Sex ruins so much. Well, actually, people ruin so much with sex. Men and women use it as a weapon, as a basis to claim irreconcilable differences, or as an aesthetic to judge a person’s worth. When emotions are involved (which, contrary to liberated beliefs, is pretty much always), everything gets risky. It’s a sacred act that can make or break human bonds. And when your friends are involved…Well, it’s best avoided entirely.
When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2013, I made the biggest mistake of my life. I slept with – and lost – my best friend.
Drinking is no excuse for anything
For the sake of protecting both his and my privacy, we’ll call my best friend Tom.
It was New Years Eve 2012/13, and Tom had persuaded me to not spend it in bed hating noise and pissheads and the world as per. We were picking up a group of our mates and going to a local house party. He was fresh out of a breakup that he didn’t want to happen, and I still felt the sting of the split from my fiancé almost two years prior, which occurred after he physically assaulted me.
Tom, assisted by numerous and amazing friends and family members of mine, had brought back to a good place since then. He was my rock. One of the bestest friends you could ask for. I remember being constantly amazed that the thirteen year old kid who I’d shared my first bottle of White Lightening in the local park with, or caused mischief at my first student house parties with, or who brought a rose to my front door one day in our early teens just for the sake of it, could have become such an important part of my life.
Then I really fucked it up.
At five minutes to midnight, overwhelmed by mixed drinks and the feeling of loneliness as I watched other couples around me getting set to see in the new year together. I leant over to Tom to suggest we kiss at midnight. It was on.
I couldn’t explain how I felt
Before I knew it, the kiss had happened, he’d suggested we go back to my empty house, then in the morning I was filled with dread. I didn’t feel the way he did about this. I don’t really know why. I couldn’t get past the fear that we’d ruined our friendship completely by being so physical. I’m not sure I’ve ever known sheer, blind panic like that, to such an extent that I couldn’t voice it with Tom at all. Instead I clammed up. Couldn’t look him in the face.
Later that day he tried to call me a couple of times. I screened them. He texted to ask to meet. I came up with an excuse. He cottoned on, and was utterly furious with me. I don’t blame him. After a couple of screaming phone rows in the days to follow, he shut me out completely. And now it’s 2015 and I miss him every single day.
What it feels like to lose him
If you’re reading this, Tom, all I can say is that I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
I took advantage of you when you were down because watching your breakup had made me feel sorry for myself. I saw in you someone else who had lost someone you thought the world of and who you loved so much, and I know how that feels. My relationship broke down a couple of years before yours, but the pain barely lessens. Even now, it hurts my heart to think about the person who hurt me. You see, you’d been such an amazing friend to me in my darkest hours that we formed this incredible, indescribable bond. I could tell you anything in the world, no matter how good or bad, and you never judged or spoke down to me. You just… understood. And you encouraged good things in me. You made me feel like I could do anything. Then when you needed me most, I only thought of myself. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about how I treated you that night, and that you don’t want me in your life any more.
Life is a shade duller without you. I can hardly bear to think about what I’ve lost and just how much you mean to me – it’s incomprehensible. As I sit and write this now, having made numerous attempts to contact you and pour out my feelings and, every time, just feel the force of an icy cold blanking, I’m struggling to find the words that describe the loss of you. I’ve only ever known emptiness and hot/cold fury like this once before and…well…you know all about that. You helped me through it all that time ago. If you can find it in your heart to come back to me for a chat, please do it.
I have no idea what to do
I don’t know what the answer to this is, but I do know we ruined the most beautiful friendship over a fleeting desire. No one should ever give in to such stupid, mis-aimed self-satisfaction like I did. How do I fix it?
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