The Text

It was a normal evening, or so I thought, when I made my way back to my room. I’d left my phone behind (scandalous I know!) and turned the screen on with a fake sort of casualness as I secretly hoped I’d become popular in the last hour. Instead, the worst awaited me: The Text.

Every Best Friend knows about The Text. It’s an instant mayday that may as well be telepathic, released onto the airwaves with a few panicked words. It’s not just a ‘bitch, answer your phone’ or ‘I’m outside so unlock your door’. The Text is reserved for the worst of worst situations. It can usually be identified by simple, direct language – along the lines of ‘I need you’ or ‘oh my God’ – and is preceded by at least one missed call. You must reply as soon as you are able.

And that was what I was confronted with: The Text! So I grabbed my phone off the bed, lightening-typed a reply and called her several times. My Best Friend – let’s call her Jane – didn’t pick up, and I began to panic. I started a list of everyone who could have died or been severely injured who would warrant The Text. Thankfully, my phone rang before I started to hyperventilate.

I answered the call to find Jane hysterical. At first, I thought she was telling me her boyfriend had broken his legs, but the truth was worse: he had broken up with her. Now, as Jane’s Best Friend, I was instantly filled with two emotions. The first was relief: nobody had died and I couldn’t help but be grateful for that. The second was obligatory Bestie hatred to the Ex. Another thing every Best Friend knows is that Ex-Boyfriends (especially those from messy break-ups) are the Enemy. You are required, by binding friendship law, to despise them more than your Best Friend. This is of course usually easy to do as they’re still half in love with the Ex.

With this in mind, I listened patiently and muttered a few angry comments. Then there was a lull in the conversation and I knew that it was my turn to offer advice.

Oh God.

Now, what you have to understand about me is that my dating experience is literally less than a 7 year old’s, to which my young neighbors with multiple girlfriends can attest. I’ve never been in a relationship, never been on a date, never been kissed. As such, I am rarely called on for advice of a ‘romantic’ nature. Academic? Sure! Dramatic? Why not! Relationships? Well… The fact of the matter is that I barely understand attraction and I’m hardly qualified to offer my opinions on the matter. None-the-less, I stepped up to the plate.

I proposed a three step plan comprised from every romantic-comedy, book and magazine that I have ever watched, read or skimmed. It was very simple and, I thought, rather ingenious.

Step 1: Eat Your Feelings.

Tubs of ice cream and blocks of chocolates are age-old cliches for a reason and that reason is very simple: comfort food is comforting – it makes you feel better. At least, that’s what I’ve always found, despite what the scales are telling me…

Step 2: Block His Number.

I suggested that this step begin with the previous one and last until Jane had figured out where her heart was at. By this point, I could tell my limited understanding was beginning to bite me in the backside, but there was no turning back. Not now. Not ever. Bravely, I pressed onward.

Step 3: To Be Advised.

For the life of me, I couldn’t think of what came next. My hours of research on the subject at hand deserted me, and I was left with ‘I’ll get back to you on that’. Hardly my finest hour. Should I tell Jane that she’s too good for him and to move on? What if they get back together… Do I badmouth him and suggest revenge tactics? See previous response…. This step just has to be ‘move on’ – but you can’t say that to a heartbroken person.

By the time Jane hung up, my heart and head were aching. The former because of my beautiful Best Friend who put herself out there only to realize she was in a storm without an umbrella was hurting. The latter because I still couldn’t figure out why people don’t just stay indoors. It’s safer, warmer, and there is food. But I guess that if you don’t step outside, you’ll never get the chance to see the sun, even if you risk a little rain.

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