Paolo and I had been exchanging messages for a few weeks, ranging from the generic how are you doing today? to subtle invitations for meeting again or sex. He told me how he liked me from the first time we met, that he didn’t mind talking to me despite the fact that I wasn’t free to venture into yet another kind of complication. I didn’t want to let him down, not just yet, so I returned the favour and told him that I liked him, too. And I meant it.
I liked him because he could keep up with our conversations. He is not the nicest guy around with his ill humour, to the point of being sarcastic sometimes, but that I paid back with a few bad tricks I could employ for his and my amusement. He knew how to read between the lines, that’s why I never dared lie to him about anything. I trusted him. And that gave him the courage to ask me out again for a “real” date, proposing that I move in with him and be his boy friend.
That invitation sounded the alarm. I wanted us to be friends, but I got scared that we would be too close and that I’d just fail him in the end. Slowly but surely, I started to give him reasons not to like me. With all the creativity stored inside my head, I invented every plausible excuse to escape the snare I myself devised. But he was very persistent still. I could tell that he really wanted me, which added to the guilt that I was feeling. I felt trapped, like an amateur trapeze artist walking on a tightrope for the first time. Every step I made presented danger of falling. It’s just a matter of which direction I would choose.
One day, while I was lying on the sofa just beside my best friend’s study table, I found myself staring at him while he was working on his school projects. I was lost in thought, tracing all the time and circumstances that brought me to that very moment, discerning if the weight of my need for something new was enough for me to give up everything we’ve been through & the uncertain future that awaits us. But my love for him, as I knew it, would always win. That was enough to end the story.