I’ve never had a crush on a friend. I guess in a way it was inevitable. You make friends with people because you click with them and if you fancy them too…well, why wouldn’t you give love a go? The best romances often spin out of a strong friendship: like and love are two sides of the same coin, after all.
I’m trying to contain my feelings for the Friend but it’s extremely difficult. We see each other all the time for one thing. Nights out, nights in: we’re like two peas in a pod, except she’s happy as larry where she is and I want us to break out of the pod and build a life together in the endive next door – maybe get a couple of chickens.
My friends worry at me constantly: “you’re going to get hurt.” And honestly, I’m trying so hard but I can’t help it when, every now and then, my head flickers with thoughts of us kissing. Sometimes I stop them but sometimes I can’t and the kisses run on from cheeks to lips to collarbone like a runaway train.
Eventually she introduces me to her boyfriend and I give him a grin like an axe in the face. “So great to meet you!” I beam, wondering if he can hear the growl beneath my purr. Later I ask her about him, about how she feels. “I really like him,” she says, which strikes me as an odd thing to say after 2 years but the fact remains: he is here. No matter how much I snuffle around the seams of their relationship, she never once says she has serious doubts or is unhappy. I have to respect that.
She certainly doesn’t make things easy for me. One day we meet up at her house and she complains that her bum is sore from riding a bike.
“I’m so sorry,” I say, “maybe it was the seat?”
“No, it’s more of the underneath bit,” she says, snapping her legs open and pointing at her legging-clad muff.
“Uh huh, uh huh,” I say, staring fixedly at the wall and wondering what I’ve done to deserve this fresh hell, where my crush gestures repeatedly at her vagina like an actress in a sex show.
Close your legs, close your legs, close your legs I chant in my head until she finally folds her legs in like the petals of a flower.
She talks about how much she loves being naked and how she wishes she could be naked more often. It’s absurd. It’s a farce. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Why couldn’t I make friends with a nice, prim, buttoned-up girl? Someone who’s afraid of sex and has to sterilise the sheets after every tumble? But no, obviously I have to fall for a beautiful free spirit who just loves to wander around starkers, wagging her muff in the breeze.
Since I love being with her so much, my only option is to spend less time with her. I start messaging other friends for dinners and drinks and overnight stays. I fill up my time like a bath, bubbles sloshing all over the floor. I become the world’s most exhausted ‘yes woman.’ Quick nip after work? Brunch on the Thames? Talk at the Tate? I’m your girl.
I get back on the dating apps and swipe aggressively. At night, I leave my phone scowling in the living room so my night-time reading isn’t peppered with sneaks to see if she’s messaged. I will sweep these feelings from my heart like a bug from a windscreen. I will get under as many women as it takes to get over her. I’ll sit on the faces of every willing woman in the Greater London area if I have to.
I am stronger than this. I will triumph. Because one way or another, I want this wonderful woman in my life, even if that means watching her walk down the aisle with the man of her dreams.
And if I never get over her? Hot damn, I’ll have had a lot of sex.