Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Short Fiction: The Easy Way Out

I found this just now and wanted to share it with you. It was written a few years ago, and it seems to have gone lost and I don't even remember writing it.

My dear friend,

I hope I can always call you that, if nothing more. I hope this email will not offend you. Sorry, I know I’m wronging you by saying that. But things have changed so much between us lately that I’m not quite sure how to behave any more.

You have always been so good to me. When I first came to the city and rang you up for advice,
you didn’t just stop at giving me advice. You helped me find a flat to rent, you showed me around
the city, you even came with me to run my errands, at first. I was overwhelmed then: it was way
more than I could have expected a casual acquaintance to do. I suppose you would have done it for
anyone: I was then, just a clueless young girl from your hometown. But I was so grateful you did it
for me. Because of you, what would have been a scary and lonely time was actually exciting and a
whole lot of fun.

You showed me the ropes of the city. You gave me tips on haggling with vendors and precautions to
take when I was coming home alone at night. You taught me to drive. You even helped pick out my
first car.
Do you remember that day when we both got out of office early and went for a long drive? And
then it began to drizzle, and after a while we saw rainbows – two of them. It seemed like we had
discovered something secret and special, that the rainbows were there for just the two of us, and no
one else could see them. We parked at the side of the highway and stared until the rainbows faded

You were my companion, my mentor, my friend. And for a short but wonderful period of time, you
were my lover.

In that, as in so much else you guided me. It was the first relationship I had ever had, and I was
carried away by the intensity of my passion and my delight in your presence. You taught me caution,
you reminded me to never let go of my independence, regardless of the relationship.

I wish it had never ended. That was the happiest I have ever been.

I know you tried to remain friends later, but we didn’t spend so much time together afterwards, did
we? And even though it was a year later, the news of your relationship with Viki came as a shock.
It was difficult for me to see you with someone else, see you holding his hand in public as you had
never done with me.

I wondered whether you were happier with him than you were with me. That thought tormented
me. I couldn’t believe it was possible. We were so happy together. We giggled and talked till late at
night, we understood each other in a way, we used to say then, that no boyfriend ever could.

I don’t mean to reproach you. It’s just that I don’t understand.

When I first heard you were getting married to Viki, I was devastated. It was like a door was closing
in my face, never to open again.

That’s why I’m writing to you now, before the door closes completely. If you’re happy with Viki, I
have nothing to say. I can’t forget you, but I won’t wish for what is not to be.

But… I’ve seen you together, and I am not sure you are as happy now as you were earlier –as happy
as I know you can be. There is a guarded look in your eyes now that I hadn’t seen before. Forgive
me if I am presuming: if my love is leading me to imagine things. But you know, you haven’t told Viki about us. And that makes me wonder if something is wrong, if you should marry someone whom you haven’t been able to talk to about everything.

And it’s because of that that I’m writing to you. Not because I’m afraid I’ll never be so happy again or find anyone so wonderful again: I’m sure I won’t, but that’s not the point. The point is you deserve
to be with someone who loves you completely, the way you are; someone who makes you laugh;
someone who feels every day how lucky he is that you are with him.

If I am mistaken, please ignore this. A part of me hopes I am: hopes you are completely happy with
the man you have chosen to marry. And yet, I fear you are making the easy choice, that you are
choosing a nice man you like over a relationship that will be difficult to acknowledge to anyone else.

It was never like you to take the easy way out. And I trust that you never will.

Your friend,

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