Click here for Peter's Perspective.
I just don't understand boys sometimes. One minute they're staring intensely into your eyes and leaning in for a kiss, and the next moment they're punching you on the arm and calling you "bro." I've always heard this saying tossed around, "Boys and girls can never be just friends." Either the boy or the girl are always bound to catch feelings. Well, I guess I was the fool who caught feelings. My daddy always tells me, "That Peter boy, he's in love with you, he just doesn't know it yet." Well, I'm sick of waiting. Just realize that you love me so that we can be together already. I need you.
Peter and I have been friends for a while now, almost seven years. My crush for him extending much longer than that. I remember the first time I laid eyes on Peter, it was during our school play in the fifth grade. I don't really remember what the play was that year, but I remember that he was the lead role. His Blonde, spiky hair and his bright blue eyes had butterflies fluttering ferociously in my stomach. I don't think he ever noticed me, though. I was only a tree, I never was any good at acting; plus I was always a chubby kid, so I don't think my teachers wanted me exactly front and center. I wasn't a cute little kid. I wasn't like Peter. That's why I didn't have the nerve to go up and talk to him, why would somebody like Peter want to talk to some chubby kid like me? He wouldn't.
The next year I walked out to a snowy recess. I saw across the way a bunch of kids starting an all out snowball fight. I ran over as fast as my chubby legs would allow me and began to roll up a snowball. I looked around to see who my target would be, and then I saw him. Peter. His blonde, still spiky hair sticking high into the air. I took a couple steps forward, I didn't want to miss. I loaded and let the snowball fly through the air, it hit him right in the back of the head. He was shocked, he looked around to see where the snowball came from. He didn't see me. So I made another snowball and threw it in his direction; it hit him directly in the face. I threw another one at him and he moves out the way. I stand there, waiting for him to attack back, but he just stands there, staring at me, as if he is contemplating something. But I wanted to go to war with him. I wanted him to pay attention to me. So I get another snowball and chuck it in his direction. He dives out of the way towards his large stack of prebuilt snowballs and begins hurling them at me. Here is my chance.
We throw snowballs back and forth, back and forth. I move closer with every throw. There is nothing but white snow filling the air between us, I could hardly see the outline of where he was standing. So I thought this was a good chance to move even closer to him. I go into a slight jog, through the snowy mist, and tackle him to the ground. I always saw this in movies, couples tackling each other in the snow, laughing and grabbing a big pile of snow and rubbing it in each other's faces. It was romantic. I wanted to be romantic. So, as I sit on top of him, I grab a pile of snow and rub it into his face. I then hear the sound of the school alarm going off, that was the cue that the war was over. I debated if I should stay there with him, help him up, introduce myself, but I got nervous. I'm not the type of girl somebody like him would want to be friends with. So I stood up and ran. I didn't look back. I didn't slow down until I sat down in my seat in my warm classroom. The smile never leaving my freezing face.
I saw Peter a couple times across campus over the next week, but I never went up to talk to him. But after a couple days one of the greatest moments of my life happened. I was sitting alone in the cafeteria, I wasn't exactly a social butterfly at the time, eating my lunch, and out of nowhere I see Peter walking towards me. He was with two of his friends Danny and Ray, I never really liked Danny and Ray, but they're not very important to this story. They sat down at the table across from me. I was so nervous, I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what to say. A few seconds past and I realized I hadn't said anything, so I laughed nervously then said the first thing that came to mind.
"How's your face?" How's your face, really? That was the first thing I was going to say to him, how's your face? I looked down in embarrassment, but he just laughed it off and said his face was fine. Apparently I was wearing a Harry Potter shirt that day, the day of the snowball fight, so we sat there and talked about Harry Potter for the entire lunch. I never really liked that shirt all that much, I never even really liked Harry Potter all that much, but from that day forward that was my favorite shirt, and Harry Potter was my favorite book and movie series. I remember I read every book twice that year and watched every movie at least ten times. I became religious about Harry Potter, well, maybe I was more religious about Peter.
The next two years, in middle school, Peter and I were always together. We ate lunch together everyday, we hung out everyday after school. We went to movies, we walked around parks, we sat and watched TV, it was amazing. But, even after always being together, he never made a move. Not even once. It was like I was just another "one of the bros." I put that in quotations because he would literally call me "one of the bros." So, I thought I had to make a change. I had to make it obvious that I wasn't just another one of the bros. So that summer, after eighth grade, I went to the gym everyday and went on a diet that my mom had been suggesting I go on for years now. By the end of the summer, I have to admit it, I was looking hot. I would deliberately walk back and forth between my bedroom and living room, just so I could catch my reflection in the mirror. I was going to make Peter mine.
Homecoming dance was coming up, our freshman year in high school, and I would continuously mention how I was still dateless, hoping that he would take a damn hint. I kept getting asked by all of these freshman boys who would gawk at me in my volleyball spandex to the dance, but I told them all I already had a date. I felt bad lying to all of these guys, and I felt so flattered to be wanted by all of them, but all I wanted was Peter. Finally, with only about a week to go, Peter casually turned to me one night while we were watching a movie at his house and said, "So, you still don't have a date to Homecoming, right? We should just go together." It wasn't exactly the romantic gesture that I was hoping before, but I would take it.
I spent hours getting ready that night. I slid into the tightest dress that I could find, one that would really show off my ass, and did my hair four different ways before I was finally satisfied with one look. My mom brought out one of her favorite pair of heels and handed them to me. They were tall heels though and I knew that they would make me taller than Peter, so I told her no. After a thirty minute argument I found myself wearing the heels. I also found out that my mascara worked flawlessly, as the tears didn't make it run at all.
When Peter picked me up that night, my breath was taken away. He looked so incredibly sexy in his white shirt, slacks, and red and blue striped tie. Tonight is my night, I could feel it. When we got to the dance, I dragged him to the middle of the dance floor. I looked around and saw that everybody was grinding, so I turned around and started to grind on him. I won't go into any details, but I have a feeling that he was enjoying himself. I just...had a feeling. Wink. After a couple hours of that, the DJ, bless his soul, finally played a slow jam. Linger by the Cranberries, my new favorite song. I turned around and wrapped my arms around his neck. I noticed that a lot of the dance floor had thinned out, most kids at that age only want to grind, they didn't want to slow dance, but I wanted nothing more than to slow dance. We stared intensely into each other's eyes the entire song. My heart was racing out of control, I was afraid he was going to see it through my dress. I knew that was foolish, but I had never experienced my heart racing this fast before, I had no idea what could happen. Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me, kiss me. I repeated this in my head the entire song, but apparently he couldn't hear me. The song comes to an end and the dance floor clears out, but I wasn't ready to let go of him quite yet, so I keep my arms wrapped around his neck, him keeping his arms around my waist. Kiss me, dammit, just freaking kiss me already. I smile up at him and he smiles back at me. JUST FUCKING KISS ME!
"Hey, uh, Peter, Emily, we gotta go. The dance is over." Danny, dumb cock blocking Danny, says to us as he wraps his arm around Peter's shoulders. I feel his grip loosen around my waist, so I loosen mine from around his neck.
I guess it's just not meant to be.
After the dance we went to some party and had a few drinks, he was flirting with other girls the whole night and went back to punching my arm and calling me "bro." I cried myself to sleep that night.
I was pretty sad for the next couple weeks, I was finally coming to terms that Peter and I were never going to be a thing. He obviously wasn't in to me. Even after the dramatic body change, he still didn't see me as anything more than another one of the bros. I started dating the running back on the football team, his name was Justin, in hopes that it would make Peter jealous. He didn't seem to care. The entire time I was with Justin, almost three years, all I ever wanted was Peter. Just say something Peter, anything, and I am yours. But he never did.
Once Justin went off to college I received a text from him, "Hey babe, so I think we should like, not be together anymore. You understand, right? But this was fun." I didn't even reply to the text, instead I called Peter and he said he was coming over to comfort me. When he pulled up to the house, I ran out and before I even sat down I began to cry. I was crying for so many reasons, obviously one of them was because of Justin, I was with him for three years and he broke up with me over a text? What an asshole. But I was also crying because I knew I would never be with Peter. I was crying because this moment, in my most vulnerable stage, was the greatest feeling I had ever had. For two hours, Peter just sat there, rubbing my back, wiping away my tears, keeping the hair out of my mouth. He didn't say anything, but he didn't have to. I have never felt so comforted in my life. After about ten minutes, I no longer felt sad, but I was so in love with the moment we were having that I forced myself to continue to cry.
That next summer, I got back together with Justin. It wasn't because I had missed him, it wasn't because I had low confidence, it was because I knew he would dump me at the end of summer and that would mean another crying session in Peter's car. I needed another crying session in Peter's car. And, as I predicted, that moment came the day that Justin went back to college. I called Peter, he drove over, I cried, he comforted. What I wouldn't do to have that moment repeated right now.
At the end of that school year, our senior year, prom was quickly approaching. I refused every person that asked me to prom that year, it had to be Peter, it just had to be. I prayed every morning and every night and every passing moment until God finally gave me what I asked for.
Peter picked me that night at 6 PM. The look he gave me when I opened the door made me the happiest I have ever been.
"Oh my god, you look amazing, Em." My heart stopped for a moment.
"Thank you, you look very handsome yourself, Petey. But come here, let me straighten up your tie." Girls are always fixing guys ties in the movies.
We piled into the limo, filled with a bunch of my volleyball teammates and their dates, but the only person on the limo I cared about was Peter. This was my last chance to make our relationship change. This was senior prom for crying out loud, the most romantic night in a high schooler's life, there is no way that he doesn't at least kiss me tonight. We begin our drive to dinner and somebody plays their burned CD over the loudspeaker. Somebody snuck on a bunch of champagne bottles and begins to hand them out, one per person. We pop the corks and the night is off.
As I get halfway through my bottle I begin to do my "drunk dance," Peter is the one who gave it that name. He always laughs and says he loves that dance, so I continue to do it. I know it looks silly, I would never do it if he didn't like it so much, but he does, so I do it. The dance starts with me throwing my head back and closing my eyes, I then wiggle my arms up and down. I can feel his eyes on me. Then, as if God was reaching down and telling me You got this, Linger by the Cranberries came on over the loudspeaker. This is our song. This is my moment. I look over at him and he is already smiling down at me. His eyes are a little glossy, they always get glossy when he starts drinking. His cheeks a little rosy, as well. I smile back at him and we just stare at each other for a few seconds. Then, oh my god, I feel his hand grab mine and I grab it tightly. I am never going to let this hand go. My heart is racing like it did that night. This is the moment. I can feel it. I begin to lean in towards him, he leans in towards me. My heart is racing, I feel like it is going to explode. Don't give up on me now heart, this is our moment, do not ruin it. You can have your heart attack tomorrow, but not tonight. Let me have tonight, that's all I ask. We continue to lean in towards each other slowly. Our lips are so close, I can feel his breath on my lips. And then, as if the devil backhanded me across the face, the limo comes to a stop. Everyone in the limo begins to stand up, somebody bumps into Peter and knocks him off track. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit! Everybody continues to pile out and I look up at him with a small, forced smile and a shrug. We never did end up finishing that lean.
Now I sit here in my dorm room staring at my photo collage of Peter and I. Photos from Homecoming and prom, photos from casual hang outs, his senior photos. I have other people in the collage, like family and other friends, but tonight, and every night, I only focus on the photos with Peter. We have been apart for this entire semester and it is heartbreaking. I thought that this distance would be good for me, that I would finally be able to meet somebody else and move on from Peter. From freaking Peter. But, the thing is, I don't want to move on. Peter is all I want. He is all I will ever want. He is my motivation and my inspiration. He is so much more than just my best friend. I feel so empty and lonely and blah without him here in my life. I don't even want to get out of bed in the morning, because I just don't see the point. I know even if I get out of bed and go on with my day I still won't get to see him. And what's even the point? I want to tell him this, I want to tell him all of this, but I'm afraid that I will lose him as a friend. And I cannot afford to lose him from my life.
I guess I'll just continue to pray and hope something changes.
Click here for Peter's Perspective.