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My Best Friend is Happy (Without Me)

When I walked into class on my first day of calculus and sat next to a girl I briefly knew, I never expected her to become my closest friend. The girl who I asked for math help from became the girl who stayed up late listening to me talk, who forced herself awake to text me in the dark, who heard confessions of my deepest insecurities. Yet, I always knew something was different about her, even from the start; never before had I met someone who was so willing to listen to my problems, even if she sometimes didn’t know how to respond. She was always there for me, and I felt content, and I overlooked signs I normally would have paused at, like how she was not as clingy as I was, or dependent, or insecure. I acted as a different source of comfort for her by spending time with her, talking to her, and listening to her silly everyday thoughts. We had the same sense of humor, same political views, and same understanding of life. Thinking about college hurt; we knew we would have to separate. Yet, we knew it would somehow work. We swore we would be single for life. We wanted to move in together after college. I suppose we were always a little idealistic in love.

College was a time of transition for us. I struggled; she thrived. I watched as weekends we planned to watch tv together became nights for her to go out and party. While she was kissing girls, I was alone in my dorm. Although I knew it was irrational, I felt jealous of her happiness and hurt by her preference to go out instead of talk to me. We both felt it; we were drifting apart and we still talked everyday, but our conversations had become more and more banal. We discussed it, picked apart our relationship, pinpointed its changes and drew up plans to fix its faults. In the end, countless conversations resulted in little and we both accepted our fates.

One month, she called me with a different story. She had drunkenly made out with one of her friends, and to my surprise, I felt jealous. I wasn’t sure whether it was because my friend was doing things I wasn’t, or whether it was something more. But things got better, and talks of moving in together started again. She told me she would follow me wherever I went. I knew it was idealistic, but I loved it. I thought we might kiss around New Year’s. She admitted that she had wondered whether she had feelings for me, but she pushed it away and never answered her own question. Was there something more between us? “Let’s continue this talk tomorrow,” she said once when it was late, and then we never did.

A week later, she revealed she had kissed that same girl again, and confessed that she felt like she was cheating on me. My insecurities came back, and I told her she was getting her feelings of friendship love mixed up for me, and that I would support her if she pursued the other girl. I left the country during spring break; when I came back, the two were dating.

I don’t regret what I did. My friend is happy with this girl, and I want to be happy for her, but the truth is, it’s been hard. I’m being selfish; I want to be happy for her, but I can’t get over my feelings of hurt. I am not even sure I necessarily want something more; I just want her to value me as much as I value her. I feel like I’m being replaced by someone she’ll be able to connect with in ways she won’t with me anymore. I want to get over my irrational feelings of jealousy, but I can’t. She’s never been as clingy or dependent as I have, and it’s a trait I both love and hate

about her. I am pushing away one of the only people in my life who has ever understood me, and I know I will regret it. But I’m not sure I am selfless enough to deal with my best friend being so, so happy without me.

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