From when do we start forming and evolving into an adult and finally shed the skins of teenage-hood?
There are many moments in life: a conversation about the history of Indochina, tiny silences in the car on a rainy day, the fingers down the naked ridges of my spine, a payment of a big ticket item, a whisper behind the shell of my ear, a flight alone, fine lines around my eyes, the sharing of a bed.
It was colder and idler than usual on a Saturday morning and there had been nothing to do at all other than to spend hours under the sheets. Head tucking, toe curling and body contorting. Always and forever. Till a flicker of stability do us part.
“Have dinner with me later.”
“Don’t you have your reunion dinner with your family later?”
“Yeah. Come along.”
“I’m not enough of yours to have dinner at your place.”
It had all been a matter of fact and there had been no ill-intentions but things always come out worse than they sound in heads. We rarely speak of the truths but the times when we do, it comes out so rough and coarse that it prickles the heart and unsettles the mind. There was a moment of disappointment awash on your face, but only for a blink of a moment. If being adult is about being cocksure, then it’s obvious that none of us are adults in this relationship after all.
“I’m not asking for anything. It’s just what it is.”
And after a lot of staring and silence in the hair, you said, “Maybe I could interest you in supper.”
I smiled, pushed the hair out of your face and shook my head. I moved in to press myself closer to you. “Maybe another idle afternoon.”
This new year, we told ourselves that while we do have something special together, it’s probably not that special and there is nothing to overthink. What we have is something, but it’s not ours to have.