Jess sat across the table where he usually sits. Just where I like it. Where I can see his reaction whenever he tastes my cooking. Where I can adore the way he separates the vegetable from the meat and the rice. Where I can see the way his neck moves whenever he swallows the half-chewed food he puts in his mouth. Where I can see him.
"We don't do this alot anymore," he starts.
"Yes. We needed this. We need to talk."
Jess looks at me curiously. "Do we have a problem Kirb?"
I ate my food. It tasted different. Not my best.
"I miss your cooking," he smiled.
I took another spoonful.
"You're not talking. We have a problem. Did I do anything wrong?" he asked.
"Kirb. How long have we been friends? Three years?"
"See. Five years. I think I know how you act whenever you're pissed at me. What's wrong? Tell me."
"It's her." I started.
I've always wanted to open this up with Jess. Two years ago, he started chasing after Toni. And why not. She's pretty. She's smart. God, she has everything a guy ever wanted in a girl. Heck, if I was straight, I'd court her. But I'm not. And I'm madly in love with my best friend.
"It's always her. It will always be her."
"Kirb, you know I still love you. You're my best friend. If I don't have anyone I'd choose you. But I love her too."
"I know. What we have is not normal that's why you'll never choose me. I've long accepted that. But I can't do this anymore."
"You can't do what?" he asked.
"I can't be your friend anymore."
"It hurts Jess. It hurts alot."
Jess stood up and sat beside me. He held my hand he squeezed it tight. I know he wants me to feel that he doesn't want to do what I want.
"We'll make this work. I'll make this work. Please Kirb. Let's give this a shot."
"No Jess, it's not simple. It will never be this simple. Please let me go."
"At least for our friendship. Don't throw away the five years Kirb."
I pulled away. "I can't Jess. Can't you see? You're breaking my heart! You're breaking my heart."
Jess leaned backward. I saw the sadness in his eyes. He lost this fight. Maybe he realized what I said. He finally saw the truth.
He leaned forward and kissed me. Our first kiss.
"I'm sorry I broke your heart."
Jess stood up. He put his hand on my cheek. He kissed me on the forehead. For the last time. And he walked away.
I was left alone in the dining room. Tears rolling down my cheek.
He finally let me go.
This was the saddest day of my life.
But finally, I know I will be able to smile...