Chapter 7 - Retained.

Even when it’s dark,

You still shine bright.


Even when it’s cold,

You can still keep me warm.


Even when I’m being pulled down my emotions,

You still bring me back up to the surface.


Even when I try to forget you,

Just for a minute

To let other thoughts enter my mind,

I can’t.



  I was outside his door. His actual front door was in front of me, and I was standing there, for the first time, waiting to be let in by the one I was so infatuated by, so close to compared to when I had first laid my eyes on him properly some two years ago. We had become close friends very quickly; our friendship had progressed into something that could have taken much longer for anyone else. It was like he had become my best friend all of a sudden – possibly at the extent of some of my other friends, but to me, that didn’t matter at the time. He was my one goal, my one aim, and I was only there to fulfil that one thing.

  When he opened the door, I smiled broadly, making sure he saw that I wanted to be there. I had, so many other times, given the wrong impression of myself that I was fully conscious of how I presented myself to others. He smiled back, greeted me, and invited me inside his house.

  Once inside, I took my coat off to reveal the blue top I was wearing, and black skirt. Very slightly suggestive, but not so much that it was too eye-catching. He was different from other guys; he was respectful towards all who deserved it and had never been, in my presence, inappropriate about girls, or anyone, come to think of it. He seemed balanced and courteous, and I liked that.

  I walked through to the living room with him, to see some of our friends talking together. Some had not arrived yet, and in their place were people I had not seen before, and so assumed they were outsiders to our college. They seemed nice enough –similar characteristics and dress to him, but slightly different, not quite as outstanding and captivating. I had always felt his friend choice was genuine and from the heart, and so was perhaps honoured when he chose me to be a friend of his.

  Some of the friends were drinking, but he had chosen not to. Whether this was because there was a shortage or because he was not a guest I did not know, but I felt that maybe it was out of decency, not wanting to portray himself badly, rather than a practical matter. He always stuck by his opinions, sometimes slightly too stubborn, but his general attitude towards such things were respected by me, and he always seemed to know what he was talking about.

  I joined his friends on the other side of the room, him following me, and started talking. They were discussing important things, not the shallow things I was so used to hearing about. And that was one of the things that attracted me to him. He was so...genuine. He didn’t make things up to look more popular, and his popularity wasn’t the most important thing to him. He did things even though other people might not like it. He stood up for things others wouldn’t, as they were too afraid of the opposition. There was a certain amount f courage about him, different to the others.

  After about half an hour of introducing, learning about each other and just generally catching up, he came up to me, and pulled me away from his friends.

  “I haven’t really spoken to you all evening. How’s things?”

  “They’re great, thanks, How are you?”

  “Yeah, I’m really good, actually. You get on with my other friends?” The way he spoke to me was so sincere, so concentrated, like he was truly taking in what I was saying.

  “I do, they’re all very nice. Quite similar to you in some ways, actually.”

  He laughed. “A lot of people say that. I guess I get on well with like-minded people.” He smiled at me after he said that, a different smile to the usual soft one he had. It was softer, but with a slight edge to it. I couldn’t work out what he meant by it, and so continued talking.

  We sat on the sofa and talked, for at least two hours. Many topics came up that we hadn’t really touched upon before, topics that were more about ourselves rather than superficial ideas. The conversation had become very intense, almost like he needed to know about me. He asked me questions, mainly about myself, and so I answered them, wondering what they were leading up to. He had me so engaged in the conversation that I lost all sense of time, and when we got interrupted by one of his friends there was only an hour and a half of the gathering left. While he went to get another drink for his friend, I sat alone on the sofa, contemplating what had just happened.

  He appears very...interested in me tonight. Should I take that as a good sign? Maybe he possibly likes me. More than a friend? Hmm, maybe he’s just being nice. Making sure I don’t feel left out around his other friends. Though I was getting on with them just fine, and I’m sure that was obvious from his point of view. So maybe there was something in it. We were talking for a long time. He seemed genuinely interested in me. Discussing myself. It’s possible. But not probable. Just possible.

  When I snapped out of my thoughts, I looked around the room. It was nearly filled with people, most from college, some from outside. I had spoken to most of them this evening – there were a couple I hadn’t spoken to but they had either not been in the right place at the right time or hadn’t said anything when I spoke to their other friends, and so I presumed them incapable of decent conversation.

  There were a few empty drink bottles scattered in various points throughout the living room. I hadn’t drunk anything, but I had been distracted by him, and so thought nothing of it. He had not drunk anything either, but when I picked him out from the crowd in front of me I noticed a newly-opened can in his hand as he talked. He was back in the room now, but hadn’t come over to speak to me. Instead he was with our friends from school, looking a lot looser and distant than he had done when he was speaking with me. I wanted to speak to him again. I missed his company, after only a few minutes.

  “Hey.” I had got up off of the sofa without even realising, and had made my way over to him, before tapping him on the shoulder. He turned round, smiled, and reflected back my greeting.

  “Hey. Sorry for leaving you. He wanted another drink.” He pointed to his friend, who by the looks of it didn’t need another drink at all. “I wanted to talk to you, actually.”

  I looked at him, blankly, and he carried on explaining.

  “I...have something I’d like to say to you. But here isn’t a good place. It’s getting rather...disorganised.” I looked over at the crowd of people in the corner. Disorganised was an understatement.

  “Okay, where should we go?”

  “Upstairs?” He started walking, and I followed behind him, curious about what he felt he should say to me.

  He opened the door to his room, walking in first, leaving me to step slowly behind and close the door. His room was like I imagined it – small, but overcrowded and disorganised. He had a guitar in the corner that I was unaware that he played, and various different guitar tablature books. Notepads and sketchpads were strewn across the floor, some half open displaying his work, others closed, and obviously untouched. His bedside table was tidy but his floor was the opposite, containing more clothes than his open wardrobe did. I had often wondered how someone so articulate could be so disorganised when it came to physical objects. He often came into college having lost a piece of work, or forgotten it, or not even finished it, but when it was finished there would never be a single mistake. His words would be set out neatly in his perfect handwriting, looking almost printed. I had always been jealous of his handwriting as, even as an artist, I could never quite get perfection in my work, or writing.

  He moved some of the things on the floor into the corner with his foot, and cleared the clothes on his bed. I sat down on the now empty space, and he seated himself in his chair, next to his computer.

  “So...what did you want to say?”

  “Well...It’s hard.”

  “I’m sure it’s fine. Just say it.” He looked nervous, something I had never really seen before. Nervousness was not in his disposition. Nervousness showed weakness, and weakness was something he rarely portrayed.

  “Okay.” He took a deep breath, averting his gaze from the floor to my eyes. “The truth is...Well..We’ve got quite close over these past few weeks, right? I mean, since December, we’ve had a lot And communication. And now I feel like I know you a lot better. You see, I don’t want to destroy anything, as I think you’re great, and you’ve been a good friend to me, but...” He paused.

  This could go either two ways. Am I going to get what I want, or lost it? Why did he have to build up so much tension in such a simple conversation?

  I was scared. Scared because, even though I couldn’t be certain about what he was going to say, I knew it would change something. Dramatically. He wouldn’t have called me up to his room in such a state for something trivial and unnecessary. I looked into his eyes, pressing him to continue with what he was saying.

  “Okay.” He took another deep breath. “I like you. I really like you. And I don’t know if you feel the same, but I’ve been thinking about it, and I want something to happen. Only if you do, of course. And I promise I’m 100% serious. What do you say?”

  I looked at him. My eyes opened slightly wider, my breath stopped, just for a second, and I smiled.

  “I’ve been wanting you to say that for so long, you probably don’t even realise how long...But, I feel the same.”

  “Really?” He looked as shocked as I felt. In my mind it all made sense, but I was finding it hard to comprehend.

  “Yes, really.”

  “Will my girlfriend then?”

  “Yes, I will.”

He smiled at me, and I smiled back. Our eyes looked into each other’s, and slowly, ever so slowly, he reached for my hand, not moving his gaze from mine.

  “Thank you.”


The End

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