Sunday, 20 May 2012

Mixed Messages

A terrible thing happened to me today.

Ever since this terrible thing happened, I have been confined to the foetal position, cringing and praying for death.

Dramatic? Yes. Justified? ABSOLUTELY.

This is yet another story of my complete and utter BEFUDDLEMENT when it comes to boys.

The boy in question, though, is not another unsuitable specimen that I have fallen in love with against all my better judgement. No, no. He is merely a friend of mine.

Although we were quite close at university, we have grown apart considerably since we graduated. There are several reasons for it, of course - life is quite complicated, as you probably know. But I think the main reason is that we lost our geographical connection.

At university, you see, I was heavily ridiculed for my Blackburn accent. I sound exactly like everyone’s worst idea of a Northern Person, and it does not go unnoticed. Luckily, this boy was from Burnley, and that made me feel much better about things.

(If you’re not from Up Here, you won’t know this, but Blackburn people consider themselves superior to Burnley people. We're twenty minutes apart, but we treat them like a different species.)

So one evening, in a crowded bar, we were drawn to each other. He to me because I was cute and I sounded like home. Me to he because he had a tattoo and I could make fun of the way he said ‘chair’.

But, like I said, we lost touch. He moved off to London or something and got a job with the BBC, I remained Up Here and started a blog.

Our story for today actually begins a couple of weeks ago, when he started texting me out of the blue. It was quite nice. We caught up in the normal fashion and discussed jobs, family, relationships, my hair - the usual.

Then, today, when he briefly mentioned that he was back in the area and that he had an entire week of freedom to catch up with some friends, I literally said what any normal human being would say when told such a thing. Here it is:

IF YOU'VE GOT A WEEK OFF, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME TO BLACKBURN AND WE'LL GO FOR A DRINK.


Does that seem fine to you? Yeah, I thought so too. But, in boy-language, it seems that I have basically proposed marriage. He replied:

AW BABE, I'D LOVE TO BUT I'M REALLY ENJOYING JUST CHATTING TO YOU AND I DON'T WANT TO RUIN IT XXX

And then:

SORRY I JUST DON'T THINK OF YOU LIKE THAT. I THINK WE SHOULD JUST BE FRIENDS XXX

Well. There you go.

He thinks I like him in That Way.

And, yes, the situation has probably been helped along by the fact that I did not deny it. I felt, at that point, that any protestation by me could only have been read as an attempt to retain some kind of dignity after he had just stomped on my fragile little heart, so what I actually said was this:

OH, DEFINITELY.

What I wanted to say was this:

JESUS. DEFINITELY JUST FRIENDS. IN FACT, THE THOUGHT OF BEING MORE THAN FRIENDS ACTUALLY MAKES ME FEEL A LITTLE BIT SICK. REMEMBER WHEN YOU TRIED TO KISS ME IN SECOND YEAR? WELL, SOMETIMES I HAVE UNPLEASANT FLASHBACKS.

Utterly humiliating. I have cringed so much while relaying this to you that I may actually have developed a permanent twitch.

x