Hernan Sanchez Neither of us intended for it to happen. Katie had been my best friend since childhood. It was a friendship first orchestrated by our parents. I know that sounds gross. Sometimes we men are gross. The first time I looked at Katie differently was during puberty. And not just physically. Katie is kind and sweet and everything that equates to perfect Girl Next Door. But she was my best friend and any inappropriate thoughts I had I learned to control.
You train yourself to not focus on the hotness. I was sort of the Gordo to her Lizzie McGuire. Yeah, I thought she was cute, but most importantly, she was my friend.
We survived high school together. Instead of attending our prom, we held our own very 90s movie inspired Anti-Prom Prom. She wore all black and I wore my converse. We ate popcorn and watched shitty movies all night. When it was time for college, we landed at schools in different time zones.
We promised to stay in touch and Facetime and text. But college happens and we got sucked into our new lives. The contact became less frequent. Someone would send a text about something crazy that happened, but the conversation would quickly fizzle out. During our sophomore year, we were both home for winter vacation. But we were both home for a month at the same time so she texted me about catching up.
I picked her up from the airport and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we fell back into a familiar pattern. It was like no time had passed. She was still the same Katie that had been my best friend my whole life. Katie made everyone screwdrivers and we spent the night reminiscing and being obnoxious. By 3 am, people were starting to fall asleep or call Ubers to go home. Her mom was a recovering alcoholic so Katie preferred to stay sober. I was a shade under tipsy.
Katie offered to drive me home. During the drive, she told me about a guy she met in one of her classes. She has these heart shaped lips that always form such a perfect pout. I wondered if they were soft. I could kiss her gently.
A mile or so from my house, Katie suddenly veered left. To get to my house, you go right. I asked if she forgot where she was going. Never intended for me, that is. And turns out, she was. She pulled over on a street that dead ends. We were both silent. I wanted to kiss her and had she been anyone else, I would have made my move instantly. But this was Katie.
The girl I had sleepovers with when I was nine and brought me soup and the homework I missed when I was out of school for a month with mono. But Katie stepped in. And I kissed her back. It went from there. But there was something undeniable about it: Katie and I had something. Whatever our relationship had been, well, it was different now.
I could tell you about what happened after. I could tell you about the nervous giggling and the week of pretending nothing happened. I could tell you about going back to college and missing her. I could tell you about the phone call at midnight. I could tell you about deciding we were going to visit each other. I could tell you about flying to see her in Texas.
But that would take far too long. But what I will tell you? Katie and I effectively ruined our platonic friendship that night.
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