Short Story: Our Little Infinity - The Beginning
“So can I ask you something invasive personal?” I ask.
I can hear the exasperation in his voice as he sighs and says, “All our conversations are invasive and personal. Because I don’t think you’ve ever learned to draw the line…”
“Hush!” I say, propelling myself onto my left elbow and covering his mouth with my right hand, “I have no sense of personal space. But you signed up for this shit. You know that!”
I can see his shoulders relax as he lets out a deep breath. He pushes my hand away from his mouth and says, “You’re absolutely right. I signed up for this shit. What’s your question?”
We are lying side by side on his bed, our heads resting on the bolster that was wearing a Garfield cover he had once picked up from a flash sale on an online store. I have turned slightly to ask him my invasive personal question, but he still lies on his back, staring straight ahead. He has that half-annoyed half-amused expression on his face: a look that has been especially reserved for me.
“What?” he asks, impatiently.
I grin evilly at him. I know this bothers him. He is the kind of person who would call you back the minute you texted him, Oh my god! I have to tell you something. Tell me when you’re free? He couldn’t stand not knowing things. Curiosity always got the better of him and I always used it as a weapon.
“What did you want to know?” he presses on.
But I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat now! I have got him exactly where I had wanted him to be. His undivided attention on me, and so I ask, “So what happens when either of one us begins dating?”
“Excuse me?” he says. His eyes are full of disbelief. As though he had never even considered the possibility of us ceasing to exist the minute someone else entered our little world. And I could bet anything they wouldn’t be okay with our little world.
“Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it,” I say in a rush, my words tumbling over one another. “As much as I love being here with you, I don’t want to wake up tomorrow and find the world with you gone.”
“It won’t go away overnight,” he tries to assure me. He has turned on his side now, to face me, to look into my eyes…and maybe even lie to me. “And why are you worrying about things that might never even happen?”
I close my eyes and open them again. It takes everything out of me to not reach out and shake him hard. Why was he being so daft?
“We can’t be stuck in this place forever,” I repeat. “You cannot be the shelter from the storms in my life. And I shouldn’t be the person you keep running back to every time your life falls apart.”
He frowns. “But if I was a woman, and I did the very same thing, it would be okay?”
“I didn’t make the rules,” I say in a very small voice, “It’s just how the world works. There’s a fine line between friendship and kissing. It’s all right to cross it now every once in a while. What happens when we begin to see other people? What happens when you realize there’s someone else you’d rather spend all your lonely nights with? What happens when…?”
But I am cut off mid sentence as he presses his lips to my forehead. I don’t know why but that has always calmed me down. He places a hand on my back and pulls me closer to him.
“You’re overthinking again,” he states.
“Because you don’t think at all,” I grumble, “One of us has to. It’s called balance.”
He laughs. That infuriates me a little more than it should though. Here I was worrying about the extremely real possibility of us ending. And here he was, laughing at my endless tirade of overtired thoughts.
“Look,” he says finally, “I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Neither do you. So why are you worrying about what might or might not happen?”
“Because I don’t want something to become a part of my life only to find out it was never meant to be,” I reply.
“All those fairy tales have ruined your head, little Princess,” he sighs, “Didn’t you once tell me that not everything will end with happily ever after?”
“And until the time you’re ripped away from me I will have pretend to be content with this?” I ask, “That I will lie next to you and talk to you about everything under the Sun, kiss you, fall asleep in your arms and wake up tomorrow…and find you gone!”
“You still don’t get it, do you?” he asks. There’s this maddening air of superiority about him. “Look around.”
I do. I notice that the room is pretty barren, and that the only thing in the room is the laptop that has long since stopped playing music. It has books thrown across the floor, a stuffed animal and tickets to a movie we’d once gone to watch together. The room has been built on our memories!
“No matter what happens,” he continues, “I promise you, we will always have our little infinity.”
There is so much I want to point out. So much I want to tell him. But I don’t want to ruin the moment. I don’t want to state that this is beautiful fiction and has no place in reality. Instead, I lean forwards and press my lips briefly against his.
“Our little infinity it is then.”