Alternate ending to When Harry Met Sally

1 Feb

I met him while I was falling in love with his best friend. I never really saw him because I couldn’t, it wasn’t allowed, off limit in more ways than one. It took me years. Its funny what you can find when you really look though. How much you can realize you have missed.

While I was dating Mr. Wrong, he was a member of the group. When Mr. Wrong lived with him, he was a drinking buddy. After Mr. Wrong broke my heart, he was a shoulder to cry on. Somewhere along the way he became my friend. Then he was a good friend. Then somehow, I woke up one day and realized he was my best friend. Despite the 200 miles, I was seeing him more than I had even seen Mr. Wrong when we were together.

It was a drunken night with SMC when I realized The One that Got Away may in fact be my soul mate. I sent him a text. A TEXT! (just say it, juvenile) and that’s how I told him I liked him. An agonizing 14 hours later, I was granted the gift of hope. Hope that maybe I was right. Hope that I now wish I had never had because that was the moment it all started a downhill spiral that is still making me woozy. I apologize if you were starting to look forward to the happy ending, but that’s the thing with love, sometimes it’s perfect agony.

After the text, hope set its barbs into my heart. I wondered why I had never seen it before, how perfect it could be. Who doesn’t want to fall in love with their best friend? Isn’t it a story we have all seen played out on the silver screen a million times? Tell me you don’t envy Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink when Ducky rescues her at prom. Or Julia in The Wedding Singer who finds the love of her life has snuck up on her when she’s engaged to another man. Hell, I can quote the entire ending monologue of Harry at New Years telling Sally he loves her. However, how often do romantic comedies ever play out in real life? Now that should have been my first question, but it wasn’t.

Nothing happened for four months. I mean nothing. I kept waiting for him to ask me out, or confess his undying affection, kiss me, something, anything. I thought if I was just patient, he would make his move and it would all be worth it. I knew him well enough to know he liked to take his time, and I was willing to wait, but by the time Halloween approached, the falling leaves had tarnished the summer glow I had been feeling.

I went to his place for Halloween weekend festivities. I met his ostentatious roommate I had heard so much about. My yearning heart was charmed into a bitter entanglement and in that moment I hurt TOGA, and not for the last time. I tried to make amends. Tried to convince him it was unintentional, it was the alcohol, I wasn’t thinking. When that wasn’t enough I let disappointment turn into anger. How dare he lead me on for months and then get upset that I made out with another man! He had made no claim on me, what right did he have to judge me like that? You can imagine that this attitude could only make things worse, I’m sure, and that is exactly what it did.

You should know a thing or two about me at this point. I am relationally inept. When Mr. Wrong broke my heart, something else inside me broke. I have yet to fully fix it. Its not my heart, that’s just fine. Its something worse. Something deeper. I can’t even put a name to it, but it makes commitment really menacing. What do girls do that are petrified of commitment? They run in the opposite direction, right into the arms of military boys, bad boys, inaccessible boys, boys that will never ask of them anything more than their first name and who will never meet their mother. Simplicity, however, does not satisfy entirely. It always leaves you wanting, yearning for just a little more. Just one more taste, one more touch, one more moment where you can pretend you aren’t completely terrified. When a man stands in front of me and offers the world, all the things every girl dreams of, stability, love, a future, I cower into myself and make brilliant excuses to convince him I’m not the girl for him. When he pushes, and keeps trying anyway; when there’s a chance he sees past that wall I’ve put up for the world, I push back and prove it. I lie to him, I hurt him, but mostly, I prove it to myself, because its when they don’t just walk away like all the rest I have to convince myself he’s not the guy for me. If he really had the ability to love me, he would fight, right? He could take it all, without tiring, with no encouragement on my part, of course…right?

I can exhaust the most valiant of heroes, only I’m doubting I want to anymore.

TOGA and I are still friends, best friends. My head has given up on him, but my heart can’t. Not yet. I look into those soulful brown eyes and my heart melt. I hang on every word because it comes from his pouty little mouth. Despite everything we have been through he is still there, still supportive, still the one I want to call when things turn out right or I’m just having a really bad day. We fight, we fight really well, but it never seems to keep us from moving forward. Maybe he’ll never trust me enough, maybe we’ll always stay stuck in this relational ditch, but at least we’re stuck in it together. I’ll always love him, even when we both find our rights, I just hope I find mine first. It sucks being in love with your best friend, especially when you realize life isn’t the movies, and sometimes fate has other plans for you, but you still can’t walk away. Its your best friend for crying out loud!

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