You’ve Got No Male

I just came across a writing piece I started working on a few years ago, thought I’d share! Love to hear your thoughts..?

Pink marshmallows dipped in hot chocolate would never taste the same again.

I replaced the teaspoon slowly, deliberately, on the edge of the saucer, careful not to allow the impact of his words to show. For a handful of painful heartbeats, I stared at where a few drops of the rich Belgian couverture he had paid for tumbled over the edge of the cup lip, symbolic of the way a few words falling from his Iips had sent me tumbling over my own edge. I swallowed the remnants of both the marshmallow and my pride before raising a steady gaze to meet his anxious one.

I’d been in love with my best friend Darcy for the last eight months now. I still remember the exact time and place it hit me that this was so much more than friendship.

And here he sat across from me at our regular table in our regular cafe, on an otherwise regular day. Only thing different was, we were having the most irregular conversation.

Darcy revealed his nerves by thrumming his fork against the tabletop the way he always did when he was agitated. His luminescent blue eyes implored me to speak. But I couldn’t. His all-too honest declaration still rang loudly in my ears…

Our friendship means everything to me, but that’s all we’ll ever be – friends. You know that, right? We’re still cool?

I cleared my throat, preparing to tell him that no, things were far from cool, when, clearly fearful of what I would say, he began rambling.

“I think you’re an amazing girl -“

Oh dear God please let this chair swallow me whole –

“And we really gel you and I, and I get that, but -“

Oh please please please make him stop talking –

“It can just never happen between us.”

Ah, there it is, that beautiful word filled with so much hope, Never.

“At least not now – I’d be no good for you, given everything that happened with you-know-who.”

Gosh, he still couldn’t even say her name, as though she were some demented wizard. Okay, so even I only ever referred to her as The Cow, but still, it had been nearly a year now since she had kicked him out for frig’s sake!

“I’m enjoying my freedom -“

ie. sleeping with whomever I liked…

“and taking life as it comes. I’m not looking for anything to weigh me down-“

What, so now I was an anchor?!

“I’d just end up breaking your heart -“

Too late…

“And the truth is, I couldn’t imagine not having you my life. Trust me, I know that if we went down that path, I’d just find a way to totally screw it all up, and then I’d never see you again. You would hate me and I couldn’t bear that. Your place in my life is far too valuable for me to ever put that in jeopardy. Girlfriends come and go – and don’t I know that well – but you and me, we’re infinite.”

Wow. How was it even when he was in the midst of breaking me in two, his words could also make my heart soar?

He leaned across the table and took my hand forcefully in both of his, the way you comfort someone in pain. It was almost my undoing, but I forced the tears not to come. Now more than ever, I couldn’t bear for him to ever know how deeply my feelings for him ran.

“Please, promise me things won’t be awkward between us now. Let’s just go back to the way things always were, yeah?” he pleaded.

I withered beneath the intensity of his gaze, like a winter flower exposed to the summer sun. Shards of ice started to build a fortress around my heart. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach, and were I not sitting down I was fairly certain I would want to double over in agony. I wasn’t quite sure how we’d even ventured onto this topic. One minute we’d been joking about the bad romantic comedy we’d just watched; the next minute I was living in one where the joke was all on me. We’d started arguing about the feasibility of the plot, when I found myself boldly declaring, Of course friends can be lovers.

The cautious glint that had suddenly tarnished his beautiful eyes had been the first sign that the rest of this conversation would not be peachy. Now here we were making declarations about our non-existent future.

I had daydreamed about this moment for eight months now and nothing in the way he ever looked at me or the dopey way he smiled when I laughed at his bad jokes ever foreshadowed the calamity that had now befallen us.

It was almost too much to bear, the thought of us carrying on as though nothing had happened, to cavalierly pretend my hopes had not been crushed.

Yet even as I prepared to get up and simply walk away, he levelled me with his broadest smile, before saying the one thing he knew would make me smile back no matter what mood I was ever in. “I think we should ask ourselves, in this situation, what would Bono say?”

It was our mutual love of all things U2 that had first brought us together, one year ago, when we were both berating the music selection at a mutual friend’s wedding reception. Which during our friendship had led to trying to prove who was the most adept at casually throwing U2 lyrics into random every day situations. 

In spite of every emotion swirling inside of me, I could feel a smile building as I thought of the exact perfect lyric. I tried biting my lip but it was in vain. ” ‘A woman needs man like a fish needs a bicycle.’ “

His grin deepened. “Touché.”

The traitorous smile crept slowly across my lips. And just like that, the connection between us drew me helplessly back toward him, like a life buoy dragging me to the shoreline, and I knew I could never just walk away.

As we laughed self-consciously to alleviate the tension, I knew this path was destined for more heartache, but I was helpless to turn back…

2 thoughts on “You’ve Got No Male

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