Photo by Mikhail Nilov

John and Anne had been best friends since childhood, and their bond only grew stronger as they grew up. They shared everything with each other, from their deepest secrets to their wildest dreams. John always thought of Anne as the perfect woman and the best friend he could have ever asked for.

Anne’s cousin, Sarah, had come to stay with her for a few weeks for a business conference. The moment John laid eyes on her he knew she was different. Sarah was nothing like Anne in terms of personality, but she had a charm that John was enticed by. She was outgoing, carefree and impulsive, while Anne was more reserved, with a measured approach to life.

As the days passed, John found himself drawn towards both Anne and Sarah. He had never felt this way before, but he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about them. In his mind, he tried to sort out his feelings and come to a decision about whom he wanted to be with. But the more he thought, the more he was confused.

He loved Anne and never had thought he would love anyone else, especially her cousin. His guilt struck him day and night as he tried to muster the courage to speak the truth. Even though he was concerned with how Anne would react, he pulled himself together long enough to tell her. He knew that Anne would listen to him and offer the best advice. As he sat across from her, he spoke hesitantly about his attraction towards Sarah and his growing love for her.

John told Anne he cared about her a lot. He told her how Sarah made him feel. He told her how much he loved her and the guilt he felt for betraying their friendship. All this he said sympathetically and passionately.

Anne listened to him carefully, without interrupting him. When John finished, she smiled at him and said, “I know you too well, John. And I think I know what you really want.” John looked at her questioningly, trying to decipher her words.

“John, you love me as a friend, but you are attracted to Sarah because she represents something different. You don’t want to be with me romantically. You want to explore the excitement that Sarah brings to your life,” Anne explained.

John hung his head, ashamed of his thoughts and feelings. He had never thought about it in that way before. All this time he assumed his feeling were romantic, but maybe she was right. Maybe the love he had for her wasn’t that of wanting a relationship.

Anne placed her hand on his cheek, “It’s okay, John. It’s normal to have these feelings. But you need to sort them out. And when you do, be honest.

John spent time alone, thinking about what he really wanted. He decided to talk to Sarah about his feelings and be honest about everything. When he met her, he told her everything that was in his heart. Sarah listened to him quietly, and then looked at him with a smile, “John, I like you too. But you need to understand that I am not Anne. I am different, and I may not always be what you expect me to be.”

John nodded, understanding her point of view. He realized that he had to accept her as she was, and not try to change her. They decided to give their relationship a try and see where it led. They knew that it would not be an easy road, but they were willing to work hard at it.

Over the year that followed, John and Sarah’s relationship grew deeper. They went through ups and downs, but in the end, they emerged stronger. They realized that their love was not perfect, but it was beautiful in its own way. Having an amazing daughter together helped them see the wonderful side they so desperately wanted fought for.

As for Anne, she remained John’s best friend, and never once held his choice against him. She was happy that he was happy, and she was more than pleased to be their daughter’s a god mom. The addition to their family was more than enough for her.

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