I’ve known you almost as long as I’ve worked there. We disliked each other before you came back, before we met. They apparently complained to you about me, but you’d never tell me about what specifically. And I hated how much they praised you and cried when everyone said you’d never be back. I hated how you were the star associate when you were the one on leave pending an investigation. How perfect could you be when you were allegedly dealing in the parking lot?
When we did meet, you hated me. I questioned you. You were livid that someone, some new hire who had been working there for mere months compared to your years, would dare second guess you, the number one associate, the source of knowledge. I’ve always said I’d never question you again when you were proven right, but I really question you on the daily.
We’re both magnetic, charming, sociable, flirtatious. It was inevitable that we grew close, maybe closer than you ever intended. In time, you became a manager and a figure of power. That was appealing. Something about me must have appealed to you, because I could get away with spending an hour just talking to you. I’d like to think I was an exception, not a rule.
But you were always closer to someone else. I was never your favorite, your star associate, your right-hand-man, your go-to. But you were always mine. You’re still, to this day, my second favorite person in that store, right behind my cousin, the little mini-me that she is.
Then she came. She has the same name as me and that sent me spiraling. She’d be the newer, more improved version, the one everyone loved and wanted to be near. My hating her pushed her towards you. I regret nothing more in my entire life.
And you chose her over me. That jealousy cost me you.
You mentored her, something everyone expected you to do for me. You blew air up my ass, saying you believed in me, that I could become something there, that I was worthy. But your actions spoke louder than words. They still do.
Then you fell in love with her, something no one expected to happen. But she treated you like shit, hurt you physically and emotionally. And she hated me, was jealous of me like I had been of her months prior. She would send me nasty messages. They would be particularly venomous after you told her some mean thing I said about her. Why would you do that? To hurt her and betray my trust?
You and I grew apart. She wedged herself in between us like a cancer, and that cancer spread. There have been remissions, but she is always there. You talk about me at home and that fuels her hatred. You act like you can’t talk to me anymore, like our friendship was wrong, like I was something to just discard, all the while telling me we’re fine and that I’m your star associate and we’re friends.
We’re friends, but you didn’t tell me you were having a child. Or a second one. You couldn’t tell me you were getting married. Were you afraid to tell me, either because I would have disapproved or because I would have gotten jealous? Or was I so insignificant enough that you couldn’t be bothered to tell me? For years you haven’t told me important news on which I’d have congratulated you, all the while telling me we were close and you appreciated me.
I know the truth, and not just parts of it. I’m not in love with you, but I could fall in love if you gave me the chance; you’re in love with her; we could never have been something; and your number one talent is blowing air up my ass to get me to do things no one wants to do.
And I let you use me like this, because when I am face to face with you, I cannot say no.
June 28, 2021