. Is that okay?”

I rambled and rambled and rambled, to which she grabbed my arm — her hands were so soft — and she told me that she was nervous too and she thinks about me as well. She thinks about the books I talk about, about what I’m listening to on Spotify, and why I enjoy Rebecca Traister so much. It all clicked for me, and in that moment, I felt at home again. 

A comfort so embracing and she just fit perfectly in my mind. I suddenly wasn’t afraid anymore, but rather something else erupted within me, something that I would later tell her. I turn on her music in the car, I learn all of her favorite songs, and I read her favorite books. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I finally have the opportunity. 

I hope I don’t mess this up. 

JP (they/them/theirs) is a graduate student at DePaul who enjoys reading books, playing guitar, and telling bad jokes. When they're not behind a book or getting a tan from their computer screen, catch them planning their next tattoo. Check their 'gram: @hanson.jp