If I Didn’t Say, “We’re Better Off as Friends”

What could’ve happened if I didn’t say, “we’re better off as friends”?
This is an open letter to a guy named James.

I have two possible answers:
1.) I might have been happily married [to him].
2.) I might have experienced one of the most terrible and hardest heartbreaks.

I’m sure he will never forget this line from me, and probably won’t forgive me for saying it. I don’t think I can even take it back now. I know it’s too late. He might be happy now, which I do hope, because I only want the best for him. Maybe, he’s already married by the same girl he used to tell me before, the only one he could choose over me 10+ years ago. Oh, I hope not! Sigh.

Everytime I think of him and look back at the good old days, it still feels like they were last year, a few months ago,…yesterday. It’s that memorable to me. Some small details we’ve spent together still play on my mind. What could have happened?!

He used to live here. After deciding to continue his studies in the USA, he left the Philippines. We’ve established a good friendship while he was here. Not really sure if it’s mutual, but I always felt we’re really good friends. I value all types of friendship. And I did value our friendship.

A few years after living in the US, he came back here in the Philippines for a short vacation with a girlfriend, whom he never mentioned. We used to email and chat. His favorite subject? Lovelife lol. So, it’s a surprise he didn’t mention anything about her before. Or maybe he did once and I just forgot (shrugs). What I do know is that he didn’t truly love her. I knew this because he cheated on her. He cheated for a week. He cheated because of me. Yes, I was that third person. But a mutual friend of ours confirmed he wasn’t really into her at that time.

I had a boyfriend at that time. I know I cheated, too. But don’t feel sorry for my bf then or be angry with me as he had other girls. True story. And yes, my life used to be that complicated (still is I think). So what I was saying is that we became exclusive, secretly. We texted for hours even if his girlfriend was just right beside him. One time I remember he was already in bed and his girlfriend was asleep, and he still exchanged texts with me (smiles, smiles, smiles). Am I talking too much? Maybe. I just don’t forget things like that, you know.

He told me why we should try being in a relationship and I was like I fell under his spell. No, I think I wanted too. Honestly, I had a huge crush on him! He might have felt the same or more. We were young back then. If I’m not mistaken I was 17 or already 18. For me, I thought it would just be for the sake of fun. And I really, really, really liked him (caution guys: if I say this 3 times, I do mean it). Hence, he became my “boyfriend”…for a week!

I didn’t know he was really serious. I found out how he really felt only after several years, after he was re-united with the other girl he used to like. And I was like, “he made it (between them) happen “. That made me realize he would have done the same thing if I was his girl, if I continued my relationship with him, if I never said that “we’re better off as friends!” ;(

What could have happened if I didn’t say that? i don’t know. This haunted me for over a decade.

I thought my relationship with him won’t ever work. I value and respect him as a great friend. I didn’t want our friendship to be ruined someday and be gone just like that. And I knew it’s going to happen if we would continue being more than friends. You know how relationship can spoil everything, including the foundation of your friendship, if things don’t work between the two of you, right? In short, I didn’t want to lose him as my friend. I was scared, so I broke up with him after a week. Plus, I didn’t like the thought of cheating on someone else.

But what could have happened if we continued being more than friends? I really don’t know. If I knew I would lose his friendship, I wouldn’t say “we’re better off as friends”. I don’t remember the last time I spoke to him or heard about him. It’s been too long. The worst part, we lost track of any form of communication. HE’S GONE! The friendship I wanted to keep so bad is gone. He never came back.

Where is he now? Chicago, probably. Or somewhere in California. I have no clue.

What if I miraculously meet him again? I’d smile and say, “it’s nice to meet you, James.”.

*originally written on July 25, 2013



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