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Expression of Friendship

Wikipedia defines unrequited love as love that is not reciprocated, not mutual, even though reciprocation is usually deeply desired. The beloved may not even be aware of this person’s deep feelings for them. This can lead to feelings such as depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and rapid mood swings between depression and euphoria.

There are scenes that stick in memory, no matter how trivial they may seem at the time. Scenes that can be recalled with total clarity, unmarred by time or subsequent history. This time, I have two such scenes.

The first is of the first time I saw a girl I met in school. I saw her through a window. She was approaching the building. Along the sidewalk she strolled and beside a forked tree as the sun danced off her hair making a golden rainbow.

Meeting a girl was not unusual, as most of my good friends were female, but this one was different. I had experienced love at first site, once before, so I instantly knew this for what it was and I fell hard. Being cripplingly shy at the time, I did not approach her and did not see her again for a couple of weeks. By the time I saw her again, she was dating someone – one of my best friends.

Over the next month, I lived a tortured life. Though, I had thought about her during the first two weeks, it was more of an innocent, pure love. Now my love was tainted by envy and jealousy. I refused to cease seeing my friend, and she was always there. I could not tell him, “I’m sorry, I cannot go to the bar with you because I am desperately in love with your girlfriend.” I thought of her most of the time, but the jealousy was eating me inside.

My second scene occurred about a month after meeting her. I was about to walk out the door, on my way to see my friend, and she would be there. I had my left hand on the doorknob and the epiphany struck me with such simple clarity. The thought went something like this:

“Do you love her?” — “Yes.”
“Are you willing to try for her and possible lose them both?” — “No.”
“So, you can’t have her and you can’t lose her. What can you do?” — “I can be her friend.”
“I can be the best friend she has. I will mold my love for her into being the best friend for her that I can be.”

It was just that simple. Once the decision was made, that was that. From that moment forward, I was the very best friend to her. After a while, the decision was forgotten, but the friendship remained strong and steadfast through travels, adventures, and even other boyfriends.

Recently, I have advised another friend that if they cannot have the one they love, but cannot stand with the possibility of losing them, then they, too, could change their expressions of love into an Expression of Friendship.

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