Honey, I'm going out. (II)
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
"Are you still up?"
"Yes, is everything all right?"
"I need a hug. Can I come over?"
"It's a 45 minutes ride, though."
"I'm watching a movie with Joe. Come whenever."
When I arrived at his place, I hugged Lucas tight and said an empty hello to Joe.
"I'm glad you came," Lucas said, in a calm, unhurried voice, and then kissed me on the cheek.
"Thank you for staying up so late. I know you have an early morning tomorrow."
Joe was observing me from the moment I entered the hallway, and when I took off my shoes, he watched me making sure that whatever I am doing, I am doing it correctly.
I walked into the living room and sat on the couch, on the opposite side of Joe. When I asked him what the story behind the movie is, he gave a raise of the eyebrows and half-grin, "Don't judge us. It's Saturday night, and this film requires no intellectual effort. I barely follow the plot. I just sit here next to my gingerbread cookies." He seemed surprised they were gone, so he tapped out the crumbs into his palm and threw his head back to ingest what was left.
Joe waited for me to speak, but we both heard Lucas sighing heavily in the kitchen: "Well, Ioana, you make it impossible for me to offer you a cup of tea."
"I know, but I don't like green and black tea, and I only drink mint tea if it is fresh."
"I found fruit tea, and if you don't like it, you don't need to drink it," Lucas said and shook his head. "I do have honey from Romania, though."
"Amazing, thank you," I said in a cheerful tone.
Lucas brought the tea, put it carefully on the table, not losing eye contact with me. I remember looking at him and thinking he looks worn out. But before being able to ask him anything, Lucas wondered briefly if this is how I usually dress at the weekends.
"It's my KitKat dress," I said and stood up. "What do you think? It's not that trashy, is it?"
"Not at all, you're quite overdressed for KitKat. You look fantastic, by the way."
"Thank you, but let me tell you, today was a total waste of shower. The salsa party was boring. So so dull."
"KitKat dress?" asked Joe, surprised.
"Yeah. I went there last year." I hoped that mentioning the past will stop the questioning there, but Joe wanted to hear about my experience.
"And you got in wearing that?"
"Well, Joe, the dress is black - and I guess the bouncer thought it's an easy one to take off. But the joke's on him - these are only accessories." I said with a wicked smile.
"It's not even that short," Lucas continued. "Did you wear any makeup?"
"I did, but not that much. It was the same outfit as today, but more mascara and a bit of black eyeliner. Anyhow. My story is not worth telling, as I went there to dance...and nothing more."
Joe laughed as he thought I was lying, although he knew next to nothing about me. His reaction was one of bafflement, and I rarely have the patience to explain my actions, especially to someone whose opinion is not relevant to me. But I was already pissed because of what happened at the salsa club an hour before, so I looked at Joe and decided I will tell him every single detail of my KitKat night - and he will be sorry he provoked me, as I'm good at gibberish.
"Well, it all started with an..." There I was, sipping from a hot cup of tea and talking about the night I spent in KitKat. After around 20 minutes, Joe said goodnight and me and Lucas decided to go to sleep also. It was past 2 am, and I had to get up somehow early.
"Do you have any lotion?" I asked Lucas.
"What for?" He seemed confused.
"To remove my makeup."
"I have makeup removal thingy," he said, giving me cotton balls and a half-empty bottle.
<right. From his ex gf. I wonder how Katherine looks like, although starting a conversation about past relationships this late at night is not appropriate. I have so many questions, though. So many.>
Lucas was looking at me while I was making circular moves around my eyes to get rid of the mascara, and soon, I forgot about his ex-girlfriend. I changed into a large T-shirt and some shorts that he took from his wardrobe, and we went to bed. Lucas put on some music, and we talked a bit, and then we said goodnight. I usually sleep on my stomach, head to one side, with my arms wrapped around behind a pillow. And that night was no different, except that Lucas was caressing my back, gently.
<I could get used to falling asleep like this. Being his friend is fantastic.>
There was nothing sexual in his touching, and it was the first time in a while, I felt relaxed entirely next to someone. I wasn't surprised, as, from the moment I met him - from the first 20 seconds - I knew he was one of the good ones. So falling asleep next to him felt normal.
I turned towards him and hugged him, saying goodnight. I was half asleep when he kissed me. And I didn't know what was happening. I mean, I was aware of his soft touch, but it felt so right that it freaked me out.
"We can't do this, Lucas. Things will get too complicated."
"I know," he said, "but I was hoping we wouldn't connect...but...but... I've never felt like this in a long time."
"I know...I know what you mean."
Everything was out of this world, and I knew we had to stop kissing before the kissing would lead to touching, and the touching would lead to sex.
"If we do this, there's no coming back," I said and moved further away from him. He then kissed me again, although he agreed with me. "But I can't believe it's real. Connections like this don't just happen. Not in such a short amount of time."
"I can't do this, you know...and you promised we would be friends. You promised!"
"I know I did. I'm sorry I kissed you. Please believe me. I won't do it again. I'm sorry. I want to be friends." We turned our backs at each other and fell asleep.
We woke up feeling a bit awkward the next morning, and I got dressed while he was in the shower. I folded his t-shirt and his shorts and made the bed. I left without saying goodbye. I couldn't process it all. I needed some time to think.
He texted me 15 minutes later: "You disappeared like a ninja."
"It comes with wearing black."
"Komm gut nach Hause."
"Danke dir. Have fun at brunch."
I was thankful he texted me first because I had no idea how to manage what had happened. This wasn't a story about two people fooling around out of boredom; it was us - us. And I didn't know what "us" was. In the S-Bahn, I wondered what will happen in the following days. I wondered if he thought I wore the dress for him. I wondered if he thinks I tried to seduce him. But all these questions seemed stupid.
<I didn't plan to go to his place, he doesn't even know I have a date in the afternoon. I need to talk to someone about this. Aaaaaggghhh.>
I arrived home and went straight to bed. I slept enough to forget about the previous night, and I texted Manu to meet me for an early dinner. Manu arrived before me at KulturBrauerai and was my type of guy. Brown eyes and curly dark brown hair, a smile that - in a different context - would have turned my life upside down. We had a pleasant conversation during dinner, and afterward, we went dancing together. He never danced salsa up until that Sunday, but there was a class for beginners there. I liked Manu for his utter honesty, and we enjoyed learning the salsa steps together. I was having fun, and more importantly, I wasn't thinking about Lucas. But after I arrived home, Manu sent me the most beautiful text, and I decided to reply the next day because I felt he needed to know the truth - Lucas was in my mind again. Until I would clarify things with him, I couldn't get involved with anyone else.
It was Tuesday when I met Lucas for lunch - two days after we kissed, and I decided I will not mention that night nor that I couldn't start anything with Manu. We were about to have a picnic in the warm sun, and talking about "what" and "ifs" would just ruin our day. So we sat near the water, talking, smiling, and eating the snacks I had prepared. We ate without cutlery, we talked about next weekend's plans, and then he kissed me again.
"I'm sorry, but I can't help myself," he said. "I want to kiss you again and again and again."
"Then kiss me," I replied, smiling. "I like to be kissed. And I like you."
I was barefoot, and the summer was about to be spectacular, and I was next to someone who understood me in a way that made me feel safe. We connected so well that I thought it's just too good to be real. It was like a dream. We met only a couple of times up until that day - but when he hugged me, I could feel his heart beating so fast and that it made my heart beat faster. For the 10 seconds when our bodies were one, I felt a-not-so-common- energy going throughout my whole body, and I was sure that he likes me more than he dares to admit it to himself. That picnic on the green grass was straight out of a romantic comedy, and it was me and him being happy. There was only one tiny detail that was getting in the way of our happily-ever-after ending, but we decided to ignore it.
After eating all the food, he made a joke about God, and I just smiled.
"I shouldn't joke about this, should I?" He asked, looking at me with curiosity.
"You can, but I think you got it all wrong. It's not only that. And it's hard to explain in 30 seconds."
A couple of days later, in the evening, when we met in Alexanderplatz, we talked about the elephant in the room. He had his good arguments; I had mine. We looked at the TV tower, and I snapped a picture to send to Cristina.
"Blue sky for ever." But Lucas said I wrote it wrong, "forever is only one word."
"Just wait and see." And two minutes later, Cristina replied with "and ever."
I smiled and said goodbye to Lucas. I went home thinking about our conversation, a conversation that left both of us wondering if there isn't another way of handling it all. But we decided that from now on, there would be no more kissing. We were back at being friends. So we met again for lunch and then for a walk along Spree, and then it was the evening when we spent one hour at Dussmann, browsing books and CDs and gifts. It was the night I told him about my ex, and he replied with, "Fuck him. You're too nice."
But when he went away for a weekend, I hoped that some time apart would make things easier. After his short getaway trip, he came directly to my place. He ate the dinner I prepared, and then he started kissing me again.
"Well, Lucas!?! What are you doing? We can't go back and forth with this."
"You're overthinking. Just live."
"I can't believe you're using this line," I said, laughing out loud.
"Well, I'm French, and I'm a good kisser, no?"
"You are, but I'm Romanian, and this hedonistic way of living is not my cup of tea. I don't want to be one of the many."
"But, you're not."
"You're stubborn, Ioana."
"I told you from the beginning that I am."
"We talked about this."
"We talked about this a million times."
And then he kissed me again.
"You're playing a dangerous game, mein Herr. I'm gonna brush my teeth and go to bed."
He unpacked his pj's and then kissed me on the cheek.
"Good Night, dream of 'appiness," I said, and put my head on his chest. We fell asleep in a cozy embrace, and the next morning we skipped breakfast.
"You know, we should just try it out," he said, laughing and started kissing me.
I kissed him back and put my hands around his neck. "I have a feeling that we won't regret this."
"Finally, I convinced you," he added between kisses.
"Yes, you had me at 'I'm a good kisser.'"
We both laughed out loud and began undressing.
"Que sera, sera."
And it was more than "sera." It was omg-sera. And the days and nights that followed were even better. I had no idea sex can be that good. I mean, I had my share of good sex and bad sex, but this was something else. And I was in love before, and I felt comfortable next to the person I loved, but sex with Lucas was out of this world. Even when I'm typing this and try to remember the time we spent together, I can't believe I was lucky to experience something like that. It wasn't just sex, and it wasn't only a good connection. It was way more.
"Man, You're GOOD at this, but I need to breathe a bit. We need to stop," I said one evening, being overwhelmed by these new feelings and emotions.
"I don't know what to say except that I'm enjoying it a lot. And it's not me that is good; it's US."
And if you're reading this, you might think that we were on drugs, or probably drunk because I'm writing about sex in Berlin. But we were not drunk or high.
I am more than three years sober, and I never smoked, nor have I ever had the curiosity to take drugs, as for Lucas - he can't smoke, or he will get sick instantly. And he gave up alcohol two weeks after he met me. Not because I forced him or anything, Lucas wanted to be sober in a while, but peer pressure was too strong. "You know, I'm French, so people expect me to drink wine. Lately, I discovered that I don't like wine before bed anymore. It feels like it's a waste of money. So you - and your non-drinking habits - make everything easier for me."
Days passed, dinners were cooked, and the evenings in front of the TV were the evenings we were too tired to go out. We started watching a series on Netflix, and we promised we would watch it together from the beginning 'till the end - just us two.
And then he went away for the weekend again, and I gave him some space. He was meeting family and friends, and I didn't want to get in the way. He texted me about his whereabouts; then, he sent me a picture of them eating sushi. "Aaaah, that looks sooo good. And you look so happy! Glad to see you're having fun. Can't wait for you to come back - my weekend is so boring without you."
And when he came back, he invited me to an open-air event, it was something job-related, and he needed to speak to some people. I agreed to go with him, although I never know what to say when people talk about IT.
I find it to be one of the most boring subjects in the world, and yes, I know that thanks to technology developing so fast I can write these words and send them out there. But ISP and IDE and R programming language and other words and abbreviations people use, well...just bore me to death. It's not like I can't learn what the words mean, but whenever people tell me about "the cloud" I make a "and the sun is a star" joke which throws them off their game. Someone asked me once if I know how to install Windows on my computer, and I responded with: "Of course I know. It's the easiest thing to do - I give my laptop to a friend for one day, and it's all set." (This pretty much sums up my programing skills.)
Lucas and I come from different worlds. Usually, I avoid this type of gatherings, where people talk about new technology and the outburst of development and...you know - other things, but I missed Lucas and wanted to be with him, even if that meant I had to share him. Lucky for me, though, he was caught up at work that day and was pissed with some colleagues, so he decided we will skip it all - the renewed greetings, the small talk, the noise.
"I'm sorry, Ioana. But I'm not in the mood to deal with these people. I know you wanted to go, but I just can't."
"Well, yes, I was super excited to meet IT people, have been preparing for two weeks now, but I understand."
<ahahaha, there is a God, and He keeps me safe. I won't need to be polite nor sit at a table and read a book at a social gathering. ahahahahah>
"Let's have a picnic and talk," Lucas replied.
"Yes, let's meet in our spot. I'm actually glad it's gonna be just the two of us."
We sat on the grass, ate some cheese with baguette and grapes, and I asked him if he will ever get used to eating french pastry only twice per year.
"Which reminds me, I've got something for you," Lucas said and opened his backpack. "See if you like it."
And that was the moment things changed for us, and that picnic near Spree would be the beginning of a series of conversations that would change us and our future together.