It’s amazing how quickly a good situation can go bad.
A couple of years ago, I became very close with one of my male coworkers. Close in the sense that we became very good friends. We started doing everything together. Lunch every single day, going to each other’s houses every night, staying up talking about life until early morning. It was great. I finally had someone in my life who just got me. I couldn’t have asked for more.
At the time, Marco was caught in the middle of another one of our coworker’s long-time relationships. Basically, she was cheating on her boyfriend with Marco. I knew about it, and being the loyal person I am, I was not all right with him doing that. The only problem was, it really wasn’t my business.
Unfortunately, he made it my business by constantly asking me for advice on the matter. Naturally, I told him to set his sights on someone more worthy of his heart. He didn’t listen. After a while, she and he just about stopped communication as I suppose she was in the process of fixing what she had broken. He boyfriend was completely oblivious to what was going on, but maybe she felt guilty. I don’t know.
It was at this point that he began realizing things were probably over between Jen and himself, and I began to realize I was developing feelings for him. I never intended to act on them though. After all, one of his close friends was one of my exes. It just wouldn’t have been right. At least I originally didn’t think so …
One night we were at my place, and we began discussing how we would be perfect for each other if there weren’t so many obstacles in the way. Then, somewhere between that conversation and the few hours following it, he made a move on me. I’ve never experienced something feel so right, even though I knew it was wrong. We spent the night together, just lying down (nothing happened), and I knew I had gotten myself into a stupid situation, but for some reason, I didn’t care. I was just, well, happy.
That emotional high ended abruptly the following morning when Marco sent me a text. I was expecting something along the lines of “Had a great time last night, etc., etc.” Nope. I opened my phone to find. “JEN IS WORKING WITH US TODAY. PLEASE BE NICE TO HER.” Excuse me?! I was never NOT nice to her. Why would I start now?
I got to work and immediately knew he had told her about the night before. I asked him and he told me that he did tell her about us. I was so relieved. Also, it more or less explained his text prior to me getting to work. I thought to myself, perfect. She is fixing things with her boyfriend, and Marco and I can be happy now. Not exactly. All of the sudden she was fighting for his attention, almost as if she was doing it to spite me. I never knew for sure, but that is definitely what it seemed like.
Marco and I still hung out and were normal, now with only one difference. Jen was now chasing him, instead of the other way around. When she would call, he never told her he was with me. That pissed me off. We would fight about it all of the time. It was like we were in this relationship that we weren’t actually even in. We made out, cuddled, and other things, but nothing serious. Half the time I didn’t want him to act like that with me because I just felt led on. One day we went out to lunch to have a talk. I was going to tell him that I wasn’t okay with being what I felt was his rebound. I let him talk first though. He told me he just didn’t like me like that and he and Jen were trying to work things out. Work things out? Wasn’t she doing that with her boyfriend? Yeah, that’s right, she still had a boyfriend. I felt so betrayed. Not to mention disgusted.
I was on the verge of ripping him a new one, when I decided to take the high route. He was my friend first, before anything else, and I tried to remember that. I told him I didn’t agree with what he and Jen were doing, but I only wanted him to be happy. If being her dirty little secret was what made him happy, then so be it. I was extremely hurt by all of this, but I didn’t want him to know that. More drama between us followed, but it eventually came to an end when I finally told him how he was wrong for what he did and if he couldn’t even admit to Jen that we were still hanging out … as friends only, then I would do him one better. We just wouldn’t hang out anymore. That way he didn’t have to lie and I didn’t have to feel hurt.
Meanwhile, after over a year of sneaking around, Jen finally broke things off with her boyfriend and started dating Marco. She has cheated on him twice (that he knows of), but they are still together over a year later. A few weeks after NYE this year, I made a point to mend relationships with people. I apologized to Jen for judging her decisions. I told her the only reason I did was because they involved the feelings of someone who was once a very good friend. She apologized as well. I told Marco I forgave him, although he still doesn’t believe me. The ironic part is that I forgave someone who, after almost two years after the fact, has yet to apologize to me for anything.
I take the whole situation with a grain of salt. I learned a lot about myself in the process. For starters, I am a great friend, even to those who are not to me. Most importantly though, I learned the value of self-respect. Some have it (me) and some don’t (Marco). I learned that I am no one’s second best. I deserve much better than that. Also, I learned the value of forgiveness. Even though Marco never apologized to me, I forgave him. That allowed me to let go of what happened and move on once and for all. I barely ever see or talk to him now. If I do though, it’s always civil. I have no plans to ever be close to him again, but I wish him well and hope that he’s happy. All I want from him is that he wishes me the same.