I opened my eyes, feeling disoriented. For a few seconds, I couldn’t remember where I was and I felt scared. I sat up on the couch and stretched, remembering why I was lying on Becky’s couch. I looked at the clock and saw that I’d been sleeping for 20 minutes. I knew that my dreams were intense but I couldn’t remember what had happened. My throat was burning and my head was pounding. I felt like my entire body was falling apart and I was pissed because I knew what would be next. I stood up and went to Becky’s desk to check my email. Becky was signed into AOL and Samuel was on. When I moved the mouse, her status must have changed because an IM popped up.
“Are you there babe?”
“Hey Sam, it’s Lily. Becky’s in class.”
“Ah ok. How are u?”
“Good. How’s life in Hawaii?”
“Hawaii’s peachy but you know it’s not the same without her.”
“I know hon. I have to get going. Talk to you later.”
I loved what Becky and Samuel had, and I admired their strength for sticking it out through the bad times. Despite everything, she was here, pushing herself and not giving up on her dream. Sometimes I wondered if I had her strength.
I put up her away message and opened a new browser window. I couldn’t bring myself to sign onto the boards so I just checked my school e-mail to see if my financial aid application had been received. This was the one bad thing about this school. Sometimes our administrative system sucked and left me frustrated. I was doing everything to distract myself from facing what had happened. I stared at the computer screen, not really paying attention to what was on there. The only thing I could think of was Marcus.
We’d been friends online for a few months, and our friendship had grown to the point of complete trust, which was a big deal for me. I remembered the day he told me he was going to propose to Valerie. I was so happy for him because he was happy. He was there to help me through my tough days and our conversations always ended with “Love you” because I did love him, as a great friend. Could it be that his “love you” has had a deeper meaning all along? How could he do this to us? To our friendship? I was angry with myself. I had let it happen. I should’ve stopped him when he kissed my hand. I shouldn’t have let him kiss me at all! Why did I? Was Becky right? Was I in love with him?
All the feelings I had been consumed with throughout the day came back to haunt me. The anticipation, being nervous, the blushing…I had never experienced any of that before. The moment he kissed me, I had felt complete. When I was lost in that kiss, I was falling but rising at the same time. I hadn’t allowed myself this thought but I knew it was true. When those elevator doors opened and I saw him standing there, I wanted him to kiss me. When he put his arms around me, I didn’t want him to let go. When he held my hand, I was charged from my head to my toes. When I looked in his eyes, I was breathless.
“I’m in love with Marcus.” I admitted to the empty apartment.
The only question was…what could a 34 year old man see in a 19 year old? Was he really in love with me or had he just said that because he felt guilty about the kiss?