About A Boy And A New Friend
The boy fondly watched his new friend, Neo, while he was on the phone. It hadn't been more than 3 minutes since Neo made the call but already, he was starting to sound agitated. Later, Neo explained to the boy why he was arguing with the person on the other end of the line.
Two days back, hours before Neo decided to show up at the boy's door in the middle of the night, Neo met up with his friends and revealed a secret over dinner--- their friend "John" was sleeping with another friend of theirs, "Jane". Trouble is, John is engaged to "Jill", another friend of theirs. Now, John called Neo to beg for him to retract what he said and to lie to everybody in order to cover up his infidelity. It was pointless. Even without Neo revealing it, everybody knew what was happening --- everyone, but Jill. None of them ever dared to talk about it, because they were afraid Jill might find out.
Neo could have not offered any explanation to the boy. Just by listening closely to what Neo was saying on the phone, anyone could easily piece the story together; but the boy wasn't listening. He was watching. He watched how Neo's lips moved as he spoke and he smiled everytime Neo opened his lips big enough to reveal his perfect teeth. He watched how Neo's eyebrows conveyed the sublest of emotions and how the colors of his eyes changed from green to brown to blue as the train they were on, ran through a backdrop of buildings and mountains and a small body of water. He watched Neo's hair and remembered how he played with it to on the beach in an attempt to annoy Neo; and how he tugged it when Neo ran his tongue through his nips later that evening. He watched Neo's chest peek through his button-up shirt and remembered how he dozed off with his head on it, hearing Neo's every heartbeat.
The boy was relieved that Neo offered to tell the story, even without him asking. That way, he wouldn't appear opinion-less in case Neo asked. Neo, he found out in their 2 days of close proximity, was like that. He liked hearing other people's opinions. And he liked it even more if they differed from his. He liked a healthy little debate. And for him, it didn't matter who won in the end. He valued the exchange of insights more.
This time though, Neo didn't ask for his opinion. He went on venting. "Come on! That's just wrong! And what would make it even more wrong is if I didn't tell Jill about it. If I allowed John to continue cheating on her by keeping quiet."
"My thoughts exactly," the boy agreed.
"Right?", he continued. "Imagine if I were sleeping with Ben [the boy's best friend] and all your friends knew about it but none of them told you. That's just unforgivable, isn't it?"
"No. It wouldn't matter. Because we are not in a relationship and it shouldn't matter to me who you sleep with. And it shouldn't matter to you who I sleep with. We're nothing more than fuck buddies, Neo. Nothing more than that. We can sleep with whoever we choose to and neither of us is allowed to take offense in that," the boy would've said under normal circumstances. But he didn't. Because right this very moment, for the boy, there was nothing normal with the circumstances. He was extraordinarily happy and scared at the same time because for the first time in so long, he felt hope. That, and a multitude of butterflies fluttering relentlessly in his stomach.
Thursday, June 26, 2008