Almost stalemate.

It just wasn’t me you were right about.” – Summer Finn

We sat across each other. He smoked, a mug of Corona in front of him. I watched him, inhaling as much second-hand smoke to cause lung cancer by the morning. He seemed comfortable enough when he initiated the change in the topic of our conversation. We veered away from the good old arguments about divorce and abortion, conspiracy theories, freedom, communism, etc. to the supposedly more important one of the feelings. He told me how he felt about our setup. He said that I was a trusted friend but he is willing to risk the friendship for something more by telling me the three words he’d been meaning to say for so long. So, he told me.

“I like you.”

And I just stared. Unfeeling. It crossed my mind how hard this must be for him. I wanted to say something to lift up the heavy cloud that was slowly settling around us. He looked at me, waited for my answer. I didn’t look away but stared squarely at him instead. We were daring each other. He was the first to look away. I won.

“Please understand that I would never want to put you in an uncomfortable situation. I am risking everything now, playing all my cards.”

“I know. Think me ruthless, your Irene Adler. I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can give you right now. I just came out of a rut and I’m not ready for something like this.”

He shook his head, disappointed.

“Always bad timings for me! I must have a Ph.D. in Bad Timings.” That made me smile.

“Maybe it just wasn’t me you were right about.”

“No. I know what I want. It’s the timing that wasn’t right. Well, we never know. Maybe in the future.”

“Yes, we never know.”

He drank the last of his beer.

I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that I see no future with him at all. I just didn’t want to add insult to the injury.

With everything falling down to nothing, I’d like to believe in all the possibilities.


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