Kate- The Journalist
Our dinner date had gone strangely well. I didn't expect him to act cool or collected; he seemed to be having just as much fun as I was pretending to.
"No! You're kidding me!"
"No, honestly. This guy had been making these perverted faces behind me the whole time we were filming and I hadn't even realised! I mean I was in a war zone for goodness sake! And it was being broadcast live as well!" Ryan laughed even harder at that- which made me smile. I hadn't made another guy smile since Louie. What are you doing girl? Stop thinking about him, he's dead.
"So how about your family? What are they like?" Ryan had adopted an elbow-on-the-table-with-his-knuckles-supporting-his-chin position, starting to really enjoy my stories. I'd constantly had a feeling that he was holding up a front just as fake as mine- but how could I hold that sort of thing against him anyway? I was doing the exact same thing, and sometimes, just sometimes, it felt like he had let his guard down and started to really enjoy himself. All I could conclude was that I was playing him like a tool.
"I have none." When I said that he looked at me for a microsecond before something twitched in his eye. It was as though whatever barrier he had put between himself and me had now shattered, only to be filled in with pure, unadulterated emotion.
“It’s okay, I only ever really knew my uncle, and he was a tosser.” We both tried to smile at that, but we both knew I had just made this date a lot more awkward than it was before.
Just in the nick of time the waiter came over with the bill that Ryan had asked for earlier when we had decided eons ago that we were planning to go back to my place. Before I could say anything he did the most typical ‘gentlemanly’ trick in the book.
“Don’t worry, I’ll pay.” He took out his wallet and paid the total amount of money on the piece of paper and a sub-standard tip. Which even though I would have normally said was a bit tight for a guy; I believed he had perfect reason to after we had been sitting for hours longer than we needed to. In fact it had given me the time to fully extend the offer of showing his gifts to the world and to my astounded surprised he agreed with me without any reluctance! I didn’t want to question his reasoning in fear that he would back-track on what he’d just said.
We both got up without talking, he helped me put my jacket on and within 20 minutes of silence in the taxi, we were back at mine.
As we both walked up to the door of the apartment complex that I lived at we stared at each other for a short while in admiration before he decided to say: “Well, goodnight then.” I couldn’t take it any more, my desires took over my strategic, planning mind and I kissed him passionately. He didn’t break it off, but it was though there was some sort of reluctance in his kiss, as though he too was desperate to let his true feeling shine and kiss me back. However something was more important than the longing in his kiss that prevented him from truly responding. He finally ended the kiss and tried to look away, great sadness welling in his eyes.
“I should go now. I’m sorry.” And with that he just took off. No explanation, no tears, nothing. I stood there watching him as he left in the taxi, I waited until he was gone before I walked back inside to reception. And I so badly just wanted him to tell me the truth, to tell me what was wrong. Then I bowed my head in shame at the realisation that that made me simply a hypocrite, and I walked back inside, to rest my head on that cheap, stuffy pillow.