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Thursday, June 22, 2006 

Whatever happened, happened

I bumped into an old roommate of mine on Monday when I was standing in line at the post-office. I use the term "bumped into" very loosely, since we did not speak to one another and all I was really trying to do was avoid her at all cost. This was by no means as an easy feat, since she was only two people ahead of me in the queue. When I first saw her, I went so pale I looked like I had just OD-ed on smack. The only words going through my head was, "don’t turn around… please, don’t turn around", as if by thinking it over and over, I could compel her to keep looking straight ahead. I could have easily tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Hello, how are you?", as any sane person would have done under the same circumstances. But I feared that by doing so, we would probably end up going for a drink. We would exchange pleasantries and talk about what we got up since we both left university. We would inevitably end up re-capping the antics we got up to while sharing an off-campus flat for 2 years back in the good old days. All perfectly nice, it would seem… on the surface. However, I feared that we might talk about one night at the end of our final year, shortly before we gave up the flat, when we ended up sleeping in the same bed. It was a stupid thing to do, but we were hosting a particularly wild student party to celebrate the end of our 4 years at university, and we both had way too much to drink. I am not offering that up as an excuse… we did. Really. And even though this had all happened many years ago, it suddenly felt very recent and the memory of how (extremely) awkward it had been in the few days after the incident, welled up inside of me. At the time, talking about that night was not an option, so we went about our lives as if nothing had happened. The situation was awkward for a number of reasons; we had been best mates for two years. We used to set up dates for one another with people we fancied. Neither of us wanted to admit openly that it really meant nothing/zilch/nada, for fear of hurting each other’s feelings, which is how I suspect we both felt. So I buried my head in the newspaper I had with me, and pretended that I had not seen her. She finally made it to the front of the queue, did whatever she came there to do, and as she turned around to walk back to the exit, I dropped down on one knee and pretended to tie my shoelace. Yep, I wore my crown as the king of the cowards with unrivaled pride! Grrr… She walked past without noticing me… or perhaps she had seen me too and was doing the exact same thing I was doing. Perhaps it is all for the best, I thought as I watched her walk away. Even though we had had lots of good times, deep down I did not really want to re-kindle the "friendship" we had back in the old days. Not that I feared a repeat what had happened… even I am not that vain and cocky! The truth is we never really fancied one another to begin with. We were young and believed that nothing we did back then could affect us later on in life. And so far denial has worked for us… so why stop now? Some things are just better left in the past, don’t you think?

Maybe. But perhaps you will run into each other when you are in your 80's and will be able to talk. I can't imagine that having been friends for two years there was nothing left, but friends do drift apart, and sex is more complicating that people seem to think. (or at least for some of us!)

Still--not to press a bruise--don't you suppose if you felt nothing, if there was nothing there--there wouldn't be the astonished beating heart and desire to flee or disappear at seeing her once again?

It's impossible not to feel something! And sometimes it is easier to hide, even if only just to deal with the "threat" of having to open up to the situation.

jarvenpa: It could just have been from the shock of running into her in JHB of all places!
We had a good friendship... the incident complicated things on a level where we weren't able/comforatble in dealing with it.
Who knows... 80 years is stil a long way off and we may end up in the same old-age home.
Katt: I (perhaps we) felt something, but it was not the kind of thing one could build a relationship on... hence the awkardness of having to deal with it back then and perhaps even now.
As for hiding... let me tell you, in some situatiuons, it is the best thing you can do. No shame in that!

You are not alone in this. I topped you by doing this twice in my life. However - I spoke to the two gorgeous women involved and insisted we remain friends.

Thanks god I did because now I have to friends for life and you can never have too many friends.

Go speak to her. How do you know she won't appreciate it. Stop being daft - just do it. It costs nothing but a decision in your mind and what cost is an electrical impulse? Nada. So get on yer bike now and go say hello.

Good move. Did she really see You?

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