‘Can we talk?’ is never a good question to ask. It always leads to the end of something. Relationships, friendships, employment: those three words signal the end of the status quo. The fixer in me always rationalises that the question will let secrets unfurl and the clearing of that nagging feeling in the depths of my chest. The question by itself always seems to have noble but ultimately selfish intentions. Sure, I get to explode a tonnage of explosive material, but it is like a grenade has been passed on and I have decided to let it detonate in someone else’s hands.
The night sky is above me, both starless and cloudless. The road in front is blank, dark and eerie. So far the trip has lasted over two hours and one question has been plaguing my mind throughout. ‘Can we talk?’ is literally the only sentence that can compute in my brain. Talk about what I have no idea. The driver already knows all that she need to. I sit within touching distance, the nerves on my fingers pulsating. Just an inch more and I can touch her. Just an inch more and I have past the point of no return.
I told myself I would hold off for a definitive period of time, but it is my libido that wants to break that internal contract. One movement, one question, and the terms are rendered instantly null and void.
She didn’t know but it took about half a second for me to think about the possibilities, Those endless possibilities. If she said yes I’d be happy. I would have everything I wanted. A best friend, a close confidant, and an intellectual sparing partner. Most of all I’d be able to express all this pent up tension inside. But what if she said no? I’d ruin the only meaningful friendship I’ve ever had. I’d be back to where I was 2 years ago in that dark, cold, lonely and pitiful place.
What was the reward? Mind blowing sex and a label? I had been desperate that label for the longest time. I had long considered her ‘girlfriend’ even though we shied away from those direct terms. We had been mistaken for a couple thousands of times. I secretly loved that assumption, but she was always quick to shrug it off much to my great disappointment. I always wanted a real plus one…..
I took a deep breath.
‘Can we talk? I stammered
She looked at me, not knowing that things would change forever…