You know when you’re a kid and you don’t have a sense of time so you don’t worry about the future. Like one day you’re at recess playing house, making up stories with your stuffed animals, and running around with your best friend (who just happens to be a boy that you kinda have feelings for) and it seems like this is going to last forever. As if you and this person are going to be best friends for life, or who knows, maybe even more? You feel as though your life is going to end up like the Kim Possible movie when Ron finally kiss is Kim? Well, that was a fucking lie.
So instead of you getting your movie ending, middle school, heteronormativity, and gender boxes come to ruin your life. Because of all this, you and this person act like you don’t even know each other because boys and girls can’t be friends without there being “romantic implications”. Ironically though, you do want a romantic relationship with this person, but because they’re too cool now and don’t want to be bullied for hanging out with a girl, you just end up wondering what could’ve been and stare at them in the cafeteria at a distance wondering why they hate you all of a sudden, even though they probably don’t and might even think you hate them too.
Well that’s the confusing story of basically my whole middle school and high school experience. After spending years with this person being my best friend - going to all their birthday parties, playing at every recess, calling them on the phone throughout the summer - they just pretended to not know me anymore. So because of this, I had to find new friends at one of the most awkward moments of my life. However, it’s not all bad because I did grow as a person and found new friends who I got along great with. I wasn’t the same person in middle school as I was in elementary, but gender constraints didn’t let that friendship fade out or mature, but rather cut it short.
After middle school ended, I still didn’t have any guy friends, so when high school started I put myself out there and tried to get a boyfriend, which I did. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a monster. So after that whole one and a half year fiasco I was still left wondering what could’ve been if the other guy still had stayed my friend.
I’m still having stress dreams about this person about wanting to confront them. Of course, I had the chance, but of course, never had the courage to say what I felt and just stood there awkwardly.
So, I didn’t get my Kim Possible ending or even my 5 Centimeters Per Second Ending when they kissed and then gradually drifted apart. Instead of that, society dictated that these two people can’t be friends without being bullied, so rather than being bullied let’s just not talk to each other anymore or act like we don’t care about each other even though we spent five years of our lives together.
Childhood is such an important time. You’re growing up, trying to find your personality, and exploring what you like. And this person really helped me understand who I was. We liked the same things and I always thought that we’d be friends forever, but newsflash you’re not gonna be best friends forever, and instead you’re just gonna sit and wonder why they don’t like you anymore, you know for years, and then finally realize that it was never your fault.
And that’s the takeaway from all this - it’s not your fault if you’re your childhood friendship doesn’t blossom into a romantic one. We have to start breaking this notion that boys and girls can’t be friends without there being underlying sexual tension between them because that ruins friendships. If you’re in the situation where you do have a friend of you who identifies as the opposite of what you are, stay friends with this person because you will regret it.
Movies build up the expectation that things will become romantic, but don’t stay with this person because you think they owe you romantic feelings, stay with them because you’re friends. Even though I had a crush on this person, doesn’t mean I just wanted to hang out with him because I wanted a boyfriend, I wanted to hang out with him because he got me through some tough shit and I wanted to be there for him.
24 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.