Now, I know what you're thinking. I should be thrilled. A guy that I really do like is asking me to marry him. But as you know, I may have appeared to have squashed my feelings for Joe. But even hearing Josh call me 'Bri”, I don't know, it brought back old memories, since the only guy before who ever called me 'Bri' was Joe. So, I did what anyone would think of doing, I said 'Yes'. But deep down, I knew I would never be completely happy with anyone but Joe. The next night, unknown to me, Emily and Josh were planning a surprise birthday party for me. So, when I got off my hospital shift that night, it felt like any other normal night, but as soon as I got to the bottom of the stairs of our building, I could tell something was off. The minute I turned the doorknob and walked in, everyone yelled “Happy Birthday”. I calmly (at least as calmly as someone can do anything when everyone they know is at a surprise party for you) shut the door behind me and looked around the room. Everyone I could possibly think of was there. Mom, Emily, Josh, Renee, even the Jonas family were all there. I plopped my bag and keys down on the kitchen counter and began to enjoy talking, laughing and having a good time with my friends and family. About a half hour into the party, I said,
“I suppose it's time to reveal the secret that Josh and I share. We're engaged.”
As soon as the words left my mouth, almost everyone's jaws dropped. Except Joe's. I didn't have time right then to think about what the downcast look on his face meant because Emily said,
“Wow, Brianna, that's great news. I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say that we're all happy for the two of you.”
More talking and laughing followed until I saw Joe slip out onto my balcony so I followed him. When I stepped out of the door I said,
“Are you alright?”
“I don't know, Bri,” he answered, “Are you really in love with him?”
“I think I am,” I stared at him, trying to figure out what was going on in his head.
“Well, then, you're my best friend, I'm happy for you. As long as you're really happy.”
“Thanks,” I told him, as I stepped closer and wrapped my arms around him in a tight hug. We stayed like that until he broke away, saying,
“I gotta...I gotta get home to feed Winston.” He turned around and I thought he might have been fighting back tears but I couldn't quite tell. Emily and Renee started to help me plan my upcoming wedding. We planned to hold it in 6 months in a simple ceremony. One day, about 2 months before the wedding, I was in my apartment figuring out a menu to discuss with the caterer when I heard a knock at the door. I walked over and opened it.
“Oh, Nick, hi,” I stammered out, “What are you doing here?”
“I wanted to ask if you were sure you're making the right decision about your upcoming marriage to Josh,” he asked.
“I think so,” I told him.
“You're probably wondering why I'm asking, right?” he said.
“Yeah, you're right,” I said, “I am wondering that. So, what is your reason?”
“My reason is Joe. His mood has changed drastically since you revealed your engagement. Lately, he's been staying in his apartment. He's been very distraught and it's been a long time since I've seen him smile and laugh. You have to go see him.”
Nick left, and I debated what he'd told me. I couldn't decide if I wanted to dig those skeletons out of my closet. But finally I decided that since we were, er, are still best friends that I would go see what was going on. I took the subway to his apartment where I used my spare key in the lock when he didn't answer my knock. His dog met me at the door and I bent down to pet and hug him and said,
“Hey, Winnie. How are you? Where is your daddy?”
Winston stayed right by me until I stood back up and then he walked over to his food bowl on the floor and stared at it, then back at me.
“Are you hungry? Haven't you been fed today?” And I walked over to the kitchen, dug around till I found the dog food and filled the bowl. While Winnie was completely distracted by his now filled bowl, I wandered around trying to find my best friend. When I walked into his bedroom, I saw him sitting on his bed with his back to me, so, he didn't see me come in. I walked over and sat down next to him, and said,
“I know I asked you before if you were ok, but I'm not sure that your answer was really true.”
“Alright, you're right, I'm not ok. But it doesn't matter cause you're getting married and are happy with Josh,” he started.
“But...What exactly are you saying?” I stammered.
“What I'm saying is that I'm in love with my best friend. I first realized when you revealed your engagement,” he finished.
I stayed there with him just as a friend to try to comfort him. But my mind was so much busier than my body for a while. All I could think was that I'd waited for years for him to tell me that he loved me, but now of course I was engaged. So, what should I do?