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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Girlfriend vs. Girl Friend

Lines from “Girlfriend” by Alicia Keys read, “I think I'm jealous of your girlfriend although she's just a girl that is your friend...she shares a special part of you.” I know exactly how it feels to be that girl this song is about.

We are the best of friends. We tell one another everything. Our friendship started after we graduated high school and is going on four years now. It continues to grow stronger. He is a member of my family now. He spent Christmas with us. When he couldn’t make it to the house for a small birthday dinner for me, my mom sent a plate for him since he and I were going out afterwards.

He and his girlfriend have been together two years now. She owns his heart. They have their ups and downs as almost any relationship would, but they get through it. Sometimes they fight so much that they break up, but it never lasts more than five minutes. They care a lot about each other and he’s happy with her. What more could I ask for?

I guess I could ask that she not feel the way Alicia Keys does in that song. His girlfriend has never explicitly come out to say that, but I can feel it. Maybe I see too much of this in the media. Movies and songs talk about this type of love triangles. That could be where I’m getting all my ideas from. But when so many people tell me that if they were in her position, they would not like me, I know my feelings aren’t crazy.

Plus, we’re a complicated pair. He liked me in the beginning, two years before they met. He asked me out and I said no. Somehow, we became friends. A year after high school and into our friendship, his mother passed. That was hard. All of his mom’s family was in Chicago. He had no one here except for his two brothers and a few friends. He turned to some of them and me.

In a lot of ways, I felt like we all needed to step up. We did and still do. About six months after she passed, he was having a bad night so there I was on the phone, consoling him. On that night, he expressed that he still had feelings for me. I told him we were better off as friends. He said fine, but that he just needed me to know.

Three months later, he and his girlfriend got together. They had been dating for some months before I met her. And even when I did, it wasn’t a proper “this is my best friend” type of setting. They just happened to be at Disneyland the same day I was.

He and I go out a lot, just the two of us. It means absolutely nothing to me except that I am spending time with my best friend. Yes, we laugh at things that only he and I ever could, but it’s nothing. I don’t feel for him like that, but I do love him. There is nothing we could do to change that. We do share a lot of things that they do not, especially the passing of his mom, but that’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just how everything timed out.

I would never want her to feel like he and I need to stop being friends, but at the same time, I’m not going to back down. He and I are friends, nothing more. There is a space between the two words in my title. I’m his girl friend and she is his girlfriend, and it will always be that way. I hope she understands.

~Michelle Mitchell


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