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Sunday Confessional: I Wrecked His Rep

Dear Sugar

I'd been pressing a friend of mine to tell me who he liked. I did this partly because I was honestly interested, and partly because his social awkwardness means that when we're alone, I try to take control of the conversation. I feel like I have to focus on topics that don't include video games, politics or serious moral discussions so that I don't get bored.

One night he was giving me a ride home and I was teasing him about his mysterious crush. He was acting strangely, and I was beginning to get the idea that maybe the girl he liked was me! This was confirmed when he stopped the car, turned to face me, and said that he'd liked me for months.

I of course said that I didn't have any idea that he felt this way and this caught him off guard. From that moment on things became awkward. Once we reached my house he told me how embarrassed he was for sharing his feelings with me and kept saying that he wished the whole incident never happened.

He told me that he's been rejected before and it hurt him a lot. As badly as I felt for him, I guess I was also feeling a little bit of empowerment since it just hit me just how much he liked me. As a kind gesture, I gave him a hug...and then I kissed him.

As soon as I stepped out of the car, I knew my gesture was going to be taken the wrong way. I didn't like him as a boyfriend, in fact at the time I liked another guy who I heard through the grapevine was planning on asking me out. Then I panicked thinking that if the guy I liked heard about the kiss he might not call me.

I know this is cruel and wrong, but I denied having kissed him to everyone who had heard about it. When people would come up to me and ask me about it, I'd vehemently deny the kiss and just say that I'd only given him a hug after he spilled his guts to me.

I made it sound like the way that he asked me was so much more ridiculous than it really was, just to back my point. Since I had a reputation as a nice girl and he had a reputation as being a needy guy, people assumed that he was a pathetic and delusional liar.

It's been six months and I have only gone out on three dates with the guy that I really liked. He wound up to be such a disappointment. All of the mutual friends that I have with the other guy that I kissed still talk about how badly they feel for me that I had to suffer through him telling the world that I kissed him.

He just thinks that I was tired that night and so I don't really recall what happened. In no way does he think that I've made him look like such a loser. I could have come clean but I never have. Can you forgive me for lying so that the guy I really liked would call me?

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