Everyone was in a splendid mood on this last evening of the meeting. I felt like staying downstairs, but decided against it because I knew the Witcher was starting to get annoyed, preferring some alone time again after a whole day of mingling with the crowd. Alone except for my company of course.
We went upstairs and finally finished the movie we had been watching the previous evenings (always ending with me falling asleep halfway through). When it was time to tell each other good night, he hugged me tightly, saying: “I really like you and I’m happy you are here with me.”
“Good night”, I said.
Back in my room I finally found my words. I texted:
“I am still endlessly sorry for how things have gone for us. But I have a family now and the most important thing for me is to be there for them.”
“It’s okay. All I want is for you to be happy. And you seem to be. You are still my best friend.”
I changed into my pajamas, grabbed a book, lay down on my bed and read some pages to calm down before I answered:
“You are still more than a friend to me.”
Some minutes passed until my phone beeped again.
“You are so much more. I can’t stop crying now.”
I often regretted not having gone back to his room that night. But his message had left my thoughts and feelings a total mess and I just wanted to be alone, so I answered evasively:
“Take a book, read some pages and go to sleep. I’ll meet you before breakfast tomorrow.”
The next morning was stressful and by the time I had packed my stuff it was almost time for the lectures, so I was already late when I went into his room. We fell into each other’s arms, but didn’t have much time to talk.
He was picked up early by a friend of his. The speakers were running late, as seemed to be usual for the last day of conference, and I was still in the lecture hall when he called me, saying he had to leave now. I sneaked out and met him in the dining room. While we made our way for the door he took my hand and I quickly shook it off. “There are people around us”, I hissed. Out on the parking lot we had a brief chat with the Wizard, one of his best friends whom I knew from the board game evenings which seemed like ages ago. When the Witcher hugged me goodbye he lifted me off my feet – with him being 10 inches taller than me, this just requires him to straighten up during a hug – and I gave him a very swift kiss on the neck.
Two hours later I was sitting in a train back home, looking forward with joy to return to my family, but also harboring some bitterness deep inside of me about how tangled I had allowed my feelings to become again.