I’ve only ever heard this phrase in German, but here’s a translation:
From 10th grade all the way to high school graduation, for over 3 years, I sat next to a girl in class I loved, feeling exactly like that. Let’s call her Jamie.
I didn’t know Jamie very well before, even though we had been in the same class for years, but somehow, we ended up sitting next to each other that year. Before I knew it, we were best friends. Classic.
She was beautiful. Still is. I didn’t know how to talk to girls. Still don’t.
But she had a boyfriend for ages. And then another one. For ages. So all these years, we sat next to each other, and all I felt I could do was to watch her relationships pass by, waiting for a train that might never arrive.
We were always side by side. On the bus during field trips. In class. In the car. Outside the club on the curb. On our couch at home. On her bed when she cried over her first breakup. And her second.
Three months before we graduated, I’d finally had enough. On Christmas 2010, along with her gift, I gave Jamie a letter, explaining everything. She was single then. But she never responded. Sort of…ignored the issue away. Classy.
Except that I was pissed. Maybe I needed that. Made moving on easier.
I still think about her. Sometimes, she pops up in my mind and I think to myself:
“Hey Jamie…what if?”
And then I remember that life is still beautiful. That being able to even feel this pain is a gift. That I was lucky to sit next to someone so awesome for so long.
But I also always remember that feeling of sitting next to her, knowing “this is never going to work.”
I’ve had that feeling many times since then. But it never felt quite the same way.
PS: Here’s the original phrase in German: “Die schlimmste Art, jemanden zu vermissen, ist die, an seiner Seite zu stehen und zu wissen, dass er nie zu einem gehören wird.”