People talk about palpable tension, tension that you can cut with a knife. I always thought that that was fiction and poetic language for romance novels, rom-coms, fanfics, and Tumblr. I never would have believed it was real. But here it is, heavy on my shoulders and on my eyelids. Is this why people lower their lashes before whispering “I love you”s?
God, I’d like to roll my eyes, but he’s not a bad guy; I don’t want to hurt him, and rolling my eyes right as he’s mustering the courage to get out the words would hurt him. Maybe I should have followed the others inside, but how would I have done that without making it obvious, and I’d only have been delaying the inevitable, wouldn’t I? Maybe it’s best that he get this out now. But he hardly knows me. I hardly know him.
Those words cut through the tension just like a knife, and that knife plunges into me, spilling an answer, but then that knife is in my gut and twisting, chiding.
I long for the simpler days of high school romances, when we’d known each other for nine years or more. We knew a lot about each other before we’d even met in a town like mine, and when you’d been friends first, it was easy to just enjoy the date without worrying about the introductions.
I remember those dates. They were nothing more than two friends of the opposite gender going to see a film. The expectations were there, but were superseded by the need that we felt to uphold the friendship. And that’s what I want now, and that can’t happen without a friendship first to protect.