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How do you look at someone every day, longing to be with them, when you know it is not reciprocated? This is a question I asked myself after my greatest love broke my heart. I didn’t know it at the time, but to me, she was the one that would change everything. She was the first person that I was able to bare my entire soul to. She was my lover and my best friend. I guess I should start at the very beginning.
I think the first time I thought I was into girls, I was in pre-school. I went to a Lutheran pre-school, so everyone was very religious. It was my third week there, and I had made my very first best friend, let’s call her Brittany. Brittany and I were inseparable; we played together every day at school, and even after school, when our moms became friends. I remember telling my pre-school teacher that we were going to get married, I pictured me wearing a tux, and she was in a really pretty, white dress. My teacher responded with, “You’re not going to marry Brittany. Someday you’ll meet a very nice boy, and then you two can get married and then you get to be a mommy!” Now this stuck with baby Tiff in a way that I would not realize until later in life influenced me in a rather large way.
Fast-forward to my first boyfriend, who attempted to hold my hand. In response, I screamed and ran away. This is about how all of my high school relationships would go. I would date these boys for a few weeks, or even months, but I was never satisfied with them. I assumed it was just the boys, but I think it was more than that for me. I always joked about “switching teams,” or “switching to girls.” I knew that I wasn’t really joking, but more gaging how others would take it. In high school, I had a crush on one of my very close friends. I figured it was just a girl crush, the kind they mention in magazines, as just wanting to be more like your friend, so I shrugged it off.
I think I really knew that I wasn’t totally straight when I came to college and found myself dreaming about one of the girls that lived on my floor in the dorm. She and I were super good friends; we hung out, and did our nails together, and even talked about boys. I didn’t act on it or anything, but I definitely thought about it, quite a bit. I was not ready to accept this part of me. I was known as the boy crazy friend, who had all the stories about all the hook-ups, which I inevitably did a lot, attempting to convince myself that I was actually into boys and not girls.
I accepted that I wanted to experiment with girls in the summer going into my third year of college. I was using one of the various available dating apps, we’ll call it Kinder, where I switched my preferences to also include ladies. I swiped through a whole bunch of girls and boys, and ended up dating a boy for a while. He then cheated on me, so I got back at it and continued my swiping.
The night of my 21st birthday, one of my very good friends, we’ll call her Michelle, and I had a nice little chat while drunkenly snuggling on her couch, that went something like this:
Michelle, “have you ever kissed a girl?”
Me, “No, have you?”
“Yeah. Do you want to kiss a girl?”
“I’ve thought about it…”
“Well, let me know if you decide you want to try it.”
She then kissed the top of my head.
The following weekend, we went downtown for her birthday. We went to all sorts of bars and had a great time. We both got rather intoxicated, and she kissed me at the first bar we went to, which was a revelation for me. She was what we will refer to as a noodle, or a person who makes out with people of the same sex only when drunk. Michelle was just an affectionate human being, but we ended up making out a lot that night. This entire next week, I would be dealing with a weird, internal conflict of trying to figure out what I am and attempting to put a label on myself.
The weekend after that was her Dia-Birthday party, which she hosted as the ten year anniversary of her being diagnosed with diabetes and her birthday. At this party, I met an amazing girl, we’ll call her Roxie. Roxie was wicked smart, and super chill. We talked, flirted, and hung out all night long, until I went to make out with Michelle that is.
I had seen Roxie on campus before and thought she was so cool. I was slightly obsessed with how put-together she always looked, and she carried herself; like she knew she was cool af (as ****). After the night that we actually met, I decided that I would find her on every social media network, ya know so I could stalk her slightly, as one does. She friended me on Facebook, and then I followed her on Instagram.
The week before Valentine’s Day, we matched on Kinder. I then messaged her “hey there ;)” as I was kind of a little drunk (looking back I drank a lot at the beginning of that semester). She messaged me back, and we instantly clicked. It was like something that you would see in a rom-com. She and I laughed and talked for hours about anything and everything. I felt like I could let loose with her, and really be myself. I realized just how much I liked her the day that we first kissed.
We had been on a decent amount of dates, and held hands and the like, but we hadn’t kissed until we had been “dating” for about 3 weeks. On the day of our very first kiss, we went on a very cute date that I planned for us. I got her flowers, and picked her up at 5 pm on a Sunday. We took a drive downtown, listening to really good indie music, on our way to her surprise. We went on the Artwalk, which is a collection of street art that someone mapped out. After posing next to statues, and making up stories for the people in the works of art, we went to get dinner at a really nice Mexican restaurant down the street. We ate, drank, talked, and got hit on by the waiter, who did not know that we were on a date. Then we went to this industrial building across the street to look at more sculptures. I was in awe at how pretty everything was, and how in her element Roxie was, looking at and explaining the art to me. After that, we went back to my house and we snuggled and watched a really funny movie. Every time we both leaned in for a kiss, one of us would start laughing hysterically. This went on for about two hours, but once we finally did kiss, it was magical. I had never felt the way I did about her, and that’s when I knew that she was who I was meant to be with. She and I spent the night together more than once that following week, and it was pure bliss.
The week after we weren’t able to really spend time together, as we were both crazy busy with school and work, and I was busy with my race car, and she with the school magazine. We had made plans to go see a new, very cute gay movie that had just come out, on Sunday. It was the thing that was pulling me through the week, and making it seem as though I could indeed bare it, because at the end I would be able to see her and it would all be worth it. Unfortunately, on Saturday night, my love broke my heart. She had the realization that what we had was real and she got scared as she was graduating in the next month or so, and was planning to move to NYC to pursue her career. What she said was real, but I couldn’t take it. I didn’t want to hear her reasons we shouldn’t be together, when I felt there were so many to stay.
This broke me. The heartache I felt when she left was like no other. I felt as though the part of me that finally felt full, the part of me that only she saw, was empty again. My life felt like it was in shambles, as academically I was doing sub-par, I was stressed with work, and the car wasn’t built yet, and now I no longer had my sense of stability.
Once she made it very clear that we could no longer be romantic together, it was decided that we could be friends, so that we didn’t have to be totally separate from each other. This just didn’t feel right, because I wanted nothing more than to be with her in every sense of the phrase. I was convinced that she was my one great love. So now, we are trying the “friends” thing. Thus far, it makes me a bit sad, as I want to wrap my arms around her and never let her go, which is not practical.
At this point, I’m still in slight denial. I am hopeful that she may see that we are meant to be, and that we shouldn’t let distance keep us apart. I also recognize that this is not healthy, and that we will probably not be together any time soon. Maybe, if my career takes me to where she is, or where she wants to be, then we can be together. Honestly though, I’m not entirely sure that will ever happen.
Maybe it’s better this way. Maybe, this is actually how it was supposed to be. Maybe we will never see each other again. Maybe we will. That’s the sucky part about life, it can’t really be predicted as well as I would personally like. I’m confident that everything will eventually work out, but I’m definitely sad that Roxie and I are no more. Now she is but a distant memory, one that I will cherish forever, one that I will never allow to be tainted, and one that has seriously changed my music taste if nothing else.
Roxie, I want to thank you. Thank you for showing me how to be myself, how to go with the flow, and for showing me that not everyone is bad. While our time together was brief, it’s something that I wouldn’t change a single thing about. I adore you more than you can ever know. Goodbye, Roxie.
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