Mutually Friendzoned

Almost 5 months since our first date which wasn’t a date.

5 months and 4 more dates that were not dates.

We went out for more ice cream, then for dinner, for dinner again, last we went to the bowling alley. Next weekend we will go play pool together.

We have agreed to meet up regularly, to hang out together. And yes, just as friends. (H is fine with it; he sees no issues. We had actually asked him to come along, but he doesn’t want to, so our regular “pseudo-dates” have become a thing…)

But I would like to have more. And judging from the way you act around me or even when you are not around me, I can only come to the conclusion that you have started falling in love with me as well. I checked like a trillion websites on interpreting men’s behaviour and it all boils down to the same. I have been wrong before about these kind of things in the past with the first you, but now I don’t see how I could be wrong when there are so many clear, blunt and obvious signs. It could only be more obvious if you said the words (which I know you never will).

You have this constant silly smile on your face, this puppy grin when we’re out alone together. With each “pseudo-date” you have become more attentive, more chivalrous, and physically closer. No touching but almost there.

I have also noticed that you tend to need some distance after each of those dates. It’s like you need time for yourself to sort your feelings again and then you come back to us again, a bit hungrier for it, whatever it really is.

Nothing will happen, I guess. We have made it clear. We are doing this as friends. So far no one has crossed any boundaries. No touching, like I said. We didn’t even hug when saying hello or goodbye. Well, not until yesterday at least. Had to kind of convince you it was fine to do so as friends. Wait, actually I had told you I felt weird just shaking hands and that you’d remind me of a big cuddly teddy bear that just begs to be hugged. Yes, I told you this. Couldn’t tell you face to face, even though I had wanted to do. It was after our last date at the bowling alley: we went to the train station together for you to catch your train back home. We were standing right opposite of each other, as close as never before. Your train was coming. Time to say goodbye. You were looking into my eyes. It felt intense. And sad. But I just couldn’t find the courage to ask you for a hug this time. So I texted you a day later and asked. A smiley face later you said it was fine.

Yesterday you were invited to our party here. So we were not alone, it was not one of those dates. But when you arrived here, I opened the door for you and out of habit, I offered my hand, but you went in for the hug saying “nah, that’s what you had wanted, right”. And so we hugged, we were close to each other, our bodies touching. And also when you left, I just hugged you. I wasn’t sure if we had silently agreed on just one hug or if it was solely hugs from now on, so I will just go for the latter option 🙂

I feel high on whatever we are having. I don’t want to call it love. Or an affair. It’s not just friendship either. I just know. You don’t have to say it. There are so many examples that prove all this. This time, I am not wrong. However, I am not sure if you are aware of this yourself. If you know what you are feeling. Maybe you are confused. Unsure. Or you do know and try to not fall for it. We are on a public Discord server together and we regularly chat on it with each other and other people. On the day before our party here, the topic was about emotions and you said (not to me but in general chat): “Can someone please help me throw my feelings out the window, brain tells me they are bad and I trust my brain…” You keep saying that you are kind of immune to feelings and emotions, but I don’t believe you. I saw it clearly when we were talking about your beloved puppy from your childhood and obviously you seem like a gentle, caring guy. And I believe this statement in general chat might have hinted at us or at least that you are aware of some strange feelings you cannot describe.

It must be hard for you I guess. You don’t want to hurt H, who is my husband, your friend, your coworker, your boss-to-be. You don’t want to lose our friendship. You don’t want a relationship in general, want to stay by yourself. And you made it clear that you would hate me if I ever cheated on H for no reason. I guess you settled for what we are having now. I am trying to do the same. We have mutually friendzoned each other, one could say. I don’t know if this will work. Guess we will have to find out and see.

For me it’s clear that I love both of you equally. I have tried to figure out what’s wrong with my marriage or what I am feeling for H. But there is nothing wrong. It’s all good. It’s perfect. Still, I love you just as much. And why should it not be possible? After all, I love both my parents equally. I don’t prefer one over the other or love one more than the other. But I guess no one would understand this with regards to romantic relationships and as long as neither you nor H would understand that this is possible, I will have to leave it as it is. Because I do not want to hurt either of you. I do not want to lose any of you. It’s a compromise at best. But one I will try to accept. I wouldn’t be able to choose just one of you because the other would always get hurt.

I will accept our mutual friendzone with all its ups and downs. Right now I am on a high from the party yesterday and yes, the hug. And I am looking forward to our next pseudo-date on Saturday.

I also know that there will be days when I will want more, when I won’t be able to deal with your need for distance, when I will cry like a baby, when I will miss you like crazy. But I do not regret feeling all this for you, do not regret having met you.

 

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My Beacon/The Blinking Cursor

Getting over this second miscarriage is really hard. Even though we lost this baby at an early stage, the pain is there, full force. At the same time, I don’t feel sad, I don’t need to cry. However, neither do I feel anything at all. No joy, no motivation to do anything. Nothing. I just feel really numb. There seems to be only one thing that can still bring a smile to my face, that gives me something to look forward to, to enjoy. You guessed it probably: it’s you. It must sound so cliché, but right now you are my beacon of light and of hope. The one thing that gives my life some meaning right now. Don’t get me wrong, I still love H, probably now more than ever, after all we’ve been through recently. But he’s hurting so much, too. He’s sad. Crushed. We are not able to cheer each other up right now. We’re supporting each other, but it’s so painful. So I’m coming right back to you. It’s not about love or sex. I guess it’s the same as last time. I find strength in your silent comforting, your support, just you being there. Your understanding. Your friendship.

We told our parents and kind of agreed to also tell our siblings, which is my brother and you. At one point or another you’d find out anyway. So I expected your mother to tell you, but maybe when H talked to her he told her not to say anything to you. You only found out about it when I told you yesterday.

But let me back up a bit first: on Saturday you made a really thoughtful offer. That next weekend get-together is approaching, you know, the one when we are to talk. So instead of just meeting there and having to find a good time to go for a walk together without anyone else around, you offered to come to us on Friday, have that conversation here while H is at work and then drive up there together with us. You’ll have the week off so there would be no scheduling conflicts. When I read that message on Saturday, it really brightened up my day, made me happy. It was just what I needed then. (I told you…my beacon.) I didn’t give you a definite answer then, just told you that I wouldn’t have to go to work that day either and so it would be an option, but we didn’t make a “final arrangement” yet.

Then yesterday was a really tough day for me. We met up with your mother nearby. It was very emotional, lots of crying. She’s trying to comfort us, but with her it tends to make matters worse sometimes. She’s a wonderful person and she does it from the goodness of her heart, but I just can’t deal with that right now. So after that emotional day, I decided to email you and honestly told you how much it would mean to me if you could actually do what you had offered. And then I also openly told you why it means so much to me. I told you that we’d lost another baby last week and that things are rough right now.

I got your reply about 2 hours later. You said it would definitely be no problem to come here on Friday and that you would do it. You mentioned that your mother had not told you about the miscarriage yet. And then you said: “This blinking cursor is getting on my nerves. Let’s just use that Friday for everything else.” It took me a while to figure out what you meant by that. I guess you were at a loss for words and could only stare at the mouse cursor blinking in your email that you were trying to write…

I’m sorry. I didn’t want to burden you with this. I really thought your mother had told you already. I actually have no clue what this kind of news does to you. Do you just feel really sad for H and me? Or is it a different kind of pain because you might actually like me a bit more than I think?

I really do look forward to that Friday. Two and a half weeks still. I’m not afraid. I feel that I can be completely honest with you. And I am open to whatever you will have to say, to this crazy mess I got myself into with you, to your feelings for me (of whatever kind they are) and to H’s and my recent loss. I really feel this deep connection with you, some bond on a more profound level.

I am so glad to have you in my life.

A Dream

H and I went to sleep way too early on Saturday. It was only 9:30pm! H was tired and I did not really know what else to do. But whenever I go to sleep “out of schedule”, I tend to not sleep well. Saturday was no exception. First I had a nightmare (unrelated to you) that woke me up in the middle of the night and kept me from falling asleep for probably about an hour. When I finally managed to doze off again, I dreamed of you:

It was night and apparently, we were at a friend’s house, together with other friends. We all crashed in one big room, on sleeping bags or on the guest sofa. You and I were on that sofa next to each other. No clue where H was in that dream. He was nowhere to be seen. Anyway, you were topless, in your boxer shorts. You were not yet asleep, but talking to someone in that room, whispering in the night. And I just touched your stomach, started to caress it, your soft skin. Then you got up, went into a closet to change your clothes (yup, weird place to do that, but it was a dream after all…) and came back. You told me to take the outer side of the sofa. And then you told me, in a pretty harsh tone of voice: “If you touch me again, I’ll push you off!” Oh, the rejection! But I slid over and turned around, my back towards you. I eventually ended up sleeping on the floor, far away from you. (But I am sure that you did not push me.)

The dream went on with us waking up and we both were searching for the bathroom to freshen up in the morning. It was a huge building (seemed like a youth hostel or something like that), so we had to walk a lot. And while walking, you told me that you did and said what you did last night only because you did not want anyone else in that room to get suspicious. You then said something like “I really liked the way you touched me. You would like it, too, wouldn’t you?” and you suddenly started to caress my back, my arms. I was so shocked, I started shivering and trembling. Oh, I loved it so much.

And then I woke up…

…but I kept this feeling all day. This sweet feeling of knowing I was right all along, that you do indeed love me back. The warmth of your touch felt so real.

I like dreaming of you. When I do, it’s often a nice dream in which you like or even love me. For a day or two after such a dream, I feel so high on love. I wonder if you dream of me once in a while and what happens in these dreams, how they make you feel afterwards. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could make myself appear in your dreams, make you want and desire me? Make you fall in love with me?

Hellbound?

Another weekend get-together is over. It felt really good to see you again, after a seemingly endless stretch of 6 weeks. It was worth waiting for so long.

The weather was beautiful, still is. Spring is in the air; sunshine warming up the heart; cheerful feelings. It makes me feel even more flirtatious, in love. And it nourishes my imagination. Whenever I had a quiet minute for myself, I fantasized about how we would secretly find ways to be close to each other, touch, kiss and maybe more, while the others are out or busy doing other things. We could meet downstairs, in the basement, in the laundry room. We’d whisper how much we miss each other. You’d caress my face, gently play with my hair. Before going back up, we’d kiss. When being around the others, we’d secretly exchange meaningful glances, our feet or hands touching unnoticeably to anyone but us.

Or I would imagine how you would finally admit to me that you lied before and that you actually do feel something for me. It would be subtle again. A gentle touch, almost as if by accidence. But then another one, letting me know that it was intentional. Later you’d find an opportunity alone with me, tell me how you feel, touch me again. Try to kiss me. I’d push you away at first, but you’d insist, try again. And I would give in to you. How could I resist? I’d put my arms around you; enjoy your warm embrace, fleeting and furtive, because we’d have to be careful. Someone might come and see.

My mind got ahead of me. Of us. I was thinking about all these things. Dreaming and fantasizing about what it would be like. But I never even once thought about the consequences of all this. It would be so wrong. A sin. We’d be hellbound.

But right now, I don’t really care. I want you. I can’t help it. I’m so into you. I don’t want to give up these warm and fuzzy feelings, the passion, the lust you evoke in me. This fire within, the volcano.

And you’re not exactly helping to stop this anyway. No, quite the opposite actually. I still get the impression that you feel something for me. I have tried to observe your behavior as neutral as possible and I just don’t know how else to interpret what you do and how you act around me.

Let me give you an example: during meals, we were sitting at the round dinner table, H between the two of us. So you were not exactly opposite of me, but somewhat at an angle. When we both were leaning back, H would block our views of each other’s faces. That gave me a nice chance to look at you, out of the corner of my eye, by pretending to look at H or at what he was eating while really just trying to look at you and what you were doing. And more than just once, I caught you doing the same thing! You were looking at H’s plate while briefly glancing over to me. Or just when I looked somewhere else, I’d still keep you in my sight (I have great peripheral vision…) and would see when you turned your head towards me, even if it was just for a short moment. I get that once in a while one would stare somewhere while thinking, lost in thoughts, without realizing what one is looking at. But would I turn my head that much to one side? Would you?

Another example: during conversations, when someone said something funny, you’d laugh and look at me, laugh with me. Even when the joke was not in any way related to us. Instead of looking at the person the joke was about, you looked at me. I love that so much. Seeing you smile, and your beautiful blue-grey eyes! They are so mesmerizing! Gets me every time!

Anyway, it feels like we’re searching for each other when we’re among other people. We’re trying to connect. Always looking to make contact. I am not imagining that. You’re not doing that with H, for example. That’s a fact. Why not? Are you just reacting to me doing it first? It would be milliseconds. Not sure if you could register what I am doing so quickly. Could it not be that we are so much alike or even feel so much the same that we are bonding like that? Reaching out to each other subliminelly?

Right now, I want to believe that this is true, that you love me, too. And I want to pursue this. I don’t want to give up on this hope that we could be together one day, even if it’s just for a few moments, minutes, hours or days. Without regrets.

And maybe we can even avoid hell…

Anarchy

I finally know what you’re using to make me go crazy for you. I know the origin of your lingering scent. It’s a body spray: Axe Anarchy. According to their official website, it “evokes a fragrance that is irresistable and addictive”. Point given. This is absolutely correct! I find you so irresistable with it. It drives me crazy. I’m addicted to you.

Oh and how did I find out? Well, I couldn’t resist snooping around in your travel kit where you keep things like that. We had another weekend at your family’s. You were there and needless to say, your scent got me again. So yes, I secretly checked what it is.

Anarchy. It’s a fitting name for it and what it does to my feelings…

It Feels Different This Time

It’s been 8 days since we parted ways. Usually, by this time, I would feel “normal” again, going about my daily routines, not really thinking of or about you. But this time, it’s different. I can’t get you out of my mind. You’re constantly in my thoughts. You’re lurking in my dreams to suddenly jump out and take the leading role. (I am actually afraid that I might talk in my sleep to you and say something that H is not supposed to hear.)

I get this warm and fuzzy feeling when my thoughts drift off towards you. It’s a beautiful feeling. But it’s also dangerous. I remember it from my teenage years, from the beginning of a sweet crush on a boy. The daydreaming, the fantasies. So hopeful. But then there would always come a point where reality hit. And it hit hard. Seeing him with someone else or even being told straightforward that things wouldn’t work out. And this lofty, airy feeling would suddenly make way for sadness and anger. Sad about not being able to be with him. Angry about how stupid it was of me to think that we had a chance.

So now I am cautiously enjoying this wonderful feeling of being infatuated with you (or loving you), waiting for reality to hit me again.

Countdown

9 days until I’ll see you again.

It’s going to be one of those weekend get-togethers. I am actually not that excited right now. Feels like just another appointment in my calendar. But I know that the day before, at the latest, the butterflies will wake up, the excitement won’t let me sleep that night. And during the car trip, I will cheerfully hum along all those happy-go-lucky songs playing on the radio.

The best part is always the first evening together. When all the time together is still ahead, but you’re already near. The potential. The possibilities. The excitement of what might come. I’ll take anything – a short smile, a story about work, an accidental touch.

I also know that time will pass too quickly. Just a blink of an eye and it’ll be Sunday afternoon again. Time to part ways. And then I will feel sad, I will miss you and I will ask myself again why and how. The usual stuff. A few days later, I will feel just like today again. Not really caring, nonchalant even. In the back of my mind, I’ll be glad you’re in my life, as a friend, as a love interest, as a brother-in-law, as you the way you are. Until the day when another countdown will get close to 0…

How It All Started

I’ve known you for more than 4 years now. At the beginning, I hardly noticed you; you were so quiet, always in the background.

H and you were roommates when I started dating H. I actually didn’t like the fact that I could rarely be alone with him, always fearing that you might walk in on us, even when we were just watching a show or playing computer games. I am not an outgoing person and it takes me a while to get used to people, feel comfortable around them. So it was hard for me to get to know H, being myself around him, knowing that there are other people in his apartment who were like strangers to me. But you being somewhat of the same type, you often kept to yourself in your room.

When H and I moved together, I enjoyed all this new privacy we had. It was a tiny apartment really, but I didn’t mind. You came over probably around once a week to wash your clothes there instead of going to a laundromat. Even though you used that time to do stuff with H, I was reminded of how small the apartment was and I kind of felt uncomfortable again. Just a little. Thinking back, I feel so stupid now. There was absolutely no reason. And now I wish I could see you that often again, have a chance to spend time with you at least once a week.

But you moved to a different city, found a job there. 150 kilometers away. For H it was definitely harder than it was for me. He didn’t really show it all that much, but I am sure he was saddened about it; he liked spending time with his younger brother, the poker nights, the wash days. Now your time together was going to be limited to playing online computer games once a week, to the weekend get-togethers with your family every 2 or 3 months (250 kilometers away) and the occasional invitation to a party of one of our common friends here in town. But like I said, all this was harder on H than for me. Up until that one weekend in October 2012.

It was one of those weekend get-togethers with your family. Nothing out of the ordinary. We’d arrive there Friday night and stay until Sunday afternoon. We’d be chatting with your mother and step-father, taking walks, playing board games, cooking together. I always like going there. They are wonderful people, the best parents-in-law one could ask for. Right from the beginning, I felt welcome and accepted. So this one weekend started off like all the other ones. We had a good time. It was unusually warm for that time of year, warm enough to have lunch outside on the veranda. And then I remember that you had to leave to catch your train. And out of the blue, I suddenly felt sad. I was confused, tried to figure out where this feeling came from. On our way home in the car, the next few days at home as well. Then I ignored it, forgot about it even. But it wasn’t for long.

Only a few weeks later, in Mid-November you came to visit us, spent the weekend with us because you wanted to celebrate your 25th birthday here in town, with our common friends. And whenever you were near H and me, I felt awkward being affectionate with H. I didn’t want you to see this. I felt like I didn’t want to make you jealous. Or maybe I didn’t want to make it obvious that I am not available anymore, that I am with H. Which really is silly, I know. Because at that point, H and I had been happily going steady for 2 years already. I slowly started to lose my mind. And when you left again, I was counting down the days to the next weekend get-together which was to take place at the beginning of December. But when I heard, about a week before, that you wouldn’t be able to come because of work, I felt really disappointed. And while being there, I felt sad even, I couldn’t enjoy it this time. Something was missing. But at the same time, I tried to get over it, think about it rationally. Probably just a silly crush. Over as quickly as it started. Just have to wait it out. Might even be good not to see you that often. So that I could get back to normal. Enjoy this wonderful relationship I have with H.

Well, it only got worse. Christmas arrived. And this was the first Christmas when you and your family actually came over to us to celebrate. H and I had moved into a much bigger apartment, so there was enough room to accomodate all of you. I was so excited and a bit nervous. I enjoyed it so much. I enjoyed spending all this time with you. And there were so many incidences where I just wasn’t sure what to make out of them, how to interpret them. Were you actually flirting with me? Teasing me? Trying to figure me out as well? Or was it all just wishful thinking on my part? You definitely had warmed up to me; you were no longer all that timid and quiet. You made jokes, even horsed around with me a little. And during dinner on the last day – you were sitting right opposite from me – you glanced at me. Our eyes met briefly, but it felt so intense. I am sure we had eye contact before, yes, who doesn’t? But this one felt different. It struck me, mesmerized me. If there was any chance of stopping this emotional mess, it was gone right then and there.

Imagine how I spent the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Ever since I’ve been with H, we always partied together with your and our common friends, watched the fireworks at midnight downtown. So again, you stayed with us. And I was even more excited this time to see you again, thrilled even. Could hardly wait. But I was also torn. I knew that this wasn’t good. That there was no scenario in which I could imagine a good ending should it – “us” – ever become reality. I didn’t and don’t want to lose H. I definitely don’t want to destroy your strong family bonds to each other. Or destroy anything else. My mind clearly tells me to stop, that it’s wrong on so many levels. But my heart is stronger. It longs for you. I couldn’t help but look forward to spending New Year’s with you.

So, as I suspected you to maybe feel a bit like me (or at least I hoped you would), I figured “what the hell, let’s try something here”. So I refreshed my hair color the day before, made myself pretty and for the party, I even put on a top that showed some cleavage. The weapons of a woman. So unlike me, actually. Rarely do that as I usually feel uncomfortable. But it didn’t show too much. Just subtle enough. I tried to use every opportunity to be near you, engage in conversations with you, laugh about your jokes, flirt a little. I also drank more than usual. In some weird way, I hoped we would both get drunk enough to confess to each other what we feel! And it seemed to work. Up to a certain point at least. Well, you actually didn’t drink as much as in past years, because the next day you needed to be somewhat sober. And the closer we got to midnight and the more I drank, the more my mood turned sour. I got sad, realizing this big mess I was in. At midnight, during the fireworks, I was not happy or cheeful at all; I actually cried, secretly shed a few tears. What the hell was I thinking and doing? How did this get so far already?

The next morning, I felt horrible. I had a hangover, but also a broken heart. My head hurt, my stomach was queasy. I couldn’t eat breakfast, just nibbled a bit on the bread. Partly because of the alcohol, but mostly because you were there and I didn’t want you to leave. I still hoped and kind of felt that you might feel the same. We had watched some tv the night before, until about 3am after H went to sleep. If there hadn’t been another friend of ours on the couch with us, who knows what I would have said or done?! You were sitting right next to me, in touching distance. So close.

When your parents picked you up that day, I even came downstairs with you guys, went to the car with you to say goodbye. I usually just shake your hand then, but this time, I felt like giving you a hug and I thought you were hesitant a bit to maybe do the same. Leaning towards me. But it ended up just being a handshake. Then you got into the car and drove off. Left me standing there alone on the street. Now what? I was totally lost. My thoughts were confusing. I needed to stop this before it got out of hand, but it dawned on me that it probably was too late already. It was wrong to feel this way and more so to act upon it, I knew that. But thinking back to those last days together and how you acted around me, I couldn’t help but wonder if indeed you felt just a little bit the same way I did. I could not have imagined all this, could I? But what if you did feel the same? If you didn’t, maybe I could get back to normal?

There was only one way to find out…

Gone again

You left again. Went back home. All I have left now is a brand new computer mouse that you brought and left here, not really as a gift, but for your next visit when you are going to play multi-player computer games against H again. I don’t really care about the mouse, but I’ll keep it of course and I’ll use it nonetheless, because it came from you after all.

You also left me with a handful of new memories to add to my secret drawer, a drawer hidden in my heart. It’s where I keep all those short moments with you, glimpses of what we could have or of what I wish we could have. Dreams, fantasies. I also try to keep the memory of your scent in there. I don’t know what you use, if it is your shower gel or your deodorant or some type of after-shave. Whatever it is, it drives me crazy! After I catch a first whiff of it, I am hooked, trying to get more of it, inhale it, let it flow into me. I am consuming it, consuming you. (I wonder if you would still put it on if you knew the effects it has on me.)

However, I am not able to keep this scent in my memory. It’s too fleeting. Right now, I already forgot what it’s like. Can’t find the words to describe it. It usually lingers a little longer in my room, our guest room where you normally stay. I would spend more time in there after you’d leave, just to hold onto something of you. Even if it’s just your lingering scent. But today, it faded so quickly. The air is clear. It’s gone. You’re gone. Again.

And I feel pretty sad this time. I miss you. There were easier times recently; there were even times when it didn’t bother me at all anymore! But today is tough again. Thoughts are running through my head; I am wondering: Why and how did I fall in love with you? It’s such a mystery. There is no logical explanation. I am happily married to H. I love him so much. He loves me so much. He is perfect, all I ever wanted! He is the man with whom I want to start a family, grow old together. He is also your brother, for God’s sake!

My heart must have been drunk when it decided I should also fall for you…