We were sitting at a table with four other people and, as you animatedly told your stories from the weekend, you only really looked at me. You glanced at the others periodically, but I felt like you were telling your tales to me.
The guy you liked, one of my closest friends, was sitting in between us. I knew you’d tell him many more details later and, at the end of our meal, I heard the two of you making plans to go into town together.
But, as you spoke now, you kept looking at me.
I could’ve cried. Instead I laughed, listened intently, and gave you as much eye contact as you wanted.
I could feel you wanting my attention in that moment. I could feel you wanting my laughter, my friendship.
For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been fighting it. I’ve been avoiding giving you my eye contact, my attention. I felt you didn’t want it. I felt you’d given up on me and didn’t care to try to cultivate any relationship between us and, stubbornly, I said, “Fine.” Stubbornly, I avoided you. Stubbornly, I ignored you. Stubbornly, I put bricks back into place in a wall I thought you’d been working to tear down.
And today, I could’ve cried because I felt like you wanted my friendship again.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a billion more times: making new friends is hard. It’s confusing and vulnerable and complicated and painful and terrifying. Stubbornly, I want to know: Do you want my friendship or do you not? It’s your choice.
Because I want yours.