It was the end of my first year of college and I was, for lack of a better term, a complete f-ing mess. And not in the cutesy “OMG I just had three glasses of wine to myself!” kind of way. I was full-blown sobbing in public, skipping classes and using my dorm keys to self-harm. (Isn’t it fun how creative one can get when one wants to die!?)
You see, it had been a rough year. I was living in the closet, going to a counselor who had me convinced I could “cognitively” change my sexuality and, just like Bella Swan, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with my straight best friend.
It wasn’t like I was trying to fall for him. It just sort of happened. We had met on the stairs of my college dorm, and I remember thinking he had one the most defined jawlines I had ever seen (my weakness). Seriously, it was like a sharp brick of cheese, and I wanted a slice of it. He asked if I wanted to go watch The Office with him, and so I did. Soon after we met, I told him I was “struggling with my sexuality.” And the rest is history. Only, not really.
For the next year, we would become inseparable. Everyone who knew us, knew us as Josh and Kent. We mostly hung out in coffee shops studying, but occasionally we would hang out at his sister’s house or in the dorms.
Sometimes, I would even spend the weekends with him and his parents. His mom, who I remember typed on a computer a lot, was one of the most generous people I knew. His father, meanwhile, owned a waterproof paper company (aka #DunderMifflinIRL) and was absolutely hilarious. He taught me how to play a game once where you use pennies to do something, but I can’t really remember what.
Needless to say, the more Kent and I hung out, the more I realized I had feelings for him. But he was straight.
Eventually, our friendship reached Lindsay Lohan-level toxic, much in part to my severe depression and adorable knack for obliterating any kind of healthy boundaries. There were times when we would hold hands, have awkwardly long hugs and say “I love you.” You know, typical straight friendship goals. Whenever he would try and distance himself from me, I would go Britney-circa-2007 on his ass, fake English accent and all.