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The word "rival" implies an active competition. There is no competition. She wins. She won since before she even showed up at the end of November; she won when the gin and the loneliness won out over any respect for me and my abject devotion several weeks earlier.
We get along pretty well. I don't know what she knows about me and him; I don't know if she knows anything; I'm guessing she doesn't know everything. There's a lot of fucked up things to know. There's no way for me to address them not knowing where she thinks I stand.
I have never, ever been one to put anything--anything, do you hear me--in front of my friendships. And it's true, in a way, that I'm not--except that preserving my friendship with him, in spite of my own perhaps pathological devotion and general ineptness at pretending my feelings for anyone are anything other than exactly what they are, is more important than preserving my frienship with her. Shouldn't this seem like a problem? I mean, I seem to talk to her more than I talk to him these days. This is partly because I fell apart crying on him about two Saturdays ago, after an entire semester of even being able to get ridiculously drunk in his presence and not pulling off anything worse than one kiss on the cheek during the rather infamously and universally awkward Toga Party Cuddle Puddle of Awkwardness, and to suddenly come out right before graduation, where I will lose all my associated social contacts and will have nothing to get him over into my general living space except a direct invitation to hang out with me and just me, and cry, cry, cryinto his shirt for hours, it seems like hours but I can't tell, that I haven't been able to move on. I don't remember if I told him that while I was probably more flat-out miserable around the time when the bipolar disorder kicked in and I got diagnosed and all that fun shit, I have never, ever, no matter how miserable I was during high school, contemplated killing myself as seriously as I have when trying to make myself face the possibility that no matter how hard I work, I may never deserve you. In high school I always felt that no matter how bad things got, high school was only temporary, if I made it I would go to college and things would get better. No matter what I thought of myself, I knew there was an opportunity for things to get better.
This year, I've just felt like if I'm not good enough for you... what else is there to live for? The idea of there being a sequel to you, something better coming afterwards, is inconcievable. I can either hope, knowing its a long shot but still hope, that if I work hard enough I can deserve you, otherwise, what does it matter? I don't love me, you don't love me, who else is supposed to be important?
It makes it so hard to deal with her. It means I don't know if she'll take some of the frustrated things I say about you as an insult or not, even though you seem to drive her as crazy as you drive me, I've caught her saying the sort of half-angry things about you as I've been known to say that some people misinterpret as being negative... I said something unnecessarily pretentious the other day and she asked me "Is that a writer thing?" I don't know what other writer she could have been referring to. Maybe this is because I have enough to of a difficult time thinking of anyone but you, if I had you... nobody else would matter a fraction as much. If I had you, what reason would I have to talk of anyone else?
When she first walked into karate club, I knew. Somehow, I felt a wave of insane jealously. I managed to tell myself I was overreacting, acting like a thirteen-year-old girl. Use my fucking brain like I hadn't been doing all semester. My brain told me a couple of things:
- She seems pretty awesome.
- Since you like her, she's probably pretty awesome.
- Since you like her more than me, she's probably awesomer than I am. Perhaps I could learn a thing or two. At any rate, it's always better to have more awesome friends than less awesome friends.
- Oh my God, does that girl have the best taste in movies ever or what.
And hey, our friendship, such as it is, has been beneficial. I like talking to her. It somewhat fills the gap of talking to you four hours every day. I've gotten hooked on a few good movies/TV shows, and NIN.
I feel bad knowing that if I ever had to pick sides, no matter how much I like her, nobody, nobody, could ever compare to what I would do for you. I've felt guilty on the few occasions where she's seemed remotely competitive; when she ran into me and my roommate at the gym lifting weights, I wanted to tell her "There's no competition! You win on the only thing worth arguing about!" I can't take compliments from her, more than even usual, and you know how bad I am at taking compliments. I remember her once telling me how graceful I looked doing rolls in judo, and she ain't so great in judo, really,and wanting to tell her, Well, it's not really worth talking about if he doesn't care enough...
However, that's only because jeopardizing my friendship with her probably would further jeopardize my friendship with you. If I thought any of this petty teenage girl rival bullshit would bring me closer to you instead of further away... I'm sorry, soulmate, you've been a good friend, you have great taste in everything and I highly respect you, thanks for the NIN mix and the movie recommendations, but bye-bye.
I hate feeling like this; it violates every single principle that I've ever been raised on, that I would give up a friendship with another girl for the attentions of a fucked-up, emotionally repressed, alcoholic, pretentious, slutty little boy with a macho complex the size of Staten Island, but I would. I would do anything, and screw over anybody, to have him even remotely interested in me again.
I'm so sorry, girl. I really like you. I hate feeling like how much I like you is calcuated on how much I'm supposed to like you so that I can stay in his good books as much as possible. I hate feeling like how much I like you is based, even the smallest bit, on how much I hope maybe I can learn from you if I hope in one, two, five, ten, twenty years to take your place.
You've won. I know that. You're a better woman than me. But I have to keep hoping, or I'll have nothing to keep going on for. And I'm so sorry that I can't tell you this to your face, but I'm having enough trouble dealing with just him as it is.
I don't know what you know, but thank you for putting up with me. I'm not trying to take him away from you, but I have to think that maybe someday I'll be able to, 'cos someday I'll deserve to. Otherwise I couldn't keep going.