“I am so looking forward to be together with you”, John says breathlessly to me over the phone.
Perhaps moving to the same town means sharing the flat to him. And that is next to impossible. I tread carefully to put the sensitive message across and say,” Yes dude. I am super-excited to know I will have a close buddy to hang around on the weekends soon.”
John is silent for a moment.
Evidently he is a bit taken back. “I thought we would stay together. Last time we talked, I remember distinctly, you said you had a room to spare and were looking for a roommate. In fact I considered that before taking on this new job responsibility.”
“I was but not anymore”, I say quickly racking my brain to come up with a legitimate excuse. I can’t give the pretext of Eva returning for good. They both are in touch. “Look, Eva will join me for holidays this summer and we would desire some privacy.”
“You think I haven’t given a thought to it? I have. Her stint in the middle-east is not over before two years. And as regards her visit this summer, I can make a temporary arrangement somewhere.”
This situation is getting stickier than I assumed it would. “Dude, we may be the best of buddies since we were toddlers but are very different personalities. Staying under one roof seems unimaginable. For example, you are the most organized person I know and I am just the opposite. You should see the mess my house is right now. You won’t approve of my late-nights and social circle. And knowing you, your preference for quiet and peace, it will not augur well with you – the partying and loud music. Honestly no, I wouldn’t wish to put you through that torture.”
“Look, I have changed since those days having stayed away from mom and dad for so long”, John says.
I am exasperated and I promise myself to be firmer now. “You have to face the truth now. Be brave, Johnny boy, its coming, I tell myself and very solemnly say “John, didn’t you push me off the fence deliberately that day when we were in 5th grade.”
John is quiet again. Probably the last thing he expected me to remember was that incident after all these years.” Why would I…? Give me one good reason?”
“C’mon John, you were always insecure because of me, of my popularity. And you were perceived as this nerdy geek. After the accident, you grew overprotective and to some extent clingy. You continue to be so. If you think, I hold a grudge against you, you are mistaken. But one thing I do know – that you still carry the guilt.”
I hang up.