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Tread softly
Wed Feb 21, 2018 06:57

There was something beyond special about Dorian and Jehan’s friendship. How rare that the universe constructed two souls with such sympathy towards one another, and that they should be in the right place and right time to meet. Whilst they shared a lot verbally, the real strength in their relationship was simply how attuned they were to each other - how many of their ideas were shared already, how they could read the nuances in each other’s smiles, how they could communicate everything they thought and felt to each other so perfectly.

Almost always.

There had to be exceptions to every rule.

A very small part of the stumbling block on this occasion might have been linguistic. The subtle difference between go together and hang out together or do this thing together. The small implication added by the final word in ’I thought you might want to go with someone else’ versus simply ’I thought you might want to go with someone. But these subtle variations did not just have a linguistic gap into which they might stumble, fall and be lost, but a yawning, gaping cultural chasm against which they had little hope. Boys asked girls to balls. That was the worldview Dorian had been raised with. And thus the options fell into two categories in his mind, even if the verbs used were identical, he could Go With (perhaps with capital letters) a girl, or he could go with Jehan. And he knew which one he wanted, and the reasons why were clear and simple.

“I not want to go with one of the girls,” he replied, catching that drift of ‘go with’ and that implication of ‘someone else.’ “I cannot. I am not in love with them,” he explained. Alright, he knew that some people went on dates with people that they didn’t love, or see themselves falling in love with, but he didn’t like that idea. “I think it is insincere to go on the date with someone if you don’t feel that way,” he explained. “That’s why I go with you. Right now, if I go on the date… It is just, to choose one of my friend more than the other. That seems not nice.”

Jehan had still managed to avoid his eyes as he’d spoken, and Dorian just wanted to make him feel better, feel secure. He had no idea why Jehan was doubting him right now - he was pretty sure if he, Dorian, was in love with someone, Jehan would have known it. He was sure his conduct to her would be different than his conduct to anyone else. And anyway, he’d tell Jehan. Probably before he had the courage to tell the girl herself… But he knew that feelings could be irrational things. Jehan was the most precious thing he had, and that was so wonderful, but it meant he was scared of losing him. He worried sometimes, about Jehan finding someone who didn’t mess up their verbs, or get lost in what he was trying to explain. For some reason, today Jehan seemed to be the one having those kinds of feelings. It was, in some ways, a relief, to know that he wasn’t the only one who felt like that sometimes (and when was he ever, with Jehan? They felt the same about everything), but he also didn’t want Jehan to be feeling that, because it wasn’t a nice place to be in. He had moved his hand from Jehan’s face whilst he spoke, transferring it instead so that it was loosely around Jehan’s body. He searched for something… He had done a good job of explaining how he felt, but sometimes that wasn’t enough. A feeling had to be met with a feeling, not just with logic. He needed some word to say, or some way to touch that made it clear…

“Come here,” he offered, arranging himself so he could easily hug Jehan, and be the one who was holding and reassuring, the way Jehan had done for him when he’d arrived back at school and just… needed that.

“I don’t think I could wish for anyone better than you in my life,” he reassured him, both arms wrapped around Jehan, one hand making its way up to gently stroke Jehan’s hair. “You’re my best friend,” he reminded him, because it seemed Jehan needed to hear that right now “I think the ball will be similar to the bonfire. Just less fun,” he added his further reassurances, unaware that, for the first time since meeting him, that he and Jehan were no longer on the same page, and that to be told that they were best friends, with a quiet, and unremarkable evening awaiting them, was not exactly what Jehan had been wanting to hear.

  • Safe and soundJehan, Tue Feb 20 15:12
    “Quelle bal?” These words made Jehan’s eyes widen slightly in disappointment. Surely Dorian hadn’t forgotten about the ball? It would be such a wonderful night, and yet his friend had just forgotten... more
    • Tread softly — Dorian, Wed Feb 21 06:57
      • Only foolsJehan, Wed Feb 21 18:28
        Jehan was riding on a wave of euphoria from the understanding he and Dorian had reached. Nothing too specific had been said, but it didn’t need to be. They were, after all, only young, and they also... more
        • Tea will make everything betterDorian, Thu Feb 22 09:15
          Jehan pulled back from the hug and was smiling. Dorian thought he knew all of Jehan’s smiles - he had made efforts to memorise them for rainy days - but this one seemed different. Was Jehan okay? He... more
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