Monday, March 16, 2015


 This past Sunday morning I woke with a throbbing headache. Recently I have been getting frequent chronic headaches, and my doctor took pity and prescribed me drugs, HOLLA. I popped my pills, and went back to sleep. I was awoken abruptly at 1pm by someone pounding at my door. I ignored them, but then was forced to put on clothes and answer when the phantom knocker wouldn't leave and continued to pound. I opened the door to find Azriel Stinson stood on my stoop. He greeted me with, "Peter is worried because you haven't answered his texts all day."  
I felt mildly insulted by how little faith Peter has in my ability to adult in his absence, as Azriel was the second person to admit Peter had tasked with making sure I was fed and watered while he was gone. I did feel a bit better when Azriel showed me his texts and the conversation went:

Peter: I haven't heard from Melly all day, do you know if she is okay? 
Azriel: Want me to go over and check on her?
Peter: Yes please. Text me after. 

Azriel, Peter and I have a complex relationship. Almost 5 years after initially meeting in 2010, our relationships with one another are still well established, making both Peter and Azriel the longest, closest friendships I have had since I was about 13. Peter and I jokingly refer to Azriel as our "Plutonic Life Partner," which he agrees to, so long as the "plutonic" describes the relationship, not him as a person, because, as he puts it, "I am VERY sexual, thank you very much."  
Peter and Azriel met and started hanging out at the beginning of fall semester 2010, while I didn't meet Azriel until winter. Although we all hung out as a group, we each developed relationships indepedent of one another, especially the semester after Peter left Hawaii to prepare for his mission, as I then spent most of my free time with Azriel. I cared very deeply for Azriel, and saw him as a big brother, while I found myself falling in love with Peter. 

One day during spring term 2011 I told Azriel that I thought I was falling in love with Peter. To my surprise, he looked stricken. 
"Uhm, we should talk about that," he told me, as we both had to get to class at that moment (great time to get into a serious talk about love, I know.) 
Later he met me at my hale looking very somber. We sat on the couches and Azriel took my hands in his gently. 

"Melly," he started, "Peter isn't interested in you. He flirts with everyone. Really. Don't let yourself be strung on by him. I promise that it isn't worth it. He dates a bunch of girls, and he doesn't realize that he's leading them on, but he is. You're not special to him. I really think you need to move on." 

This speech was completely unexpected to me. I KNEW full well that Peter was over flirtatious, it had been a topic of great confusion when we first started hanging out as I honestly never knew what his intentions were. However, that had been cleared up, hadn't it?? Peter pretty obviously liked me. He had told me so! That being said, when your crush's BEST FRIEND who is also one of your closest friend and who you trust pretty completely to look out for your best interests is telling you your crush doesn't like you, that's a pretty big red flag. What would Azriel have to gain by SUCKING OUT MY SOUL AND CRUSHING MY DREAMS forever? Surely he would have some deep insight through his bro-ness with Peter on whether or not I was being "hearted" or not. 

I thanked Azriel and left to go to the beach, calling Peter on the phone as I went. 

"Do you even like me??" I demanded when he answered. 
"Uh...Yes..?" Peter said, mildly flirtatiously, like he wasn't quite sure if this was a new game of ours or not. 
"Oh really?!" I continued, with the kind of palpable sass and anger that 19 year old girls have aptly perfected and wield daily, "because YOUR BEST FRIEND just told me you're leading me on." 

I continued to rant at him while he denied all accusations of guilt and tried to soothe me. 

"i don't know why he would say that!" He told me, "I really don't. I'll talk to him." 
"Uh huh, sure," I said, before hanging up. 

The rest of the day I got several texts from Peter assuring me of how much he cared for me, and later, I learned, Azriel received a very stern lecture over Skype. 

I like to think about this story as a great indicator of how stellar Azriel has been to both me and Peter. The three of us still hang out, even now that Peter and I are old and boring and married and stuff. Azriel was there for me when I went through the temple, and there with us when we were sealed a month later. I know that he is there for Peter when I am away, and he's my replacement husband when Peter is gone. It works out. If you don't have an Azriel, I recommend you invest in one, they're a good thing to have. 

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