To my surprise, for a while she didn’t react. Her arms lay limp by her side. I could feel her lean backwards as I held her. As I moved away slightly, she looked up at me, this questioning look in her eyes. I didn’t have anything to say and I had hoped that she had understood what I had been trying to convey to her. Slowly, a smile had appeared on her face and she had put her arms around my neck and stayed like that. I remember people around us had stared at us, but I don’t think either of us cared.
When she finally let go she had very simply said, thanks, I needed that.
I settled down on her couch and tried to get some sleep. Maya was one of those early birds unfortunately. Yes, you know the type. The ones who can’t stay awake beyond ten and can’t sleep beyond 8 am. Sometimes I ask myself why I’m friends with this woman. I can never come up with a good enough reason.
As I got comfortable, I realized that I had started my new year with Maya. I mean, sure I could have been with my friends but I don’t know. At the risk of sounding very chick like, this was nice too. Just sitting around, chatting with Maya.
Life would be all too easy if Maya and I got together. I know that. We get along really well, my friends love her and she’s just great. But she’s not my type. I like my women to be a little more mysterious, a little more glamorous. Maya just.. you know, she was always there. Consistent, affectionate, funny, accommodating. The perfect friend. Of course, she complained when I didn’t show up on time, or when I didn’t shave but she quickly forgot about it. She didn’t hold any grudges, she forgave and actually forgot.
I know she sounds just perfect. But that’s on paper. Guys will get this. I hope. There is just something missing. I can’t place my finger on it. But I have thought about it. I don’t know if she has. She never shows any signs. I know she dotes on me, but that’s it. Sometimes, I wonder what is wrong with me. I wonder why she doesn’t have any feelings for me. I’m not being narcissist here, I’m just saying. What’s wrong with Maya that she doesn’t feel anything for me? I’m not repulsive, I know for a fact that she enjoys spending time with me.
Okay, now you see. This is where relationships between a guy and a girl go haywire. When this angle comes into play. Now I know I won’t be able to look at her without wondering whether she has had the same thoughts. I somehow think it’s a terrible idea, you know, friends hooking up but I wouldn’t have mind giving it a shot, had it been anyone but Maya. I didn’t want to lose her, if I goofed up. Which I invariably did. But there were just so many around, that I didn’t see the need to go back and settle things. When it came to love and relationships, my motto was, to each his own.
I mean, if you didn’t look out for yourself, who would? No, I would stay away from Maya. Just then another thought struck me. What did she make of my staying over and commenting on her dates all the time? Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea staying back. I didn’t want her to think I was hitting on her or anything. Or that we could be.
On an impulse, I crept back into her room to check on her. She was fast asleep, her arm stretched out and her fist clenched. I had to smile. She claimed it was the most comfortable sleeping position but it looked more like she was trying to box somebody. I unclenched her fist and put her arm under her blanket. I pecked her forehead before I walked out. I knew what I was going to do next would probably hurt her, but it had to be done. I had to make it absolutely clear to her that we could never be together. I didn’t want her to feel misled or tricked.
I turned and walked out of her house, shutting the door behind me as I left.
Photograph via sxc.hu