In middle school and high school, I had a friend named Dana. She came to the University of Rochester along with me and my best friend, Uval. But somehow Dana and my friendship fell apart during our Freshman year. She had a room mate though, named Kara, who was freaking hot, and on top of that was an incredibly nice person. I got to know her and amazingly, she seemed to like who I was too. We became friends, and eventually, really close friends. Kara’s best friend, Katy was also ridiculously attractive. “Kara and Katy” were known around campus as the two attractive blonde girls that were best friends. They were inseparable, and I had the fortune of becoming the third wheel sometimes. Sometimes I couldn’t believe that these 2 beautiful girls were MY friends! Whenever the 3 of us would go out, I felt like a million dollars, and it was such a huge boost of confidence to be with them. They actually really liked me because I was NICE. What a concept!! Now… they were constantly dating football players, race car drivers and other types of guys that were pretty much the opposite of me, but just the fact that they were friends with me was a big deal. I wasn’t stupid enough to think that they would ever be attracted to me. They were my best friends in college.
We remained close friends through all 4 years of college, and as graduation crept up on us we had a pre-graduation gala. At one point a group of people were standing with Kara and I joined. I hear Kara saying “Ok, if you could sleep with one person on the entire campus, who would it be.” I turned bright red and just walked away. Later that night we all went out for wings at The Distillery and then Kara said she felt like going home so I drove her back to her dorm room. As we were walking back to her building she asked “So, when I asked that question at the gala, why did you walk away?” I avoided the question somehow. But she continued “because when it was my turn, my answer was you.” I will never forget that moment. This cannot be happening. Come on this is just ridiculous! These things just don’t happen to me. But it did… and we spent a beautiful night together.
The problem was that things got weird the next day. As we were all mingling on one of the lawns, Kara noticed that two or three guys that she had hooked up with during college were around her, including me, and she made a comment to Katy about how weird it was. I felt crushed. Suddenly I had gone from a privileged trusted friend, to ‘one of the guys she hooked up with’. I was really hurt. Things stayed weird for several months since we all graduated and departed the University of Rochester.
Kara and Katy moved to Boston together. Kara would do a Masters at Harvard and Katy would get an amazing job with Merrill Lynch. I started my job at Accenture in New York City. They would post me at various assignments over the next 2 years and I would be traveling back to New York each weekend. The company policy was that you could travel somewhere else as long as the ticket was the same price or cheaper, and I took full advantage of this little perk. One weekend I even took Friday off, and flew to Spain Thursday evening. Spent the weekend in Sevilla, and was back by Sunday evening! Another weekend I flew down to Key West, and had no idea that it was Fantasy Fest. That was a great one.
I think at least 6 months went by before I wrote an email to Kara saying that we should not let what happened between us get in the way of our friendship. Both Kara and Katy had such a strong influence on who I was and I did not want to lose their friendship. Kara agreed, and I went up to Boston to visit them (and their 2 cats James and Ethan). Things seemed to be back to normal. We were hanging out, going out to eat, playing scrabble and talking.
One night, Kara went to bed and Katy and I stayed up in the living room talking. Several hours later… we were still there, talking. We talked about our families, our challenges, life in general, and something strange happened. A spark. What’s going on here? How did I spend so much time with this beautiful woman over the last 4 ½ years and never really get to know her? We seemed to have a lot in common about our parents and how we felt about things, and an attraction began to grow between us. I was worried about how Kara would feel about all this, but she was thrilled! She knew that there wouldn’t be anything more between us and she was really excited that something seemed to be growing between Katy and me.
During my first year at Accenture, I lived at home in Long Island in order to save money. I felt rich! For the first time in my life I was making a good salary and had very little expenses. One weekend I offered to fly Kara and Katy down to Miami. I honestly had no ulterior motives. But a guy like me does not get to hang out in Miami for the weekend with two beautiful women very often. We had a great time, and nothing happened between any of us. I got to feel like the cool guy who knew my way around and could show them the city. I knew though that every time people saw us they were wondering why the hell these two beautiful women were hanging around with this nerdy Indian guy. One day, I would lose this insecurity to some degree, but not yet.
Later that year, I invited Katy down to Great Neck to attend a gala with me in New York. I asked her if she would consider going away with me somewhere for a weekend and she agreed. I brought on my A game to see if I could take this relationship to another level. I didn’t tell her where we were going. I just told her that she would need her passport, and to pack for warm, sunny weather, as well as some nice evening clothes. I asked her to call me from the airport and I would tell her what gate she had to go to.
We met down at the Atlantis in the Bahamas, and had an amazing weekend by the pool, at the beach, going out to dinner, playing in the casino… and for the first time, we had a romantic and intimate night together. It was beautiful, but it would be the first, and last.
Katy went back to Boston and while we talked about what might happen between us, there was never really any conviction on her side. I guess there was something that was holding her back from pursuing a relationship with me any further. Maybe she didn’t want to ruin our friendship, or maybe there was just something that didn’t feel right.
Later that year, fate would have me run into Sagit, a girl I had met in Israel 2 years earlier after studying abroad in Seville, Spain. If I remember correctly I called Katy to talk to her about it, and she agreed that she didn’t see our relationship going further so I should do whatever I wanted. Soon after Katy started dating Lou. I met him on one of my following visits to Boston, and I really liked him. Of course I was disappointed that things weren’t working out with Katy, but she had dated all of these jerks before and finally here was a guy that actually deserved to be with her. He was nice… funny, just a cool guy. I was truly happy for her. Years later when I was dating Katherine, Katy and Lou got married. It was a beautiful wedding somewhere outside of Boston in a beach town and the reception was at a restaurant right on the water. I was out on the dock talking with Kara and she asked me “So is Katy always going to be ‘the one that got away’?” I just nodded. I was truly happy for her though. The fact that I was in a 4 year roller coaster relationship with Katherine didn’t make it any easier to see Katy get married, but I was really happy that she found Lou.
Last year Kara and Katy came to Charlottesville with their families and stayed with Sina and me in our house. It was a good time, and we all rented a house near Shenandoah National Park. The house was a bit disappointing, but it was good to see each other and spend time together. It had really been way too long. We hadn’t seen each other since Sina and I got married, and during the wedding there really wasn’t any time to hang out with each other.
We all call each other once in a while, but one of the challenges of having mostly female friends is that life happens, people get married, have kids, and it’s harder to keep in touch as life gets more complex. I still get to talk to them once a year, but I am so grateful for the time I had with Kara and Katy and will always remember the impact they had on making me realize my self-worth. It makes me happy that they are both married, happy, and doing well.