“What He Taught Me” by Cameron Wade

I’ve been afraid of many things since I was a child. You could basically say fear was my
nickname. Whether it be, spiders, death, failure, drowning, heights, my fear never seemed to go. But, two years ago, there was a day that I discovered fear like no other. It all started with a boy, a friend named Jonah. I met him at the place where I volunteered at. I’ll never forget the very first conversation we had that revolved around me asking why his hair was so long, just like a girl’s. And those were the words that forever sealed our friendship together.

That summer, Jonah and I were utterly inseperable. Wherever I was, Jonah would follow
willingly, almost too willingly at times. It was over that course of the time that I realized something about the dynamic of Jonah and me’s friendship: it was purely platonic on his end, but I was starting to grow feelings for him. And that realization proved to be one of the worst days of my life. After that, I started going down a tunnel of fleeting emotions. Sometimes, I was madly in love with him, and other times, all I wanted to do was slap him straight across the face.

Most people would call that mixture of emotions crazy, but me– I call it our friendship. That’s just how the two of us were. And before I knew it, I was so deeply invested into him I couldn’t find which way was out. I fooled myself into thinking he liked me. Why? The answer was simple… and I knew it without having to think a second thought. It’s better to accept a beautiful fantasy than have to deal with an ugly reality.

My wonderful fantasy,however, soon started to fall apart when there were only two weeks before the new school year. I was coming to yet another realization(like I’m always so good at doing): Jonah was never gonna like me back like that. Even if I knew it in my head all along, I never accepted it in my heart. But that fateful day I did, and that truth beat me harder than any other person ever could. I couldn’t keep it together.

I started spiraling, down and down without meaning to. I just couldn’t let go. I stopped eating as much, stopped smiling like I used to, and started roasting people even harder; it was one of the hardest times of my life.

It took some time – a long time. But now, I’m okay, and I couldn’t be happier (more or less). My greatest fear in life is being that attached to someone. Jonah and I were so close that by the time summer was over, you could hardly tell who was who anymore. I don’t want to ever be like that again. My attachment and my constant need for Jonah taught that I craved attention on a dangerous level. I let him have that much of an effect on me, because I wasn’t even confident in my own skin. But, that won’t be the case anymore; I know better now.

~ Cameron Wade

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