Here we are, sitting in the small kitchen of my new place. My flatmate and landlady is on holidays in Spain. You’re my first guest. It’s the first time we’re alone since our goodbye three months ago, the goodbye that left so many unanswered questions and moral dilemmas. A lot has happened since then. Everything changed, and I’m not sure where we stand today.
You remind me of this Katy Perry song. Hot and cold. One moment close, the next avoiding me for days till you drink and write me again. It hurts. I don’t want you to distance yourself from me because you can’t handle my intensity. I understand your reasons, but still, there has to be another way. I’m not a monster for having a big and confused heart.
However, no matter how often I thought you’d vanish into thin air– you didn’t. You’re here, sitting across the little wooden table, no matter what your presence implies.
Does she know you’re here? How usual are friendships like this? What does it mean? For me, for us, for the people around us.
My life has been a mess ever since I’ve returned from Uruguay. I haven’t settled in, my cupboards are still empty. So you took care of the groceries– pizza dough, tomato sauce and several toppings. Unsurprisingly, you don’t let me pay my share. I start to protest, but then you remind me of the couscous salad we made together last spring and all the times I baked and I fall silent; we’re even. Then you add that we can repeat this someday and I smile.
Two glasses of water stand on the table, we haven’t been drinking alcohol together lately. Silence makes me uncomfortable, so I open YouTube, give you my phone and ask you to choose the music. After a couple of minutes, Two Shoes by The Cat Empire sounds out of the loudspeakers. The melody is upbeat, different than the music I normally listen to. The gas oven hisses. We top the pizza together while chatting about what has been going on in our lives.
I’ve been looking forward to it, almost dying to have this again– spending time with you, talking to you. I’ve never understood this irrational urge to keep you so close, to share everything with you. I hated myself for my incapability of explaining the nature of my feelings for you. It tortured me for months. But now I finally understand– black and white doesn’t exist, not for me. Some can connect with people in more ways than just platonically or romantically. And no matter what others think, I’m not a bad person for not fitting into society’s grid. I didn’t choose this and it’s not wrong.
We’re still a bit unsure about how to deal with this closeness. There’s no manual for dealing with situations like this, no example that tells us how to act. I sit on the creaky armchair, leaning against the soft (hopefully fake) sheepskin rug draped over it, legs extended over the unused chair between us at the end of the table, consciously making the effort of not placing them too close to yours. I keep a strict line between your side and my side of the table. No space for accidents.
You, on the other hand, sit on the wooden bench, elbows on the table, slightly inclined. You seem so much more relaxed than me, the air of youthful lightheartedness never leaving you.
The familiarity returns eventually and our conversation broaches more personal topics. ‘I often lied to my girlfriend when I met you,’ you tell me, looking at me as if you’ve just said something about the weather next week. Statements like this used to confuse me so much when we last met, especially when they’re said so casually. Am I suppose to dig deeper? Back then I ignored them, afraid of the truth, but these times are over. We should have been honest with each other from the start. So I ask you why. And a second later: ‘Maybe we should check on the pizza.’
You get up and take the pizza out of the oven, turning your back to me. The armchair squeaks while I shift. Calm indie music, the fizzle of gas and the rattling of the oven door fill the silence.
‘I don’t know,’ you say, glancing at me, but I can see you’re somewhere else, trying to figure out your truth. The light fills the room with an orange-yellowy glow, casting a warm shine on you. ‘I really don’t know.’ And I know you’re being honest. So little has made sense when it comes to us, I struggled with it myself. It took me months to get to this point of recognising, admitting and accepting my truth.
‘The pizza still needs a couple of minutes,’ you decide then, putting it back and returning to your place opposite of me. I’m still quiet, waiting, looking at you. Then you add: ‘I liked you a lot and didn’t know how to deal with it.’ Here it is, a part of your truth, your words filling the small kitchen. And funny enough– it doesn’t freak me out to hear them. Not anymore. I’m so glad we’re having this conversation after all these months of ignoring the elephant in the room.
That’s the beautiful thing: both of us know we want to stay good friends, nothing more and nothing less– even after everything we’ve put each other through and all the pain our bond has caused. Our friendship is stronger than its implications. My fear of your truth has disappeared ever since I’m aware of mine. No matter how ambiguous and intense the feelings were and are, I finally know where they belong– and therefore where they will stay.
The last piece of the puzzle falls into its place. What were the odds that your optimistic prediction from three months ago, ‘we’ll be fine’, would come true. Best case scenarios hardly happen, but all these conflicting truths that used to consume me are finally exposed in the daylight. I’m honest with myself, I’m honest with my love, you and I are honest to each other. I can’t wish for more.
Soo, this is the conclusion of a story that has been troubling me since last spring and an indirect sequel to the post ‘Stars‘ (in case you wondered what it was that I told my love). It is a difficult story to share, I know too well that it’s hard not to judge. You’ve been very kind to me and I hope this won’t change anything. Also, thank you for your comments on my last post, I’ll reply to them asap ❤️ thank you for being here. And as always, feedback is always appreciated and I’m open for questions, too :) take care xx