I’m selfish. I’m a coward. I hurt people who care for me the most. I was forced to deal with these painful realizations after handling an extremely uncomfortable situation in a very immature, hurtful and dangerous way.
After six years of friendship with a male friend we’ve reached a point where we seriously considered dating and eventually marriage. You hear all the time people marrying their best friend and for a sliver of a moment, I visualized a similar fate. Aside from us meeting in undergraduate school at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, we’ve maintained a long-distance friendship with him residing in Atlanta and myself here in Orlando.
For the most part, we’ve kept things platonic. Only in the early phase of our relationship did we cross the line and romantically embrace one another. After that initial experience, I immediately knew I couldn’t cross that line ever again. The thought of regularly being with him in that manner made me nauseous. To prevent the relationship going sour I buried those apprehensions for sake of the friendship.
Years later, he continually made advances towards me and I would withdraw and repel from him completely. Most recent was this past weekend. In celebration of the Florida Classic, he drove seven hours to Orlando to support our university and spend quality time with me.
Everything was tolerable in the beginning. I met him at an event and indulged in a few adult beverages with hopes of dispelling my growing anxiety being around him. As the night continued I grew more uncomfortable in his presence. When he invited me back to his resort I agreed, knowing I should have voiced my concerns and drove home.
As I followed him on the intersate my heart was sinking. I didn’t want to be with him. I didn’t want to be alone with him. All I wanted was to be free. With a heavy heart and anxious mind I slowly began easing off the gas. I knew I was less than half a mile away from immediate freedom. I also knew that if I continued to delay I would be at his resort and ultimately I couldn’t do that. In a blink of an eye I veered off the interstate without the use of any turn signal and speed off into the night, leaving him on the highway alone, confused and hurt.
To make matters worse I ignored his repetitive calls and text messages. I couldn’t face it. I also couldn’t stomach accepting the amount of hurt I caused a very close friend. When I finally reached out to him the next day he already began his journey back to Atlanta. Sorrowfully I asked him the status of our friendship and he bitterly responded, “you left it on the highway when you ran over my heart.”