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Monday, 17 December 2007

Two Friends Together

Manic Mother, I'm at your service. Details you require, details you shall have. If you are of a nervous, sensitive, or disinterested disposition, look away now.

Still here?

Right. Let's go.

Thursday evening. My old department Christmas meal. I'm there only by virtue of the fact that it was arranged before I moved departments, but these are old friends, friends I've had for many years. It had been booked for many weeks, since before there was awkwardness between us. I had dreaded this evening, not for the awkwardness, but for the memory of what was, and what could have been. And still I decided to go, when the sensible decision would have been not to. Over the last few weeks, we had started to rebuild the fragments of what we shared, tentative steps to redefine our friendship. A friendly smile, a quick chat, nothing more than that.

Still in the office, I got changed, called for some of my girls on the way down to the ground floor. They were nowhere in sight, but he was. We took the lift, my gaze fascinated beyond measure upon the door panel. Collected the girls downstairs, made our way to the bar. We stood side by side at the bar, as we'd done so many times before, chatting, muttering about our lack of bar presence.

We got to the restaurant, he sat opposite me. We chatted across the tapas, I switched to full on party mode, regaling the table with information they could do well without whilst eating, to much hilarity. I relaxed. It was going to be OK. I had my friend back, and it was just like before.

And that was all I'd ever wanted. Wasn't it?

The meal over, many people decided to leave. Not us. A group of us, just a handful, decided to move on to a bar; I was, after all, celebrating. It's not every day you get a degree, and by lord I was going to enjoy it. Numbers dwindled, three of us left. Me and my two favourite boys. Like evenings of old. It felt right. We moved on to another bar, sat laughing, drinking, exchanging gossip, and traditional office party banter.

Our friend left, it was late. Closing time. First decision. Time to go? Move on to another bar? Move to a different town? Did I want to go home, or stay over? Deep breath. Let's go on somewhere else, I'll stay over. I've done it lots of times before, my brain said. Before there was this between us. It has always been fine, and this will show me that we can be friends again. Did I believe that voice? I did. Don't believe me? It's true, and I'll tell you why.

Because I didn't dare believe that something would happen between us.

Just two friends together.

So we moved on to a venue more local to him. Sat on high stools next to the bar, facing each other, and talked like we had of old. Serious conversation, difficult topics, the occasional brush of a hand against an arm to show support, the occasional resting of fingertips against each other.

Just two friends together.

Back to his house, sitting next to each other, watching a DVD. Chatting, smiling, entirely comfortable with each other, just like we'd been in the past.

Just two friends together.

And then something more. Impossible to say who had started it, irrelevant really. I don't regret it, as I've said. It might not have been sensible, but there is little in my life that is governed by logic. If we need to redefine our friendship, or walk away from each other to protect ourselves, we'll reach the decision between us this time.

But as the dawn broke, I lay in his arms and wondered where we go now, the two friends together.

9 comments:

belle said...

Nicely put :o)

aims said...

How romantic! How wonderful! - a little time and a little separation - works magic....

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Oh Tina, you just make me melt. To hell with what any of us think - getting a degree AND the office christmas do, well it would have been rude not to......... If YOU are happy and YOU had a good time and YOU are fine with it then who am I to question that.

I just hope HE gets his head round it all so capably.

Fair enough?

To you and yours my lovely, merry Christmas and here's to 2008 and no more heart break xxxx

debio said...

Good for you, tina, good for you!

Life's too short for too much pondering - and much beyond our control for all that introspection.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

If you can keep that friendship, you have everything.

Crystal xx

Lola said...

I'm supposed to be revising for exams in January, and I *have* been revising, but procrastination is important too, so I went off into the blogosphere and found you.

Wow! I love that you know how to write, and wonder at how you can be so honest in a public place - doesn't he know you blog? what if he reads it? My blogging suddenly feels very limited by the knowledge that my parents are my biggest fans.

And go for that novel, I'd buy it, and I've only known you for an hour.

Stinking Billy said...

The previous comments have said it all, really. You are one sexy woman, Tina.

Swearing Mother said...

Good for you Tina, life is not a rehearsal so go for it.

Tina said...

Belle - why thank you.

Aims - well... we'll see...

MM - my sentiments exactly. Rude not to.

Debio - hi there! Too right. I spend enough time worrying about things that are IN my control.

Crystal - you're right. I hold on to that.

Lola - welcome! He does know I blog, he tried reading it when I first started it, but he said it felt like reading my diary & stopped. I think anonymity can be very important, there are only perhaps a couple of people here (hello Belle & C!) who know the person behind the blogger. However, I try not to let it interfere. I just have a big mouth, I think!

Stinking Billy - are you flirting with me? (peeps coquettishly from behind her fan)

SM - As you will see, I appear to be taking your advice...