“W—what?” Gracie stepped closer to her former best friend.
“Gracie, I’ve known I liked girls since middle school. But I never told you because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. I always kind of hoped you would someday love me too. So, when I saw you with Tay, it kind of… broke my heart.”
I was stunned. I had suspected she liked girls, but I was surprised to find out that she had loved me as more than a friend. I shouldn’t have been. I reached over and grabbed her hand tightly in mine.
“Laura, I would never think of you any differently regardless of who you love. That’s your choice, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it.”
Laura smiled softly and tears fell from each of her sad eyes. “Thank you,” she said under her breath.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t reach out when our friendship broke to see what was wrong,” I said. “You’re right, I was caught up in everything about Tay, and that wasn’t fair to you after you had been my friend for so many years. I don’t know how our friendship would have changed if you’d told me how you really felt about me.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t sure either, which is why I was scared to tell you,” Laura said. “I didn’t want to lose you as a friend.”
“Well, I’m willing to give our friendship another try if you are,” I said. “As long as you promise to go back to being the nice Laura I once knew. No more lies in the school paper.”
Laura laughed softly and shook her head. “No more lies.” Laura glanced around the group of our friends. “From any of us.”
I pulled Laura into a long embrace, glad to have my friend back. But there was one more thing I needed to make clear. I pulled back so we were at arm’s length. “I love you too… like a sister. Can you be okay with that?”
“Yeah, I can be okay with that.” She nodded and we pulled each other into another hug. Everything would be better now.
Book Club Discussion Questions: How many different ways can we use the word "love" and still have it mean love? brotherly/sisterly love, romantic love, the love between a parent and child, the love between best friends, the love between neighbors, one-sided love, the love for God, and God's love for us. Sometimes love can mean the same thing in different contexts, and yet can still be love. And sometimes the lines get blurred. And that's okay. I guess this isn't really a question, just my rambling thoughts. -Julie (P.S. I love my readers!)