Like a gentle automn breeze, a fresh orange juice in a summer day, a view of a green forest with warm reflections of sunlight and shadows. This is how I felt in his presence.
Long walks to nowhere, long talks with calm voice with a broken English and exotic accents. Despite of the two different worlds we come from, we managed to meet somewhere in the middle, where the time freeze.
He was, I believe, one of my rare acquaintance from the opposite sex that I met without any particular reason: not for study, nor for work, nor for any networking purpose. Two persons met for no particular reason but to talk and to get to know each other.
However, it wasn’t a romantic date. I knew since the beginning that he was in a serious and long relationship. This fact set a very clear and pressure free conversation from the beginning, free from any tension that I feel usually when I communicate with men: from bith sides there were no will to impress, to suppress, to reduce, to manipulate, to keep low profile for nor to seduce. Gentleness and tenderness, mutual interest and flow of words and calm giggles
To have this smooth and gentle communication with a guy was so precious and new to me. We kept in touch over few messages here, few hellos there, or greetings on New Years’ and birthdays etc. All this time, I never knew how to explain the heartwarming feeling nor the big smile that I have when I think or receive anything from him. Through the past years and during our few meetings only taking place for few hours when I travel to Europe, this gentle feeling was always there. However for me I never dared to call it anything but friendship, I always considered our relationship as the standard of the “good friendship with the opposite sex”. Partially because that any other explanation was unthinkable due to all the obstacles that prevent this relationship to happen, but also because I cannot, till this age, identify nor differentiate between different kinds of feelings like admiration, attraction, love, and friendship.
One afternoon after a long day of work and study, we started to chat, and there, what was always felt between the lines, got articulated clearly thanks to the illusive freedom of a virtual communication that turns the unspoken imagination to a reality: mutual interest, admiration, sensuality and attraction. Since when? Was it growing for long? Was it there from the start? Was it only born now in this particular stolen moment and turned immediately to ashes?
For a second a crack was made in the wall of “politeness, courtesy, and friendship” that separates us to let out a light of passion and desire. As quick as it came out, it vanished to return to the spotless wall of politeness and friendship leaving me again as clueless and confused as I was always about men, friendship, attraction and love.
I had little exposure to the men world as I was raised in a catholic school surrounded only by women: at school, at the university, even within my family my papa was the only male I had around. I started to have mixed group outings only in the professional context starting from the age of 24, in the circles of the conservative Alexandrian middle class groups. I have to admit that I also had a very illusive image of men, as I got introduced to the opposite sex by the worst mean ever: romantic novel written in an old historical context. For me and for a long time, men were only knights and swordsmen. Strong, smart, firm and decisive. (hahahaha) . I only knew love through the literature in old French novels. I looked highly at it and through my 35 years I didn’t find it. Few crushes and attachments mostly fed by misconception, illusive expectations and obsessions, are the only “love” experiences I had.
What is love? How it happens? How we identify it? And what make two people get together as lovers or as friends? What is the rule behind it? Is it the first sparkle or actually the rational growing will to be together that make two persons stay together? And what is friendship? is it possible between opposite sex? or is it a relationship between two persons who cannot simply be together physically or for any other reason so they name it “friendship”? or the rule is if a man and a woman are together then everything is possible?
Should relationship be breathtaking and leave us stroke by passion and pain or simply be like a gentle automn breeze, fresh orange in a summer day, a view of a green forest with warm reflections of sunlight and shadows