Well, my next move was out of the house. Literally. My first year in England was up, and I headed back home to Dubai for the summer holidays. My landlord had decided that he needed to sell the house, and it had been bought jointly by him and his girlfriend. Unsurprisingly, she wanted her money back.
He set me up with his best friend’s mum, as she was looking to get lodgers in from that year on. I moved in there during my second year, and spent the rest of my days in England living there.
In the interim, my now erstwhile landlord sold his house, and bought another. Coincidentally, it happened to be quite close to where I was staying. It was however some time before I met him again. My new landlady suspected that I had a thing for him, and was incredibly curious about the whole situation. For my part, I couldn’t admit to any of it for reasons I cannot fathom right now. I think it may have had something to do with his girlfriend, and that fact that I stayed alone with him for months. Nothing happened, but I knew my assertions sounded weak.
I stayed away from him, in an attempt to get on with my life. And then he came to the house one day, in order to help my landlady lay tiles in her kitchen. And I bumped into him unexpectedly, and of course all the old confusion surged up once again. He was cool and collected, and she was openly inquisitive. In response, I bolted up the stairs, stammering about some assignments that were due.
I don’t recall the exact chain of events, but I do remember that we exchanged messages on occasion. In retrospect, I always initiated the text exchange, and his replies weren’t exciting. However, just by the virtue of his being the sender, I was always thrilled to bits.
Finally, I went to visit him one afternoon, and we spent time chatting in front of the television. I was hoping to recapture some of the magic that had existed a mere few months previously, but (again in retrospect) it was there no longer. A few more visits ensued, visits during which we made out. But it was useless in my mind. I was the one always seeking him out, and I wished for a little more initiative from his side. And over and above it all, it felt a bit tawdry and illicit – and I do not do illicit – even though we were both very single.
To add interest into this uneasy situation, my best friend used to confide in me about similar evenings she had spent in his company. There were several issues surrounding her, even with our other friends.
I felt the fantasy and magic drain out of the situation. Perhaps it was my extreme naivete and innocence that propelled me into the situation in the first place, and my innate dislike for subterfuge and secrecy thankfully propelled me out again.
Until last year.