This is part 3 of a 7 part series that I’m writing about my journey into finding self love.

I don’t remember how we met, but I do know where. She’s my classmate. Around that time I was getting into fights with some girls, and she oddly was in that group of haters. Initially I was a bit confused by her kindness, but later on in our friendship, I’ll soon find out that she’s smart (this is an understatement) and she thinks for herself. Till this day, I’m not really certain as to how I piqued her interest, considering I was an enemy to her friends, but I’m happy to have been a bit interesting to her.

I know a lot of things, but Science and Math aren’t my favorite subjects. I’m bad at both, so bad that I don’t even know how I ended up in the same class as her. I’m a pretty honest person now, but back then, I was more than willing to get whatever I wanted by any means necessary. I was not failing that class per se, but she knew and had all of the answers. Befriending and cheating off of her was ideal at the time, until we talked.

I have a boyfriend and so does she, but her boyfriend is way more impressive on paper than mine. They’re sorta twins in terms of what they had in mind for their life. She and I rarely talk about our relationships when we spend time together, so I never knew if she loved him or not. We talked about her future more than anything. Her life is pretty much cut out for her. She’s involved, she makes good grades, she has a superstar family, and she has pretty big aspirations. At the time, partying was a priority for me. Meeting her opened my eyes a bit, but if I can be honest, I was too late in the game to even get close to where she was academically. I knew that, and at that point, it was just easier for me to be her cheerleader in private (we’re supposed to be foes).

We start studying together, her more than me. I rarely know what’s going on in that class, but I’m open to providing conversation and enthusiasm in our sessions. I think she knows this too and doesn’t care. I like being around her. She’s like Olivia Pope, and I don’t have a friend like that in my immediate circle. She’s different. Prior to us studying, she goes to the grocery store and asks me if I’d like her to pick me up something. I don’t think anything of it, but my mom does. I’m pretty generous, and I’d like to think I’d pick her up some food if it were my idea first. It just wasn’t. My mom asks why she’s being so nice, and I shrug it off.

I go to her house to study and we don’t study. She initiates it. We don’t have sex either, but I knew that after we did what we did our friendship wouldn’t be the same. I don’t remember why, but we don’t finish what we started. I get a text a from my boyfriend and I immediately felt like I did something wrong, but for whatever reason, I enjoyed it.

I ended up leaving her house early, and I get a look from her mom. It’s not a good one, but I try my best not to overthink it. I head home, and I immediately text my best friend Monique about what happened. I have another best friend who is actually a lesbian, but she’s enjoying her first year of college, and I don’t want to bother her. I actually feel like college seperated us, but by the time I got there, she was already planted in her dance organization. I feel confused. I’m Christian, so I also feel convicted.

We get back to school and she’s acting normal, but she’s also acting like nothing happened, so I do the same. We both silently agree to get back to our lives. I’m about to graduate and she’s busy as usual with her projects and clubs. She asks me for a ride home one day and I give it to her. Her mom calls and I overhear her mom saying something along the lines of me not being welcomed in their house. I don’t ever get a chance to tell her that I hear it, but my mom has the same suspicions. She starts asking me why she and I no longer hang out, and I can’t really tell her the truth.

My mom goes through my phone and she finds the conversation I had with my best friend about my encounter. I feel like my privacy is invaded, but I get some form of freedom from the revelation. I don’t have an existential crisis or rabbit hole of thoughts concerning my sexuality at this time. I had an experience. I liked it. I left it alone. I would go on to date more women years later, and I still haven’t quite had a real, honest conversation about me being attracted to the same sex sometimes. My attraction to men has just been more consistent and genuine.

Years later, we’re both back home from college. We decide to meet at my favorite Jamaican spot. She has a boyfriend at the time and so do I. We have a regular conversation about college and how we miss home but we don’t at the same time. There’s a tiny party of me that wishes that she’d bring up what happened between us, but she doesn’t. I was a bit disappointed, but I really liked hanging out with her. She’s the only person I know for a fact is much smarter than me. Emotionally, I go back to where we started. We’re just friends. We had a pretty good day.

We’re still friends. She’s going to be a doctor. I’m still proud of her.

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Consider this a tough love diary to myself for you all.

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