A Friend

Dean and Aleisha wandered towards Dean’s front door, catching the final drops of the night’s rain as it finally made it way to ground from the leaves of the sheltering Oak Tree.

After a late night out they were both looking forward to bed. Tonight Aleisha wasn’t even fussed about sleeping on the couch.

Dean got them both a glass of water, placing Aleisha’s on the table in front of her makeshift bed and wandering over to lean against the kitchen counter while he drank his.

They became friends only a few months earlier on a 10-day Northern Territory tour, and had kept in touch through the occasional email. They were attracted to each other, but were just friends. Anyway, there was Sara, a Canadian girl from the same tour that Dean had been thinking about a lot.

Their interaction often revolved around sarcasm and mocking criticism, but Aleisha took a moment to be serious and make sure Dean knew how much she appreciated him giving her somewhere to stay in Melbourne. Even if it was on a couch only marginally longer than her five-foot-8 frame.

Both had been recently hurt in relationship break-ups and Aleisha had arrived in Melbourne only a few days earlier from Brisbane, where she spent two months living with an American guy named Kyle. They had planned to continue travelling together, until Kyle backed out at the last minute and booked a flight to Europe.

She was still incredibly hurt, but had this toughness about her and refused to let someone get her down too much. She was glad to have Dean there to talk to and now found herself revealing some of her deeper feelings about the situation.

Dean sat down, not wanting to look like he was about to go to bed. He empathised with her, and revealed more about his own experience – an amicable and mutual end to a six-year relationship that became a bitter and unexpected end to the friendship.

Aleisha asked about Sara as well, having seen the way the two of them interacted together. It was the first time Dean had been able to comfortably discuss the extent of his hurt over his ex-girlfriend and his confusion about Sara with anyone.

The conversation lasted a couple of hours. In that time their friendship developed into something more, establishing a new level of trust and understanding. It was now more than simply liking each other – they knew they had someone new in their life they could rely on.

After a few moments of reflective silence Dean stood up. He looked at Aleisha and she smiled appreciatively with a subtle expression that came mostly from her eyes.

She raised a hand to gesture goodnight. Dean stepped towards the couch, leant over and embraced her. They both felt the moment strongly. It was all that needed to be said about where they were with each other now as friends.

Either one could have gotten carried away in the moment and searched for a kiss, but they both knew that sometimes it’s best to keep your love of someone within its limits so that it can be there forever.

A Friend

mewell

Joined December 2007

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