It had become known as the world’s longest running ‘nearly’ relationship. They have been passing each other by for years, going to make the jump and then finding ourselves settled in the arms of another. Their simple friendship has maintained itself, irregular coffee dates and the occasional late night phone talks about life, love and lingering memories. Once, he even drove the hour to her house with a handmade birthday card, on the day of her birthday. It was pink (Derwent Rose Pink to be exact) because that was her favourite colour.
After a strained distance, imposed by an overly jealous girlfriend, they found themselves back at the start. Single, and what seemed to be, searching. Not that they were searching for anyone, subconsciously she was searching just for him and he just for her. And, like it had always been, they fell together in a blissful state of not-so together. Trust is a big issue when finding someone to call your own, the need for trust is perhaps the most important need anyone can ever have. It is one of the most defining keys to a healthy relationship.
He called her over, to spend some time and to while away a lonely Tuesday night, but they both sensed it in their tone that this was a moment. Never one to leave her home for a guy (or be generally spontaneous), she packed a bag and left. He knew everything about her, the events of the past year scarred her physically and mentally and he never had pushed her towards anything, she trusted him explicitly. But he knew tonight was a night where working through the invisible barriers was possible.
They settled themselves on a giant, cushion laden couch. They looked like a pair of hippy wanders, all braids, rasta beanies and a kind of beaded simplicity. No longer were they ‘just friends’ as he picked up his guitar and sang to her, about streetlights and remembering past woes. He interrupted himself, kissed her quickly and somewhat violently, and went back to singing. A seamless transaction that marked the start of something new. It did truly, change everything. They had never touched like that before. Awkward hugs filled with sexual tension was their forte.
She stayed the night, they fell asleep wrapped around each other, starring up at a roof full of tribal artworks scattered with lights reflecting the moonlight off glass. It was one of those beautifully, serene moments where they could feel beating of each others hearts. Faster, faster as they silently took in the moment. Faster, faster as they processed thoughts, feelings. Faster, faster as he kissed her head and told her she was the girl he thought she was.
Morning brought the challenge, in the light of day they were both dishevelled messes of loose clothing and they had fallen asleep surrounded by sheets of music and half empty glasses. The realisation they had broken the barriers that had held their friendship together for so long dawned on them as he drove her to work. Not a single word was spoken.
It was days later that he rang her. She burst out before he had a chance and within no time their words just layered over each other. Everything was said, but nothing was listened too.
“I like you, but I can’t be your rebound”. “I can’t be in a relationship”. “I won’t sleep with you, it’s not fair”. “You want this too”. “No I don’t, I just want you. Not some lacklustre form of you”.
They now spend their days attacking their silent war from different fronts, the one who wants it all, and the one who wants the most undignified form of relationship imaginable. They call each other in the hope of convincing the other that what they want is the right thing for both of them. It fails every time. And now there is a hole, marking their mutual mistake in believing friendships can survive the next step.
Yes, it is true. Trust of others and in your own beliefs is indeed the most defining marker.