Music: Be the One - Ting Tings
I had been to watch a crucial end of season rugby match with my friend Joe and we had shared a friendly hug. It was just friendly, right? Here's what happened next...
After we clapped the team off the pitch, Joe and I were swept along with all the other fans towards one of the many exits. We were both absolutely buzzing about the result and I'm pretty sure I bounced down the street with the biggest smile on my face ever.
Joe had parked his car in pretty much the opposite direction to mine so after a few minutes’ walk it was time to go our separate ways. All of a sudden things seemed a little awkward between us and I wondered if he was freaked out when I grabbed his arm during the last five minutes of the game. I really hoped not. I didn’t mean anything by it - I just felt so stressed and nervous and needed a bit of steadying. And what about our hug after the final whistle? It was just a friendly hug between two mates. Wasn't it?
“Well, I guess I’ll see you in a month or so when Mick finally arranges a night out,” Joe said as he stood opposite me, his hands firmly in his pockets.
“Yeah definitely,” I replied. “I think I might just have recovered from today to go for a night out by then!” I laughed.
“OK then. It was really good to see you today," Joe said. “So I’ll see you soon...”
With that he moved towards me, put his hand on my arm and kissed me on the cheek.
Unlike when we met and he kissed me on the cheek before the game, this time he seemed to linger. His lips were gentle and and for a couple of seconds I thought he was going to kiss me on the lips. I felt myself blushing and I gently touched his arm and pulled my face away from him. Joe looked uncomfortable and like he was lost in no-man’s land.
"Er, would you like to go and grab a drink now?" he asked cautiously. His hands were back in his pockets and he was looking sheepishly at the floor.
Gulp. Suddenly it didn't feel like a friend asking a friend if they fancied a beer.
"Um, I'd love to but I'm really sorry, I can't," I replied.
It was true, I couldn't, as I had to drive over to my parent's straight after. But why did I say I would love to? Was that encouraging him - if there was anything to encourage?
"Oh, yeah, that's right. You did tell me you had to shoot off straight after the match," Joe replied.
I smiled at him.
“Right then. Well I guess I’ll see you soon,” I said quickly as I opened my bag and searched for my car keys.
“Yes. Yes, I’ll see you soon,” Joe replied in a fluster. “Bye then.”
As soon as he said goodbye he dashed off in the opposite direction, leaving me standing alone like a confused statue.
What was that? Did I just imagine it? I think something just happened back there. Did Joe try to kiss me as in properly kiss me? No, that’s not right. Joe’s my rugby friend. My friend! I know that I’ve flirted with the idea of what it would be if we got together in my head but I’ve never seriously considered it. I mean, I don’t even fancy Joe, do I? Well, maybe an ever so tiny little bit, but that’s not enough to put a friendship on the line.
And then there’s his age. I mean, he’s over forty and I am in my prime. Does age really matter so much?
I think that Joe and I are at different points of our lives. I very much doubt that he’s going to want to go out and party as much as I do and it would be weird socialising with him and my friends at the same time. I remember what it was like with John and the disaster that turned into. John was a friend who fancied me and because I felt so flattered I went along with it, even though I knew deep down that I didn’t really like him in that way and it wasn’t right. Why was I even considering doing the same thing with Joe? And more to the point, I might have got this all wrong and have completely misread the situation in the wake of our team’s amazing win.
As I walked back to my car, totally lost in my thoughts my phone vibrated in my pocket and snapped me out of it. It was a text message from Joe:
I can’t believe Leeds have stayed up! Sorry if I was a bit quiet after the game. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon for a few drinks :-) x
Oh, that’s new.
He has never put a kiss on the end of a text message to me before and I’ve known him for a couple of years.
Does that mean what I think it means?
I think he likes me...
To be continued...