Pia and I have been friends since childhood. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same school, and even went to the same university. I’ve always trusted her with my deepest, darkest secrets. Well, all except one. I fell in love with her ex, and she had no idea.
Her ex—let’s call him JP—was also a good friend of mine. In fact, we were blockmates. We were always seated next to each other during our classes. He was nice, pretty cute, and really funny. But let me get this straight: I was not at all interested in him, back in college.
JP and Pia started dating after I set them up. We were freshmen at that time. I thought: Why not? And when it worked out, they made a really good couple. I never felt out of place. They would even let me third wheel during their dates. JP and Pia were good for each other, at least for a couple of years.
They broke up before graduation. I can’t really recall what led up to it, but what I remember is a series of fights. JP would drive over to my house. We would sit outside the sidewalk and just talk—sometimes about Pia, sometimes about their breakup, or sometimes we would just stay quiet and say nothing at all.
After college, Pia went on to med school, and JP and I both got jobs. His office was a few blocks away from mine, and so we saw more of each other. We would spend our lunch breaks together, and he would sometimes walk me to the bus station after work. And sometimes, he would hold my hand.
I started to ignore Pia’s messages. I had never kept a secret from her, and I hated myself for it. Every time he would hold my hand, or every time he would put his arm around my shoulder, I would feel a mix of happiness and guilt. How could I be falling for Pia’s ex?
Until one day, Pia showed up at my door. It was over the weekend, and she barged into my room and asked me what was up. I was so afraid. I denied that anything was wrong. But as my BFF, she knew better. I burst into tears and told her the truth. I said: I’m in love with your ex.
I thought Pia would yell at me, or even walk out. But she hugged me, and assured me that everything was okay between us. I realized that this is what I also loved about Pia: She was always so kind and understanding, especially with me.
Since then, I’ve felt a lot better. Pia and I are back to normal, and JP—well, let’s just say I’m letting things unfold as they should. Whether or not things work out between us, I’ve vowed to always stay true to my feelings, to be brave and live a life without secrets.
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