Five Stories: Falling For My Best Friend

"I don't know how to say this, but..."

I received word one day that I had lost my job, and had to start contacting everyone I knew for work. I knew Neil as an acquaintance from school, so I emailed him, asking him if there were any opportunities available where he was. He emailed me back saying that there was a position available in his department and he had gotten me an interview. I was hired, the job was awesome, and I was put right beside Neil so he could show me the ropes. I was pretty happy about this upturn of my fortunes and made lots of friends at the office. It was the kind of environment where everyone always goes out after work for drinks.

After a night of sleeping on Neil's couch, I realized he made me feel more alive than anyone else I had met in a long time.

After a night of sleeping on Neil's couch after a party, I realized that this funny, intelligent person made me feel more alive than anyone else I had met in a long time, and he was single. The only problem: I had applied to grad school overseas earlier in the year and had just been accepted. I had six months left before moving away for at least a year. But my feelings were becoming impossible to ignore.

I was getting ready to leave his place, and we were standing alone in his hallway. "I think, before I leave, you and I should hook up," I blurted out of the blue. He looked shocked. "That might be interesting." Then he paused, "But you're going away soon, and we work together. I need to live my life compartmentalized this way. I can't live with my heart on my sleeve like you." And then he told me about his ex-girlfriend of two years who had left for another country, essentially dumping him without telling him. I said, "So, this is never going to happen, is it?"

"How do you know it won't some day?" he asked.

"This will never happen," I said, and left.

Later, over email, we agreed to be the same as before, but it was never the same for me again. My heart was so broken. Three months later at work, via email, typing next to each other, I told him I couldn't be friends anymore. It was too painful. He was visibly angry and stopped speaking to me. From then on, every day, we worked in silence, and he timed his vacation on my birthday and week of departure to avoid the office parties. The other girls at work would constantly gossip about his new girlfriend, though it was killing me inside.

After three months of not speaking at work, without our coworkers noticing, I flew overseas and secretly left him a small toy from one of our old jokes on his desk before I went. I'm still working overseas for that company and my contact is, yep, Neil. So far it's just civil work-related emails, but I hope maybe we can talk like real people again someday.


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Commentarium (36 Comments)

Nov 18 11 - 3:16am

I liked all of them but the last one. "Brought me to orgasm" belongs in a bad romance novel or a racy biology textbook, but not here.

Nov 18 11 - 2:10pm

Twas my favorite story, and I'm still here.

Nov 18 11 - 6:10pm

i bet you expected something romantic , go figure

Nov 18 11 - 6:36am

Number 3 was heartbreaking.

Nov 20 11 - 2:07pm

i'm so glad for the time i had.

Nov 20 11 - 6:12pm

I bet he was too. I'm really glad I read your story.

Nov 21 11 - 10:01am

Definitely heartbreaking, but it's uplifting to know and be aware of this story. This happened to someone, it meant a great deal to them, and I'm grateful to know about it from across the world. I'm glad that people share their stories like this, when they mean so much to them. Cheers Bex, from the UK.

Nov 21 11 - 8:39pm

Pepper spray the bastard!

Nov 22 11 - 12:00am

Bex, your story was beautiful and heartbreaking. I'm glad you shared it with us.

Dec 04 11 - 12:28am

thanks guys, it means a lot to me.

Dec 04 11 - 10:34pm

I've been through the same thing Bex. Have you learned to love again, and how?

Nov 18 11 - 10:22am

I guess no one's ever made the best friends to lovers shift work for very long.

Nov 23 11 - 3:40pm

Kinda late reading these stories but after 11 years, my husband and I still make it work.

Nov 18 11 - 10:55am

Wonderful, wonderful stories.... achingly wonderful.

Nov 18 11 - 12:01pm

its kinda weird that Andrew's parents were in such a rush to throw his stuff into a dumpster?

Nov 20 11 - 2:05pm

they found the photos he took of people doing suspensions - like when you pierce your skin with hooks and hang - and i couldn't convince them that he didn't engage in that activity, so they flipped their shit

Nov 21 11 - 11:40am

But was this right after he died? Why were you both rushing to his apartment? Wouldn't his parents have a lot of other stuff to deal with if their son has just died, besides going through his things all at once?

Nov 27 11 - 9:55pm

people have strange reactions to death. this happened right after the funeral; they wanted to hurry up and get the apt cleared out while his dad was still in town. it's something they just wanted to be over and done with and not have to deal with again, it was painful to be in his home

Nov 18 11 - 1:14pm

No one's ever made the best friends to lovers shift work for very long?

I married my best friend 16 years ago, and we're still married, and she's still my best friend.

These stories are very poignant, but I'm surprised there isn't a single "and we lived happily ever after" among them!

Nov 21 11 - 8:40pm

...and your children look surprisingly like... ME! That's right!

Nov 18 11 - 3:00pm

Ugh. I have a story that would have fit just right, only it's happening to me right now. Nerve, run this feature again in 6 months or a year?

Dec 04 11 - 10:37pm

Just go ahead and tell your story here in the comments Shaya...

Nov 18 11 - 4:38pm

My best friend and I adore each other. Everyone wants us to get married, and we've hooked up before. Well.. tried to hook up. "Tried" meaning that we got naked, tried to have sex, and just couldn't stop laughing at each other... hahaha

Nov 18 11 - 5:14pm

I don't get the last one. No sexual chemistry up until the point where she took her clothes off? What changed? Especially for her?

Nov 18 11 - 9:47pm

I met Paul during the first week of my sophomore year of college. He had transferred from community college, and as soon as I saw him I could feel electricity between us. I had a long-distance boyfriend (James), though, so Paul and I hung out as "just friends." We would talk for hours, and even though there was so much sexual tension between us my roommate complained and kicked me out (she was a bit crazy, but that's another story), we never acted on it, possibly because Paul had a new girlfriend/hookup every week, and I was a dutiful long-distance girlfriend.

My boyfriend often talked about his new friends, who were very religious, and I was supportive of his finding a spiritual life in the way that only an earnestly liberal 19 year-old could be. One day James told me that he had joined the cult (his words), was moving to a remote area to summon demons (again, his words), and I was welcome to join him. I really thought about it, but a week later I told him that I couldn't join him and that our romantic relationship was over. He was surprised, saying "I can't believe you're breaking up with me over my religion!"

I cried all night, but around 6 a.m. my new roommate said, "You know, I've never met James, but you and Paul really have something special." I realized that she was right, and I called Paul. He told me to come over, and we've now been married for almost nine years.

How's that for your "happy ending" best friends story?

Nov 19 11 - 7:04am

Double like.

Nov 19 11 - 1:46pm

Thanks, that was the kind of thing I was trying to goad people into posting. :-)

Nov 19 11 - 2:51am

Nice story but it seems like your relationship with "Paul" was never a "just friends" thing- the only reason you weren't dating was because you had a boyfriend. THat's kind of a different thing.

Nov 20 11 - 4:43pm

Does it matter?

Nov 22 11 - 8:03am

My best friend turned out to be the man of my dreams :). I thank the alcohol that made us kiss for the first time 6 months ago!

Nov 23 11 - 4:18pm

Sadly, it makes me feel better that all of these "falling for my best friend" stories failed just a miserably as mine did.

Nov 24 11 - 12:41am

I listened to this while listening to the 25 Greatest Love Songs of the 1990s. Not a good idea. I need ice cream.

Nov 24 11 - 7:17pm

Me & mine lasted for 5 years. It ended recently with a very mature, logical split. We're still living together due to finances and we're making it as comfortable for each other as possible. He was the best boyfriend I ever had and he's turned out to be the best ex I ever had, too. We split because of the recognition we were beginning to want very different things from life, which was tough to come to terms with because we are otherwise very compatible. There's really no "right" or "wrong" in that situation. I have no regrets & I sincerely hope he finds a woman who is more on the same path as him than I am. I instigated the break up but we both seem to be doing better than ever now. I think of mine as a happy ending even though it didn't work out. There are too many frightful breakups in the world and I'm glad we aren't among them.

Dec 26 11 - 5:40pm

wow..number 3..just wow..I teared up

Jan 05 12 - 10:01pm
in love

Ahhhhhhh! This is only making it harder to profess my love for my best friend!

Jul 28 12 - 2:41am

almost 8 years . but still hiding the feelings to my best friend because i dont want to ruin our long long time friendship over my stupid feelings for him .. but its very hard for me. specially whenever he tell story about how in love he was right now .. its hurt a lot ..