Girl Code: I Can't Make You Love Me
I kissed a boy tonight. I don't remember what time, because I was too lost in his eyes to even think about the time. For once, I didn't think about the time.
3:34 AM. Snap back to reality. Rewinding...
12:17 AM. In my tightest dress. My intestines are on full display for the raving, sweaty public to see. I can't hear myself, I can't hear my friends. The bar is pounding like a heartbeat; my own heart a little bit empty.
12:44 AM. Already half-inebriated. I'm easy—just two beers and I'm off the list for designated driver.
1:06 AM. He was waiting for a whiskey sour, the last syllable of my eenie-meenie-miney-mo. I guess he's my guy. I approach meekly, expecting a flat rejection.
1:31 AM. "Seb!" he yells in my ear over the noise. "Sebastian, but Seb!"
2:58 AM. He's talking about his project car, his lame library internship, his ex-girlfriend...
And sometime between 2:58 and 3:34 AM, my lips finally—and for the first time—touched someone else's.
In a bar on a Thursday night. Drunk boy, dangerously tipsy girl.
A far cry from how I had pictured it.
4:01 AM. Seb is nowhere to be found. I'm melting into the crowd, just another body, just another girl in a skimpy dress. I guess that's all it was.
To-do list item 1: check.
My eyes are red and puffy when I walk into our house. Ate Sam is at the breakfast table, texting so fast I can barely see her fingers. Probably giving her boyfriend hell. She looks up when I walk by, and I'm sure she can see the sadness etched on my face, but she doesn't say a word. What's new?
Dear Ate Sam,
Judging from the sleepless nights I’ve spent listening to you screaming on the phone, I assume you've had your fair share of heartbreaks. I just had my worst one today. James was with another girl. And I know this sounds mean and vindictive, but I hate how he looked fine, happy even! He was with Charlie, the sporty, gorgeous girl with a mean streak. I'm aware that they’re friends, or so they say, but I trust my instincts. I just know something’s up. Can you imagine how much that hurts?
But I can't even talk to you about it. Heck, I can't even approach you without feeling awkward and intrusive. What happened to us? We're supposed to be sisters, but we act like strangers under the same roof. I just need an Ate who will tell me that everything's going to be okay. Now, more than ever.
I wipe away the tears I'd shed while writing the letter, then fold it and place it inside the box under my bed. Along with all the other tear-stained letters I wrote to Ate Sam, but never had the courage to send.
I've always been known to be a great shoulder to cry on, especially when it comes to consoling my friendswhen they're in the middle of a romantic feud. I've always known what to give them, how to heal their brokenness, and what pieces of advice and consoling words they need (not want) to hear. It's a skill, I guess, and I'm quite proud of it.
Now, I'm not so sure if I have a 100% success rate. You see, James has been heartbroken for a month now, and I can't seem to put him back into a proper state. James is one of my bestest friends, and to see him this broken just makes me want to cry. He broke up with Rae over a month ago, and he still can't get over her. It's neither of their fault, really. It's just that type of relationship that didn't work out. The termination of the relationship was a mutual agreement—at least that's what he said.
Flashback to five years ago, I was just practicing a few basketball tricks—or lack thereof. A boy sitting on the bleachers noticed that I was getting pretty frustrated because I couldn't seem to do a proper lay-up. He came up to me and showed me how to do it, step by step. An hour later, it was as if I had known how to do it for months! Dipsy doo duh! The boy introduced himself as James, and I've loved him ever since. I could never bring myself to admit that I do like him. I don't want to like him, but I do—typical teenage romantic angst. That tiny crush has always been pushed to the back of my mind. Until now.
A few years later and here he is, trying to get over his girlfriend, and I, him. I know he loves me as a best friend, but he'll never love me the way he loves her. And today, as I was comforting him in the best way I possibly could, I saw the girl who broke his heart. I saw Rae.
Are you curious to find out more about Lissa, Rae, Charlie, and Sam?