I can't ignore it anymore, and believe me, I've tried so hard.
I know he doesn't love me back.
Because he told me this morning.
See, I live with him in a small flat in London, and we have been friends forever...well, until now.
He hates me, and it's all because of my stupid, fucked up mind.
I wish we could go back to yesterday night, when we were the best of friends out drinking at a club, that's how I want to remember him, but now all I can think about is his face, the shock and horror after I confessed my love for him. I should have just left it so I could be at home with him now instead of in the freezing cold on the roof of this random building in the city.
We were both 8 years old
"You'll never catch me!" Stef yelled as he ran towards the tree in his back garden.
"I will! Now stop or I'll tell on you!" I called after him, but he had already climbed the tree, still with my shoe in his hand. I'd been chasing him for ages, just round and round the garden for half an hour, but he wouldn't give in.
"Haha! Ashley, you're such a slow coach!" Stef laughed, almost falling from the tree. He was sitting comfortably on one of the branches, swinging my shoe around in front of me by the laces, winding me up on purpose. I could have grabbed it from where I was standing, but I was sure he'd just snatch it away again. "Stef! Ashley! Tea's ready!" Stef's mum, Sally shouted from the kitchen, and the smell of pizza immediately got our attention as we turned towards the house.
It was my fault for all of this really. All this pain that I was feeling.
I shouldn't have said anything, just suffered in silence at how crazy he was making me feel.
It was after his 12th birthday party.
"Oi Ash! Help me clean up all this rubbish will you!" Stef called as he picked up pieces of wrapping paper and envelopes. I ran in and jumped on his back, shocking him and making him fall face first into the couch. He squirmed and shrieked like a girl til I finally let him get up. His mum walked in to see us making even more of a mess by throwing bits at each other. She just chuckled and walked back to the kitchen.
"You're so gonna get it!" I yelled as Stef ran towards me. He dropped his bag of rubbish and leapt onto me, wrapping his arms round my neck and his legs round my waist. At first, I just hugged him back because I couldn't resist. I'd started having feelings for him at this age, and I didn't know what to think at all, I was too young. But then I loosened my grip when I felt something poke my stomach. I looked at Stef, who was laughing, but when he realised I was staring at him, he went bright red, jumped off me and picked the bin bag up without a sound.
My phone rang, but I just ignored it, kicking it along the floor to the other side of the roof, sliding til it reached the corner. I sighed, I'd always loved that phone, but now I was about to leave it, not to mention the rest of my life, behind. I looked over the edge, dreading what I was going to do.
Then I thought that if I remembered the best moment between me and him, I'd die happy.
So many to choose from, but I finally managed to pin point one of the happiest ones, when I had a best friend called Stefan Abingdon.
We were both 18 years old, moving into our flat together.
"You sure you don't want any help unpacking all this?" asked Dru as he followed us in, carrying the last of the cardboard boxes.
"For the last time Dru, we are fine!" I replied, raising my voice slightly. He looked slightly disheartened, so I was quick to make him happy again. "Listen, you've done enough mate! So how about we all go to the pub to celebrate, and me and Stef'll pay for all the drinks." Dru actually hates us when we buy him things because he feels like we are doing it out of pity, so I patch up again. "You can invite Charlotte and all the crew by the way."
And an hour later we were sat around a table in the pub, all with a beer in our hand.
I was sat right next to Stef, almost on his lap because of the small space I had to fit in to, and Leon was on my other side. He was the only person that knew how much I liked Stef, and he was pushing me to kiss him, quite literally. I mean he was actually squeezing up to me so much I couldn't help but slide discreetly onto Stef's knee. We were all pissed by now, so when he smiled at me and wrapped his arms around my waist, I just thought that he was hammered and didn't give a fuck, and later on he actually kissed me.
I couldn't take in what was happening before he kissed me either.
If I'm really honest, I was stoned, in a world of my own and pissed outta my head too. But when he kissed me, I suddenly came back to reality and...I actually moaned his name, taking him by surprise. He was still completely out of it when he was snogging my face off, but I could tell he was slowly registering it as he pulled back gently, looking shocked and worried and sick. I felt the same. Would he remember this tomorrow? Will I still be his friend after? What the fuck just happened?
But after a while of just staring at me with that worried expression, he grabbed my hand and squeezed it.
"Thank fuck it's you! I thought I was kissing some stranger that could be uglyy and 'orrible!" he yelled over the top of the dubstep music playing in the club we'd gone to. He swayed slightly and rested his head on my shoulder, spilling his vodka all down my shirt.
"Geez Stef, steady on!" but by then he had fallen asleep on my shoulder, his arms round me, clutching his bottle behind my back. I laughed softly and had to drag him home by myself, seeing as I'd lost everyone in the crowd back there. Stef was snoring lightly as I pulled him up the stairs to our new flat. We hadn't chosen our rooms yet so I checked them out before putting him in the bigger one. Yeah, that's right, the bigger one, because I'm not mean, even though I'm pretty sure he would have put me in the small room if he was doing this. But I do remember when my long term girlfriend dumped me for another guy and I thought about drugs and alcohol as the answer because life was shit, but Stef helped me see they were a stupid idea and stopped me. I think that was when my feelings started to make things awkward between us, whenever he'd walk in on me in the shower (which was a lot, when he had a hangover to throw up) I'd be stood stark naked with a boner 'cos I'd been touching myself thinking of him. Yeah, embarrassing I know. But that was how fucked up my mind was.
I tucked him up in bed and kissed his forehead, saying I love him and what good a friend he is, even though he can't hear me.
I think of this as I close my eyes and hang my foot over the edge, ignoring the ringing of my phone and the screams of people below, even though I swear I heard Dru's voice telling me to stop. I love him too, but as a brother really, and I wish I got to say goodbye to him in person, but I left a note, he'll understand. I smile slightly as I hear the fire escape stairs rattling and Stefan telling me to stop, his footsteps quickening as he runs towards my back, but it's too late. I fucked up badly, and I thought the only way to stop it progressing was by dying. So I stepped forward and fell, flashbacks of me and Stefan going through my stupid, fucked up mind until I hit the ground, hard.