In a new memoir titled A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston, Robyn Crawford speaks openly for the first time about her romantic relationship with Whitney Houston. Crawford, Houstons’s best friend for years, says homophobia and Houston’s career derailed their physical relationship, but that she and the legendary singer remained each other’s closest confidants until Houston’s tragic death in 2012.

“She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us, and back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt,” an excerpt from Crawford’s book reads in People. “We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay. We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

The two women met in 1980 at a New Jersey summer camp when Crawford was 19 and Houston was 17. The day they met, Crawford remembered telling Houston, “I’m going to look out for you.”

Despite Crawford’s claim, “We wanted to be together, and that meant just us,” the pair’s physical relationship was ended soon after Houston signed a record deal with Clive Davis at Arista.

“I kept it safe,” Crawford wrote about their romance. “I found comfort in my silence.”

In the book, Crawford revealed that Houston, whose mother was a prominent Gospel singer, also felt pressure from her religious family. She wrote that Houston communicated the end of their physical relationship in 1982 by gifting her a Bible.

“Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close,” she wrote, “but we were that close.”

Seven years after Houston’s untimely passing, Crawford now hopes to honor her legacy with the upcoming memoir.

“I’d come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent,” she wrote. “Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me. We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other.”

A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston is set to hit the shelves next Tuesday (Nov. 12).

“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” the book reads.