Dating : Witness

h2>Dating : Witness

We had a secret.

One we shared that summer night as we joked and laughed to the sound of lapping waves. The moon and stars created the perfect backdrop to the moment we fell in love, or at least that’s what we thought until her voice shattered our tranquillity.

With panicked hands and hurried breaths, we fled the scene, running back into reality, useless alibis already flooding our brains.

“We need to talk to her,” I thought, but I knew he would never agree.

“She might not have seen anything,” I’d argue, but who was I kidding? Our secret was out. A secret with the power to break the strongest of family ties or create the best friendships you could imagine.

“What do we do now?” he asked through glassy eyes. I didn’t have an answer, so I remained silent and hoped he wasn’t panicking too much.

When we stopped running, I sat with him, trying to answer all of his questions, each saying something along the lines of ‘How much did she see’ or ‘What if she tells our parents’, in a hopeless effort to calm him down a little. Unfortunately, I’ve never been the best at helping him overcome his anxiety.

This was proven when he got mad at me for suggesting that this might not have been a bad thing. Sometimes I wished I could be selfish and take all his fears away. That way he wouldn’t have jumped at every shadow whenever we hung out. But he wasn’t ready to share our secret with the world, and although I respected that, my stupid mouth managed to convince him otherwise.

“When are you going to understand?” he shouted. “My sister saw everything! What if she tells someone?”

I should have stayed quiet and let him finish, but of course, that didn’t happen and before I knew it, my sleep deprived body was yelling back. “What difference would it make?” Our argument escalated until he stormed off. We’re just shocked and tired, I told myself. It will all be okay.

The bigger problems started when I didn’t hear from him for a few days. I thought he was just angry, but after a week of ignored texts and missed calls I got worried and decided that I should make sure he was okay in person.

That’s when everything got interesting. As soon as his sister answered the door, her face contorted. She recognised me. She was silent for a moment but then the screaming started. “YOU!” she began, before displaying her colourful vocabulary at my expense.

The noise caught the attention of the rest of his family, and before long they were all outside wondering what was happening. I could see he was scared and about to cry, but I never got the chance to console him, because as soon as his sister told his parents that I was the parasite who infected their perfect son, the yelling tripled.

The situation grew worse until he ordered everyone to stop. His mother turned to him with tear-filled eyes, begging him to say that it wasn’t true, that her little boy would never disrespect them that way. But with pursed lips and eyes glued to the floor, he silently confirmed her fears. After a few more choice words from his father, they went back inside, still yelling and arguing over each other.

From then onwards, everything changed. He avoided me at all costs. A few months later he got a girlfriend and seemed happier. I doubt he actually was, but that didn’t matter, because he was pleasing his family at least. I wasn’t happy either, but I accepted his decision.

Actually, that’s a lie.

I hated him for ages. I hated that I couldn’t talk or help or even see him any more. I hated that one uninvited witness was the only thing that broke our safe space.

I hate that a pair of unwanted eyes managed to turn ‘two boys sitting hand-in-hand on a starlit beach, lips barely centimetres apart’, into a fading memory; a shadow of what we might have eventually become.

I hate that now, I’ll only ever be his biggest mistake.

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