Love In The Time Of Cynicism

martin.mutch
martin.mutch

He stands there, casually checking the place to see who’s around. He leans across the bar; back hunched and triceps flexing as he moves to grab his order. He saunters to the table in his all too familiar swag, shakes his head and says, “The scarcity of hot girls in this bar is heartbreaking. Here, down your drink so we can go somewhere else”

You scoff in derision. After over a decade, his douchery is still as stark as ever.

“Well, maybe that’s because you’ve come full circle already; you’ve probably banged all the hot girls in this city.”

“Except for you.”

“Never gonna happen, asshole.”

He gives you a sly smile, you chug your double black, and both of you find some other place to wreak havoc in.

As you walk to the car, your friends’ comments echo in your head:

“So there’s absolutely nothing going on between you two? Impossible.”

“Hook us up then! I mean, only if you don’t feel anything for him…”

It’s just not like that between you and him. You are two apathetic people who have never come close to truly caring for anyone else. No emotional crap, no mind games, and definitely no attachment issues. This is precisely why your friendship clicks; you’re both cut from the same cloth. He’s the epitome of an asshole and you’re the ice queen incarnate. And the best part is, when you’re together, neither of you feel the need to put your best foot forward. He’s hardly all formal and gentlemanly around you, and you can nonchalantly belch like a walrus after scarfing down a greasy sub with him.

So yeah, you’re honest-to-goodness platonic friends for sure – well, save for the occasional intense eye contact, when you can’t seem to wrench your eyeballs off each other. Not to mention the goose bump-inducing, electricity-packed, and severely inebriated instances when he places his hands on your waist and breathes down your nape. So you’ve had a fair amount of heated moments; that doesn’t mean anything, does it? At the end of the day, he takes you home, you peck him on the cheek, and say goodnight.

Besides, you would never work as a couple. Simply because neither of you have the slightest idea how to be in a relationship! You guys can’t even say the word “love” without feeling totally ridiculous. So never mind his hugs that kinda feel like it’s right where you belong, or the nights when he’s drunk enough to tell you that you’ve always been different from all the girls he’s met. And never mind the tinge of pink you get every time you’re mistaken as a couple, or the times when both of you fight the urge to fall asleep just so you can keep talking about whatever.

Enough! You don’t like where your thoughts are heading. You’re starting to sound like some sappy love struck teenager. Bottom line is, you guys have this unspoken agreement that falling for the other is definitely off the table. You just can’t ruin your friendship over something as complicated and volatile as infatuation.

“You’re just the life of the party tonight, aren’t you?”

“What? Well, you haven’t been Mr. Chatty yourself either”

There must’ve been something in that glass of scotch that’s made you all loopy; why else would you be so sentimental? Or maybe you’re just hormonal or something. You snap back to reality, turn to him, and say, “So I’ve got this friend I bet you’d totally be into…”

See? Now this feels right. This is how you guys are, and this is how you guys should be. But as you smile and knowingly wiggle your eyebrows at him, you just can’t help but wonder why the hell you needed to assure yourself of that. TC mark

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