"I like you too, Cecile," he says looking straight into my eyes. "We're great friends, but that's it."
These words, spoken by my ultimate crush, are not what I want to hear. All of a sudden, I am devastated, embarrassed, disillusioned, insecure, and brokenhearted. I contemplate eating all the brownies in the world, blowing up like a blimp, then sticking a pin in my side until I hear the BOOM of brownie fragments and air. I want to plaster photos of me in a two-piece all over his car just to show him what he just passed up.
For days, I didn't want to go to school. I didn't want to do anything. No one could make me laugh. Until he did, bringing with him a box of blueberry cheesecake (which he knew I'd give my lift thumb for). Then I realize what he said was true: we were great friends. And that, really, it was okay to have him as my friend—nothing more. Which isn't depressing once you get over being a hopeless romantic.
Sounds familiar? Chin up, girlfriend! All is not lost. Having a boy bud instead of a boyfriend has its perks; you get a bodyguard, an older bro, a science tutor, a driving instructor, even a short-notice date or a gimmick partner or a soulmate without the arguments. And all in the name of friendship.
- He can be your buddy-guard.
Perfect if: Your bud is a spitting image of Hulk Hogan (LOL, he's at least six feet tall and 200 pounds) and has an uncanny talent foe snarling. Or you like to frequent crowded places, or if you want to fend off unsavory dudes.
Seventeen-year-old Rissa's best friend-cum-bodyguard is Joey, an intimidating hulk. "When we go malling, sometimes it gets really crowded. I'm small and thin, so it's easy for the crowds to swallow me up," she shares. "What Joey does is he makes me walk in front of him while he reaches over my shoulders to nudge people away. He instantly clears a path for me to walkthrough."
Rissa shares further about a night the two of them were hanging out at a restaurant in Makati with their barkada. She went to the ladies' room and while walking back their table, a waiter starts flirting with her. Feeling really uncomfortable with the waiter following her around, Rissa sought Joey out for help. "He was up in a flash and confronted the waiter," she says. "He even got the waiter to apologize to me."
- He can be your big bro.
Perfect if: Your bud loves playing kuya to the hilt, asking questions like "Did you do your homework?" or "Did you eat lunch na?" or appeasing you with "You deserve a much better guy anyway." Or if you love being pampered with all that caring.
Janelle, 15, is the youngest of five brothers. None of them, though, is more protective of her than her bud Mikey. "Mikey sometimes gets overprotective, but maybe that's okay. Although we're the same age, he's more mature than I am. And he says I need protecting," she chuckles.
But the high school sophomore admits she has a knack for getting into dangerous situations. "I once had to take a taxi home after gimmick with friends. Mikey was sick that night so he didn't come along," Janelle recalls. Unfortunately, the cab driver was drunk. "The taxi swerved from left to right and I felt like I was in a movie," When the driver slowed down and fell asleep at the wheel, Janelle opened the door and jumped out. She quickly dialled up Mikey to pick her up. "He scolded me as soon as he got there," she says. "Since then, he makes sure someone takes me home after gimmicks. And he calls me an hour after to see that I arrived at my house safely."
- He makes a great tutor or driving instructor.
Perfect if: Your bud has the highest grade point average in your (or his) class, or drives really well. Or if you're failing any of your subjects or if Dad refused to pay for your driving lessons.
Eighteen-year-old Sherry was doing poorly in Chemistry. She needed a C+ badly to stay in school. Who could she turn to but Mari, her smart seatmate and platonic male pal? "Mari's a playstation fiend," Sherry says, "but when I asked him to tutor me, he cut down his playing hours to help me." Every day for two weeks, her bud stayed with her after school, going over all the lessons with her. "And he never scolded me for being so dumb," she says.
Sure enough, the effort paid off. Sherry got a B+ and a driver's license to boot. "I went to driving school, but Mari let me practice driving his car on the side, and he was always patient. Never on edge or screaming in my ear."
- He makes a cool instant date.
Perfect if: Your bud is at least presentable or a major babe. Even better if he is funny, likes to dance, and treats your Mom and Dad with oodles of respect. Also, if you're happily unattached but are in need of a date to a party or any compulsary social activity.
Lisa's never been one to plan ahead. Her friends are used to this lovable sisteener's flighty attitude. Yet they can't always accompany her on her spur-of-the-moment gimmicks. Her best male bud DJ can and does. "DJ's as much a gimikero as I am. Even when he's not in the mood, when I ask him to go with me because I have to buy something, he's there. I can always count on him," she says.
A few weeks after she broke up with her boyfriend, Lisa found herself dateless for a big party. She was prepared to go solo when one of her female friends called DJ the morning of the party. Guess what? DJ arrived on Lisa's doorstep that night, punctual and with flowers for her. "He even asked if I wanted him to pretend he was my boyfriend so I wouldn't look so pathetic while my ex flirted with all the girls," she says with a giggle. "He was really game. So I said yes."
- He's your soul mate.
Perfect if: Your bud is sensitive and enjoys long conversations about life, love, and the next Ansel Elgort flick over Mocha Frappucino. Or if you need someone to understand you emotionally.
"Nick is my soulmate," says 18-year-old Angelica of her best bud of seven years. Although she has dated other boys and even had a serious boyfriend, Nick was still the one who understood her moods and could read her like a book. "Once I was having trouble with a guy and I couldn't tell anyone," she says. "Nick sensed I was stressed about it and offered to talk to me."
In fact, Angelica is amazed at how well he knows her. Whether or not their friendship will blossom into anything more is yet to be seen—and neither one is in a hurry or looking for more. "I feel I don't have to impress him like I would a crush," she says. "That's what makes opening up to him so easy and why he's a very special person in my life. And that I find very, very cool."
This article was originally published in the June 2000 issue of Candy. Download the current issue on Apple Newsstand, Buqo app, or Zinio.
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