Here's Your Box

August 8, 2011
"Is that all I am to you?" the question rung through the air with heavy tension and heated anger. Even though he had asked it in a low voice the intensity had hit me like a wall. Standing by the back shelves in the library was not the place to be having this conversation.
Feet away people were scanning textbooks, highlighting notes, and typing papers. All were simple mundane tasks I would much rather be doing then being confronted someone I didn't want to see, and having a conversation about something I didn't want to talk about.
"Don't lie," he cut me off. His voice sounded more hurt than angry now.
He was right I would be lying if I told him that things between us were more than that. But hadn't that been the understanding from the start? Hadn't it started off as nothing more than just being there for each other?
He seemed so out of context here. I looked down at the green converse shoes I had seen so many times propped up on his desk. They seemed so surreal now that they were three dimensional, no longer trapped by the two dimensional computer screen. He had his box he was supposed to stay in. But he had broken the rules. He had come to see me.
"Ian, why are you here?" I asked nervously.
"To get an answer to my question," he answered evenly. After not answering his question he continued with frustration, "Is that all that I am to you then? You don't want a relationship do you? You just want someone to be there in all the ways except for the ones that would actually make this official. What's holding you back?" he asked the critical questions I didn't have the answers to. I wasn't even sure I wanted to have the answers. But that didn't matter; he was here now and I had to make a decision.
I drummed a rhythm to block out the silence. I hated awkward pauses and was somehow subconsciously trying to push them away. He reached over to my hand to stop the distraction.
I'm not sure what it was but the sudden touch, the sudden shock that he was there hit me. Had it been that all of this time I was hoping that he was real. That he wasn't some made up allusion that I was talking to in the dead of night, that I wasn't talking to myself convincing myself that everything was alright when it wasn't.
But what I hadn't expected was him to come to life and make everything better than alright. He was there offering that to me. He was right I'd been keeping him at arms length for a reason. I was afraid to be too hopeful in fear that all of it might crumble into wasted time and hurt confusion.
I looked up from our hands into his face and admitted the truth, "That is all you were to me, but I'd like that to change. That is if you're willing to give it a try."
"Yeah," he said, "Let's do this." He bent down and placed a soft kiss on the top of her head. He took in a deep breath and cherished the new feeling of him being there. She could smell him, feel his warmth, and observe the little details you can only see when you're with someone.
They walked out of the library past the people who were scanning textbooks, highlighting notes, and typing papers.

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