Prose

We are friends, you say

We are friends, you say, as I lean my head on your shoulder and you hug me stronger. If I ever try to come closer to you, I know you won’t turn me down, because friends don’t do that, right? But maybe I’ll start wanting more, wanting more from you. It’s funny, we both know it’s forbidden, but we feel freer than ever.

“We’re just friends,” you say.
But you have that look and you unconsciously raise your eyebrow when you have something else to say, yet you choose to smile and play with my hair because it’s easier than the truth. I do the same thing, I shake my head and turn it the other side. I doubt I could last longer.

“Stop laughing so loud,” you say.
However, you also cause that same laugh. Consciously, you want to listen to it. I don’t know what to say at that moment except that I know you so well and I love your smile and the way you turn your head the other side as if nothing happened at that moment.

So, I watch that smile, over and over again. That’s my friend, indeed. That’s someone who knows what to say without choosing words. He never chooses words, and somehow, they are always in place. For years now, he is where he is, besides me, but I wonder if he truly belongs here? I wouldn’t dare to think that we’re both ready, because I know we aren’t. Or maybe I’m just scared?

I know we’re both afraid of fading. It’s not about emotions, it’s something much bigger. It’s about respect and understanding that we’ve been building for years. And this time I will just lean my head against the wall as tears burn my cheeks, and words persistently suffocate all that’s unspoken.

You know, he always walks me home, waits for me after every date, laughs at my smudged makeup or my bored and sleepy face. But, he waits for me and asks me how I am. He wants to hear it for real, but then his “Did you miss me?” gets out and that’s where the silence appears. I know I can deceive the whole world with my smile, but not him- which doesn’t stop me from smiling and leaving.

I’ve buried all the love I have for him, not wanting to lose my best friend. I want to selfishly keep his embrace full of warmth and understanding. I want to be his person he can always rely on. At least I wanted that, until he came, saying what he felt, in one breath. That’s where I stopped wanting anything and started to achieve everything.

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