More Than Anything

"Jayne, can we talk?"

I rolled my eyes. As much as I wanted to pretend that he really wanted to talk about "us" (or the lack thereof) I knew that Danny was probably in need of some girl advice from his good buddy Jayne.

We've known each other for almost two years now and it's been the same from the very beginning. When I first met him, he was dating a girl named Ariel, who I couldn't stand but that didn't really matter at the time. They broke up about a month later.

Then, Danny met Alicia. She was a nice girl, he just wasn't sure if she was interested or not. So, he turned to me. I gave some advice, and he asked her out. It turned out she wasn't interested.

We hung out a lot during the next year. Our friendship grew, and he became my best friend. I had the hots for a guy named Anthony that I'd known about as long as I had known Danny.

Anthony and I had quite a "different" relationship. I liked him. He liked me. We flirted constantly and discussed going out all the time, yet we never actually went out on a date. I guess somehow our subconscious was saying that neither of us was really ready for a relationship. We had almost nothing in common.

One day I was complaining to my mom about how Anthony never asked me out, and she told me that she had never liked him in the first place. "You should go out with Danny,"she had said casually.

I laughed it off. Danny and I? It was completely ridiculous. We'd never been more than friends, nor had I ever even considered dating him. I think that's where I had gone wrong.

As much as I tried to ignore it, I just couldn't stop thinking about what she'd said. She had a point. Danny and I did have a lot in common, and seemed to want the same things in life. Why hadn't we ever dated?

Suddenly I was noticing things I had never really thought about before. The way he always helped this elderly lady in my building to carry in her groceries, the way he always looked a little uncomfortable around girls. It was then that I realized something that I'd been avoiding for a long time. I was head over heels in love with Danny.

I can't think of anything more torturous than being in love with your best friend. When you like a guy that you've just met, you can just put yourself on the line and see what happens. The worst thing that could happen is that he wouldn't say yes. However, when the guy is a friend, you're putting a whole lot more than your pride on the line. You're risking your entire friendship.

So, when Danny said we needed to talk, my stomach got butterflies, but in my heart I knew that he probably just needed some advice on his latest crush, a friend of mine named Avery.

* * * *

"Tell him."

I ignored Avery at first, trying to pay attention to the television. Some slimy looking man was telling us that almost all of the money that we sent him would get to children who are in need.

"Jayne, just tell him."

I turned to face her. "Just when am I supposed to drop this bomb on him? Tonight, when he's asking me advice on how to ask you out?"

"But I don't like him," Avery said. "You like him. Everyone knows this but him. I don't even know why he hasn't figured it out on his own."

"Maybe because he doesn't want to."

She was right about one thing, everyone in the world besides him seems to know how I feel. I had always been pretty open with my feelings, and my crush on him had started so long ago that eventually all my friends had gotten it out of me.

I wanted him to know so bad. I desperately wanted to have the courage to tell him how I felt, but I didn't. There was nothing in the world that would make me risk our friendship, even for love.

She was still looking at me with the same questioning look on her face. I didn't have an answer for her, so I merely turned away.

"I have to go meet Danny."

* * * *

I could see him before he saw me. He was sitting on a bench next to my apartment building and I took a moment to admire him before making my presence known. He looked amazing, just like he always did. Maybe he was ordinary looking to everyone else, but to me he was more beautiful than any model or rock star.

"Hey, Danny,"I called out.

Danny smiled and I felt my heart beat faster."Coming inside?"I asked, walking past him to the entrance. He followed me upstairs and waited patiently while I rummaged through my purse for my keys.

"Hey, dad, you home?"I called out as we stepped inside. There was no answer, so I figured he must have had to work late. Sure enough, there was a message on the machine telling me to go on and eat dinner without him.

He followed me into the kitchen."Want a snack?" I opened the cupboard and pulled out a bag of chips as Danny began to talk.

"I don't like Avery anymore."

"MmmHmm," I murmured, opening the chips and popping one in my mouth.

"I like you."

The bag fell to the floor and chips spilled out, but I hardly noticed. Instead, I was too busy staring open-mouthed at Danny. Two minutes ago my life had been going in one direction and suddenly I was on the road I had been trying to find all the while. Everything had changed and yet so much was still the same.

I was still standing there with my best friend, the man I was in love with. Only now he was looking at me the way I had been dreaming of for the past year. It was the perfect moment.

I could almost hear all my friends in my head saying, "It's about time you told him!" But, I hadn't told him. He'd told me. He'd been in the same place as me and had decided to take the risk.

I already knew what I was going to do next.

Kiss the man I love.