Believe it or not, I’m in love. 

 Now, I know that sounds crazy, but you’ve never met Jack. You don’t understand (what it’s like to simply know him). 

 She spoke to her mother on the bluetooth of the car as she drove towards his house.

 The issue is, he’s in love with someone else. My best friend, in fact. Leslie and I go way back… kindergarten, 6 years old. I love her to death. (Trust me), I do.

 Do you think I meant to fall in love with her partner? Never in my life would I desire to hurt her, in any way. It’s just… his eyes. And his hair. And just him. 

 I’m waiting for them to break up. I would never make a move on him, of course, but maybe if I’m patient, he’ll see that we’re the ones meant to be together, and he’ll end things on his terms. 

 Now, I know what you’re thinking: He’ll just do the same thing to you! Yes, this is a possibility, but there are countless outcomes to this scenario, and I have thought of them all, and that one’s not at the top of my list. 

    1. They break up. We start dating. He falls in love with me. He proposes. We get married. We live happily together until death. Not so bad, but I lose my best friend, so 9/10.

   2. They break up. We start dating. He falls in love with me. He proposes. We get married. Then, a messy divorce that begins with the words, “I’m in love with someone else,” slipping from his mouth. Not so great, but at least I could live with him, love him, and be with him, even temporarily. 7/10… I lose my best friend, but I need to feel his touch. 

   3. They break up. We start dating. He falls in love with me. He proposes, but we never get married because right when I say, Yes, the woman in tall red boots walks by and I recall the times I spent hugging my best friend, and remember that I’ve lost her forever. He leaves. And yet, I get to live with him, love him, be with him… taste him. It’s worth it, because it has to be. I can’t live without at least a couple years of euphoric bliss! 5/10, give or take. 

    4. They break up. We start dating. He falls in love with me. The only issue? He didn’t have time to grieve his last relationship, so Leslie still lingers in his mind. I can’t share, and I’ve lost my best friend, but I must have him. 3/10, at best. 

    5. They break up. We start dating, and I feel like shit about myself because who am I? A slut, a boyfriend-thief, a bad friend. How can one love someone else when they hate themselves? But I must have him. I lost my best friend. 1/10, and yet he’s next to me, and that’s all that matters. 

    6. They break up. And what, he’s in pain? He’s heartbroken, and I am a bandage, but the permanent fix becomes alcohol. We break up because of his habits and because of his absence. 0/10. I need him, and yet, I wouldn’t have him anyways. Not in this world, not in this timeline. I lost my best friend, to no fault but my own.  

 In conclusion, they can’t break up. They can’t break this off because Jack becomes an alcoholic, Leslie is heartbroken (and filled with loathing), and I remain lonely, even with him by my side. I lose my best friend. I can’t get what I want, and I shouldn’t. I don’t deserve it. I fell in love with my best friend’s lover, and I shouldn’t have. I really shouldn’t have. 

 Her mother is silent, at a loss for words. 

 She pulls the white Subaru, which she borrowed from Leslie days prior to this moment (she was on a trip, and would be back soon), and buried her face in her hands. 

 “I’ve got to go, mom,” she’d said.

 0/10, and this one’s for me.