Nothing

The doorbell is ringing. I’m stalling before I push the button to open the door. You’ll have to come upstairs, 5th floor. I’m pacing back and forth. So nervous. It’s ringing again. You’re at the apartment door. A deep breath and I’m opening it. There you are. You’re entering. We’re hugging to say hello. “Did you get wet a lot?,” I’m asking since it’s raining outside. “Just a bit,” you’re answering. You’re going into the living room, then into the kitchen to get a glass of water, while I’m still pacing around from one room to another, pretending to pack things together. I’m stalling again. What’s the point? Let’s do this!

I’m going back to the living room. You’re looking at me expectingly. “Shall we sit down?,” I’m offering, pointing to the couch. We’re sitting down, well you’re kind of lying down and you’re asking “so what’s it about?”
– “Do you have an idea?”
– “No, not really.”
– “Well, it’s about the same issue that I’d once sent you an email about” I’m shaking, probably blushing. This is more difficult than I thought. Can’t keep my voice and hands calm. I’m playing nervously with the long sleeves of my cardigan. I am daring to go on: “I guess your answer to that question would still be the same now?”
– “Yes.”
I knew it, but my heart is sinking. You are adding: “I have no feelings for you. And it’s nothing personal.”
I’m nodding. Can’t even look at you. You’re looking at me. There’s a pause before I can go on: “I expected this answer. The thing is that I had recently noticed that you did a lot of nice things for me and I wonder why you did them.”
– “Like what, for example?”
– “Well, like when you didn’t let me eat by myself at our friend’s house. You came into the living room to me even though you already had a seat in the kitchen.”
– “Ah. I didn’t even notice until you sent me that email afterwards.”
I’m taken aback. Wait, what? He didn’t even think about this? Just did this for no reason? This seemed to be so obvious to me.
– “What else?,” you want to know. If you can’t even remember having done this on purpose or not, what’s the point of even mentioning the other things?
– “Well, there were a lot of minor things that probably didn’t mean anything at all either, like during that long weekend at our buddy’s place.” I’m so disappointed. I don’t want to go on. We’re sitting there in silence.
– “Maybe you should teach H to be nicer to you,” you’re suggesting.
I feel insulted or that you’re attacking H. ” I’m not saying that H is not nice to me. I don’t know why these feelings keep coming back. I don’t have a reason to look for another man.”
Again there’s uncomfortable silence.
– “I don’t know how I can help you with this,” you’re saying.
– “I know you can’t help me with this. That’s why I needed to talk to you. To get confirmation that those nice things didn’t mean anything. Because I get confused at times. I don’t want you to stop being nice now either; that wouldn’t make sense. Besides, things have changed a bit since the other thing happened.”
– ” What other thing?”
Gee, you really don’t know?, I’m wondering. – “The miscarriage. One starts to think differently about things then.”
More silence. Nothing coming from you. No comforting words of empathy. I’m trying again: “I feel as if we could get along well, like I get along with my brother. But I feel these other feelings keep holding me back when I am around you.”
– “Holding you back from what?”
– “From being the way I really am, I guess. Or simply talking to you about regular stuff.”
– “Well, I don’t talk much anyway. I’m not into small talk.”
– “I noticed that already.”
– “But it doesn’t mean anything either,” you are adding right away, defending yourself as if I’d put this as a sign that you’d feel something for me as well. Oh my… this is not going well at all. You didn’t say anything about at least getting along well with each other. Then you’re mentioning that you inviting me to play that online game together doesn’t mean anything either, that it’s simply more fun to play together. “I figured,” is all I’m saying. I’m out of ideas. Utterly disappointed. I want this to end. So I’m concluding: “Like I said: this would be quick to talk about. We’ve cleared this up, I guess.”
A bit more silence and then you are starting up a conversation about that online game, as if nothing happened. So superficial, so shallow. We’re laughing, making jokes.

Even later on in the car to pick up H from work, we’re casually talking (even though you just told me before that you’re not the type of person for small talk).

At your parents’ house this weekend, same routine as always. I’m hurting so much inside. I kind of expected you to not have romantic feelings for me, but at least I thought there were some nice feelings, of friendship or like brother and sister, because after all, you have done lots of nice things for me. Obvious ones. But apparantly you did them unaware or subconsciously, without really meaning them. So when you said you have no feelings for me, it means no feelings at all. Nothing.

Nothing.

That’s the worst thing. I did not even consider this a possibility.

I’m not your love interest; I’m not your friend; I’m not your sister-in-law. I’m just your brother’s wife. Nothing else. I’m so utterly disappointed and heartbroken. I lost you. I lost your friendship, even though I never had it, I guess.

Saved As Draft

I just finished typing up that email to you. I did not push “send”. I stored it away as a draft email. Will I send it?

Can I handle the truth, whatever it may be? Do I want to risk what we are having now, whatever it may be?

Or would it be better to wait so that I could tell you everything in person, face to face? Would I be able to handle the truth then, deal with the risk?

I’ll sleep over it…

Confessions

When I fall, I fall fast, deep and hard. So before I completely lose my mind to a man I am falling for, I’ll have to find out where I am standing with him, if he feels in any way like me. I need to know the truth. I can’t stand not knowing because then I will drive myself crazy wondering about everything he does and if it could mean something – Was he flirting with me when he gave me that look? Did his foot touch me by mistake or intentionally? Did he stay up that late to just watch TV or to watch it WITH ME?

So I usually go straight for the truth, head-on-collision if you will. Because most of the time, that’s what happens – a crashing end to all hopes of ever getting together with the man I am longing for. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It sets things straight, erases all doubts, gives a chance to move on and try again. Better luck next time! Waste no time!

And that’s what I did. After that eventful New Year’s Eve a year ago, I couldn’t stand the thought of having to wait weeks before I could see you again. I didn’t even know a date when exactly that would be. And I missed you so much. It was driving me insane. And in my mind, I was asking myself constantly if you felt the same way I did and if how you recently acted around me could have meant something to show me that you do feel the same way.

So I took the courage (or the plunge…) and sent you an email.

I wanted to be completely honest with you and I confessed my feelings to you. I also told you that I knew it was wrong and could never really become a reality, that I did not want to hurt anyone or destroy your relationship to your brother, H, or to your family, everyone involved. I asked you for a favor: to be completely honest with me as well, even if it meant hurting me. And in the unlikely event that you also had feelings for me, I offered to think about a solution together so that we don’t do anything stupid.

Waiting for your reply was painful (also because right that day, our internet connection went down)! Yet, I also felt relief. I calmed down. My mind was no longer going through this tedious, repetitive and fruitless process of wondering about this and that. I went to university in order to check my emails. I locked myself in the women’s bathroom, my mobile device in my hands. I logged into the wireless network there and with shaky and sweaty fingers, I opened my email program. There it was! Your reply. My heart was pounding when I opened it.

You were surprised, of course, did not expect something like that at all. And you were honest as well: there are no feelings towards me that would need to be denied.  You regard me simply as your brother’s girlfriend, nothing else, not even as a friend of yours as you are peculiar about who you consider to be your friend. There are a lot of things you couldn’t care less about, but this issue is not one of them. You care and want to help. You are glad that H is getting along with me so well and that we are a happy couple. You think I am a smart, intelligent person, easy to talk to and be around with; I might be a friend to you after that email as I’d now know more about you and the way you think than most other people. If I needed more help with this, I should feel free to write or ask you.

And that was it. At first, I was really disappointed that you didn’t love me or feel attracted to me. But the more I thought about what you said (and the way you said it) and how things turned out, the better I started to feel. At one point, I even was elated, ecstatic! Really happy. I could move on now, forget all the silly thoughts, put those questionable moments with you in perspective, see them for what they really were instead of interpreting things into them. No relationships needed to be destroyed. No secret love affair. No stupidities. And besides all that, I felt like I had just gained a true friend! A trusting person. That we got closer to each other in a much more intense and special way than a love affair or romantic affiliation could ever offer.

I emailed you back again and told you that you said exactly the right thing, the only thing that could get everyone out of this mess unharmed. I thanked you for your openness and your help, because you really did help me out there. And I offered you help, should you ever need it in the future. I told you that I am sure to quickly forget about these feelings for you and get back to normal. Nothing between us had to change. We could stay friends, joke together, talk about stuff, go about our lives just like we used to.

And that’s really what I meant, at that time. And yes, things went back to normal soon right after.

But you know what? I wouldn’t be doing this blogging thing now, if this “normality” was still the case today…