The Modern Confusion

The line between a relationship and friendship appears to be a fickle thing. While many tread one path or the other many find them selves in this pit between. Now here I lie once more. Her actions convey similarities to that of an early staged relationship complete with exaggerated laughter to the simplest things, a need for contact, and planning future meetups but avoids silences and backpedals almost aggressively when the word ‘date’ falls from her tongue. However she does continue to ask increasingly personal questions as though excavating my personality for similar interests and prime qualities. I gladly encourage her nonetheless, eager to be fawned over and enjoying the attention, but with unknown intentions of my own. I spend the night wondering what I aim to achieve. I continue carelessly still not paying attention to which side of the line I may be veering. Caught up in the question game, that every possible relationship must face, I take far to much enjoyment in those aimed about me. To avoid being self-obsessed, a trait I hate being the hypocrite I am, I quickly veer the conversation back onto her or at least neutral ground. I enjoy getting to know her. She tells me of her aspirations and enjoyments. Our conversation runs rampant over a multitude of topics ranging shallow and insightful. She begins commenting on her disagreement for simple labels like Jock, etc. I respond, unsure of how this topic has arisen, with a playful flirtatious remark in hopes of maintaining the light mood.
“Well you should’ve said something earlier. You’re nothing more than a culture nerd to me now.” I say commenting on her ability to enlighten me on not only Korean customs but also that of French cuisine.
She pauses and then a smile brightens her face and she laughs amusedly. She reaches for my arm and pushes me slightly. I laugh as well not at the joke but out of my pleasure in her reaction. She continues to show me the correct procedure of enjoying the meal before us. This is my first Korean BBQ so fairly so I’m a complete novice. I grab unknown ingredients with wavering confidence, stacking them as she had shown moments before, fumbling continuously with my chopsticks. She smiles at my persistence but makes no comment and instead returns her focus to conversation. It’s a subtle motion but appreciated none the less. The night continues like this. Both of us playing a flirtatious and considerate game of questions. firing back and forth becoming more and more comfortable with each quip and story unveiled with trust. The bill soon arrives and the gentleman in me handles the bill in a swift fashion while the rest of me weeps silently.
We begin wandering the commercially lit streets of the city, my soul still suffering from visions of the numbers anchoring the bill that had almost seemed to smirk up at me.
Her arms wrapped firmly around my left arm as we walk continue to confuse me on the purpose of the nights activity. The night being full of clear signs of romantic interest would lack all doubt if not for her constant comments of my youth. Her description of me always accompanied with cute continues to deny any romantic connotations. Perhaps I’m swayed by my distain for the word when associated with me. Even if her interests were romantic would it just be a casual ordeal or committed. The modern era offers to many unknowns. I don’t allow this topic to distract me any further. I carelessly continue the night with no regard to the messages I may be sending and blind to those I should be receiving. I play a game of neutrality between that of romantic and friendly. Like a game of chicken she does the same. A night of contact but a friendly distance between us leaves me in confusion. The night ends slowly as I stand outside the subway station. She pauses as if waiting for a kiss. Then as I feel the timing her arms embrace me. Perhaps there is some sadistic joy she takes from leaving me confused or perhaps I am far to slow and naïve. Most likely though she is just 8 years older and conflicted herself. Somewhat relieved the night draws to a close and the games come to an end I relax for the ride home my mind eager to rest.

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