2.5 Disguised As Friendship

By this time I was starting to get bored of the guy I was seeing. He just wasn’t interesting to me anymore. As I mentioned before, my roommate was determined to hook up with a guy. Once she moved on from the boy who wrote the questionable letter that almost got us in a lot of trouble, she set her sights on a new target. This guy was a closer, as he was actually within our platoon. So she started hanging around him, and they seemed to have hit it off. And of course I was getting dragged everywhere with her, so I ended up spending a lot of time with him, and also his roommate, Mark.

When we were out in the field, we had to go everywhere with our roommates. They were called our “fire team partners”, the idea being that if anything dangerous happened, we would have each others’ backs. But really it just meant that we had to sleep in a makeshift tent together, eat meals together, even go to the bathroom together (well, waiting outside the port-a-potty for each other). Since my roommate was always hanging around this guy, I ended up spending a lot of time with Mark. He was funny, and we got along really well. We became very close friends.

There was one night where my roommate begged me to let her have some alone time with that other guy. Trying to be a good friend, I agreed. This meant that I had to sneak down the hallway, and hide in Mark’s room. I sat down on the spare bed, and we started talking. Mark came over and, instead of sitting on his own bed right next to mine, came over and sat down on the bed I was on, only a couple of feet away from me. We could definitely both feel the tension that existed between us. I wanted him to kiss me. I could tell the thought was passing through his mind…

But he didn’t.

We just sat there and made small talk. It was much more uncomfortable than I had ever felt around him before. Usually things just flowed so well, but I we were both holding back. Eventually I decided it was late (somewhere around 1) and since we still had to be up at 5:30, I went back to my room. And I felt disappointed.

When basic ended, I hugged Mark before he got in his car and drove away. That was the first time we had had physical contact. I didn’t want the hug to end. He stayed on my mind much longer than the guy I had actually been with did. We continued to text long after basic was over.

And then one day, he admitted he had had a bit of a crush on me. He sent me some pictures he had taken, in one particular one I am dirty, greasy, probably smelly, and the way I’m smiling it looks like my left eye is swelling shut. He told me it was his favourite picture because I look beautiful in it.

And that was when I started to let myself embrace my feelings for Mark, just to see where this would take us…


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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

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