Friends forever?

The next day I took up all my courage after class to call Vicky. I had been pacing up and down my apartment until finally and ironically a shot of Vodka calmed my nerves. I used my cell phone to call her, since I wasn't sure I could face looking her in the eyes when I told her about him. She picked up after the 3rd ring. "Hello?" She must have not recognized my number. "Hi, it's me." "Oh hi, good to hear from you. Listen, can I call you back in a couple of minutes, there is someone here." "Sure, I will be waiting." I hung up confused thinking if that someone, that was with her might have been Joey. It took her a good five minutes to call me back which I spend downing another shot of Vodka. "Sorry, that I couldn't talk, but now I 've got time. What's up?" I didn't think I had to wait until something was up to call her but I went with it. "Nothing much, I was just thinking about how cool it would be if you could come and visit me here." "Yeah, you are right, that would be amazing, but I am not sure how I could be able to afford that right now." The prospect of seeing me didn't seem to excite her much. "What if I told you, I found a way?" I said carefully. "What, did you rob a bank or something like that?" Vicky laughed on the other side of the world. It was good to hear her do that. Now it was all or nothing. The next 10 minutes would determine if she would understand me or hate me forever. "Look, Vi. I sort of met someone." I heard her take breathing but she remained silent. I wasn't sure how long a person could go without speaking, but it felt like an eternity. "Can you say something please?" I begged her. "Well, I am not sure what to say and how this has anything to do with me visiting. But I sort of sensed, that there was someone else. Especially after what you did to Joey." That hurt. I knew I hadn't been the nicest person in the world about this break up, but I had tried to make it as easy for him as possible. At least that is what I told myself. "I know I have been a shitty friend lately, and a shitty girlfriend, well ex girlfriend. But it has been hard for me too. You know, I am all alone in this new city and there is no one here that I can talk to and I can't talk to you either because you are judging me and.." my voiced trailed off and I had to fight back lump forming in my throat. She didn't say anything and I could almost hear her teeth grinding against each other in anger. "Vicky, I am sorry for what I did, but I just wanted to do the right thing. You know, not drag him along the whole time, while my feelings for him changed." Look, I am not gonna judge what you feel, but I am going to judge how you handled this. You weren't here, ok? You aren't here! You don't have to see him every day, becoming a shadow in his own skin. You don't even talk to him. I talk to him every day, every half hour when he calls me and asks me if I heard from you or if I knew why you broke up with him." Now it was my turn to be quiet. I had figured that he had probably turned to Vicky for help, but I didn't know that it had been that bad. "I'm sorry." was all I could get out before the tears started running down my cheeks and my uncontrollable sobs echoed in the silence of the conversation. I don't know how long we spend on the phone until she finally said. "Em, I really want to know what's happening with you over there, but please understand that I can't deal with this right now. I am so mad at you I want to scream. I am sure you had your reasons, and I am sure they are good, but I am just not sure, that they are good enough for me right now. I think I need some space to handle all this and I will call you then." "Ok. But Vicky. I miss you and I love you." I felt pathetic saying this. "I know. Bye." She just hung up and I was left alone with an overwhelming feeling of guilt.

***

When Sasha stopped by later that night I had restored myself but I still wasn't feeling like talking or being with anyone. He picked up on my foul mood and immediately reflected it back on him. "Did I do anything wrong?" I didn't want to deal with his insecurity, but I knew he wouldn't stop bothering me until I told him it wasn't his fault. "No, I am sorry, it's not you. It's just Vicky. We got into a huge fight today." He sat down next to me on my bed and stroked my hair. "What happened?" "Well she basically told me what a bitch I have been to her and my ex and how she was sick of picking up all the pieces after me." I could see him flinch at the word "ex" but I didn't want to deal with that right now. "So what? She is the bitch for saying that to you!" "Seriously Sasha? Are you deluded? I was the one doing all the damage, not her." I knew my voice was too sharp and my words too harsh but I didn't care. This time he didn't flinch, only threw his hands in the air and yelled "Emma, really? You have been crying all day because of something she said. Tell me that is what friends are supposed to do? What kind of friend doesn't see that she is making her friend miserable? Is that the kind of friend you are to her? I don't think so. Is that the kind of friend you want to be to me?" "But she only told me the truth, I should just accept that that is who I am and try to be better next time." "Look Emma, do you love me?" he asked. "Yes I do, but what does that have to do with anything?" I closed my eyes for a second before I looked at him again. "Emma, really, I need to know." I could see tears forming in his eyes. "Yes I love you," I said, my tone softer trying to soothe the frantic look in his eyes. "Then how can you say this? How can you say that you area bad person, when the decision you made brought us together. Do you regret making it?" "Of course not Sasha." How did this happen. I hadn't wanted to hurt him, I only wanted to become a better person. I took him into my arms and kissed him on his forehead like a mother would do. "Of course I don't regret any of this. I am happy with you, maybe I should have been a little better about it." I tried to smile but he obviously didn't think that any of this was funny. "I can't live like this, not knowing if I can be sure that you really want this, that you really love me. I have been hurt so many times before, I can't do it." he had gotten up while saying this. I felt helpless. "What do you want me to do then?" "I want you to love me with all your heart, and if that means, that you hurt your friends I think it is an appropriate price to pay for the real thing." I wasn't sure that that was the truth but I told him "Ok. I do love you with all my heart. But I do love my friends as well and I want to do right by them." I gave in. "That is ok, but promise me, you will always put us first." He sat back down "I promise."

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