It's funny to realise how oblivious you can be about something so obvious. I'd never even considered the possibility that I could be in love with my best friend until the day that he announced he was going on a date with someone else.
"Em! Guess what, you'll never guess what," Andrew burst into the room, waving his phone like it held the key to the universe. I sat up, balancing my latest cup of tea on my knee. "Go on, guess!"
"I don't know, Drew. You got one of your articles published in that online forum you like?" I asked, at a loss as to what could be so important. Surely, I thought, it could only be a break in his career. Andrew, or Drew, wanted to be a journalist more than anything, and had spent the entire three years I'd known him trying to get anything he wrote published. He'd had some success with local websites and papers but recently he'd wanted to go national with a piece on mental health at university.
"I have a date! Em, I'm going on a date with that girl from the Law module, you know the one?" He grinned, waving his phone again. My heart plummeted as I realised what he was trying to show me, not that I could make anything out on the blur that was his phone. "So we've been studying together for the exam on Journalism Ethics and I just asked, you know? I just said 'hey, so we should go out for coffee some time without textbooks and case studies', and she agreed!" Drew looked so overjoyed that I couldn't help but smile, taking a sip of my tea. It tasted like ash.
"Wow, that's amazing my dear. I'm really happy for you. When are you going? Where? Please don't say you're going to Costa. You know the rules," I joked, shakily sliding the mug onto the coffee table. Why wasn't I happy for my best friend?
Three years earlier, I was a terrified first year moving into the university accommodation in London, when a tall, over-exuberant Scottish teen crashed into my room. He'd made his introductions - Andrew MacAllister, Journalism student, and had demanded that I back him up when he argued that coffee was the drink of the Gods. We'd never looked back, best friends from that point onwards.
And now, after three years of hard work and baking shows, here he was telling me that he had successfully asked a girl out on a date. And it was big news, I knew that - for all his good looks and heavenly Northern Scottish accent, he'd never been lucky in love. So why was I so unhappy? I quickly tuned back in to his excited ramblings and gestured for him to sit on the bed.
"... it's just useless, and besides, Jamie works there and I wouldn't want him to say something, so I was thinking of taking her to that independent coffee shop we like just past the museum. What do you think? Never mind, I know you love it there so there's no reason why Olivia wouldn't. You'd love her, Em - she's so you, you know? She's just hilarious, you should hear her opinion on defamation..." He was taking her to what we called 'our spot'. Could this get any worse?
It was then, with a jolt, I realised what was wrong.
I was in love with my best friend.