Something I have been wanting to do for a while is write down our story. Not necessarily in ‘order’. It has been ten years now since these events. I might ask her to write some too, so that you get it from both perspectives. Telling stories is important.
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‘Its ok, we’re just friends’
Just friends, just friends, just friends I think to myself.
It is not cool that I might be falling in love. Just friends, just friends, just friends.
It is not cool that I am looking for her the minute I walk into the church. That when I am supposed to be meeting her for a one-to-one chat a whole flutter of butterflies are loosed in my stomach, yet when I’m with her I feel a calm I’ve never felt before and we can talk and talk and talk for hours. It’s even less cool that I sometimes want to kiss her, just take her face in my hands and kiss her. That I want to lie down in the grass with her and do more than contemplate the clouds (though I’m not at all sure what ‘more’ would look like).
My friend at school is worried about me. She takes me to see a youth worker, the one from her church. This woman is busy with her young children when we arrive at her house uninvited, but she makes time for us. She listens, she nods, she tells me that I probably just admire this other woman, that I want to be like her. She suggests I tell the other woman this. “It’s not like you have any sexual feelings for her, right?”
Yes. No. I don’t know. Perhaps.
I can’t face telling her. I tell the pastor and his wife instead. I can’t remember the exact words I used. I didn’t name her, but they knew. Their questions catch me off guard – has anything happened between you? We mustn’t be alone together any more, they said. I make them promise not to tell her how I feel. I am confused; why are they so worried?
Later, I know. Later she and I talk. She tells me, I tell her, we confess and we pray. Thank you Jesus. Just friends. When I leave she kisses me, once, briefly, on the lips. Just friends. We agree not to be alone together. I breathe her smell.
I pray: ‘Jesus make us clean and whole and healthy. Make us strong and brave. Care for her, care for my sister. Wrap your arms around her and hold her (I want to hold her). Lead us in your paths. Love us (I love her. I love her. I love her.)’
‘Make us just friends.’
Read More: Just Friends Part 2