He was at home on holiday with his family, and thousands of miles from Anne. nathannnnn….!!
His mother was trying to convince him to watch a movie, one of those that were part romantic, part self-discovery, and improbable in the real world. Step Up, it was called.
He never liked that kind of movie. The plot was too predictable, the coincidences too unlikely, the romance too blatantly obvious. Obviously the girl had to be pretty and the man handsome, and obviously they would get together at the end of the movie, and everyone would live happily ever after. He much preferred books, which could convey a more subtle and varied range of emotions, and didn’t need to stick to tried-and-tested plot lines for the sake of profit.
Anne’s presence, or lack thereof, was making itself felt slowly but certainly. There had been something there. He had brushed it off, but the chance meeting with her at the dining hall and his realisation about Rachael was leading him on a dangerous path – his prior experiences with love taught him that it could hit him where it mattered. He was afraid.
He brushed the fear aside, tried to be logical about it, and failed miserably. Love wasn’t logical! He knew that by now. Every other emotion – joy, sadness, even fear and hate – they were logical, you could understand why you felt them, and you could try to control them. Love, on the other hand… That was something else. It gave you fear and hope at the same time, and the more you hoped the more you feared losing everything.
Ultimately, his logical mind boiled down the choices to two that every other star-crossed lover had to face. Tell her, and risk everything; or hide it, and gain nothing? He deliberated. On the TV screen, the two actors swayed and laughed; the image of perfection. He decided the movie was getting to him. He also decided that he would tell her.
He excused himself, saying that he had already watched the film before, and went to turn his computer on for another day of mind-numbing videogames. Before that, he signed into his instant messenger, hoping for some conversation.
Blue text appeared on his screen almost immediately.
It was Anne, Anne had pinged him. how are you??
how are you??
His heart leaped into his mouth. He had to calm down. This was too sudden! He wanted to tell her, but not now, not unprepared like this! hey It bought him enough time to slow his heart rate to a manageable level. hey!! He hadn’t fully read her reply before he started to type his own, and it was only after he had finished congratulating her that he noticed the last line of text.
i’m good thanks
how’s it going?
For a while nothing happened, and he looked at the screen a little uncertainly. Then, waves of text appeared.
it’s been great actually.
i got through the exams after all,
my family is taking me to France for the holiday,
and me and liam got together.
It bought him enough time to slow his heart rate to a manageable level. hey!!
He hadn’t fully read her reply before he started to type his own, and it was only after he had finished congratulating her that he noticed the last line of text.