watched her approach the bed, stopping long enough to wriggle out of her underwear with a delighted sigh. She even pirouetted, lost in the freedom and knowledge of youth and terrible beauty. Terrible because it would settle in the mind of all who beheld her, festering into a slavish desire that was beyond the illusion of control. Yet I was the one who was lucky enough to be close, to be with her. She turned out the bedside light. It was just my heartbeat and hers in the darkness. Slowly, I started to crawl out from under the bed.
e kissed, the kind of kiss you had to pretend was the norm, when really it was everything. She walked out of the apartment and I sat down, drawing in a shaky breath. It had soon become clear that what had been cherished so closely when apart was merely an idealised fantasy, fuelled by a relentless need. I had come so far, had overcome internal hurdles that she would never understand. I stared at the door, torn and confused. Could I overcome one more? To be a friend? I grabbed my coat and chased after her. It was cold outside.
tanding on the balcony, the snow-capped mountains drew my bleary gaze, still so visibly white against the midnight sky. I swayed, feeling the schnapps robbing and misguiding my senses. I had been nervous. Her friend joined me, possibly feeling responsible for my impeding blackout. But the conversation soon changed to about Her. Of course it would. I don’t know why I expected anything else. ‘She cares about you,’ said Her friend. ‘She really likes you.’ ‘No,’ I said, hoping it sounded convincing. ‘She doesn’t. She never will.’ I have never hoped so fervently to be wrong. I was right.