I get up before he does. Pull my clothes back on and step outside.
What's wrong with me? What the fuck am I even doing here, with a guy four years older than me? He doesn't care, not really, and I do. I know I shouldn't, God I know that so well, but I still do.
Martin, think of Martin.
A cold feeling settles over me, similiar to that of a thin jacket on a chilly day.
I love him. I swear to myself that I do. But every time I meet Luke, even if we just talk for a while, I have to confront the fact that the chemistry I have with Martin is practically non-existent. I love him the way I'd love a friend, or maybe a brother. But definitely not the way a girlfriend should love her boyfriend. Definitely not the way he loves me.
Feeling that way, I sometimes wonder if it's fair, not only to me, but to him, to stay with him. I will never be able to return his feelings, and even though I am comfortable in our relationship, I'm obviously not happy. If I was, Luke wouldn't be such a temptation...
At least that's what I keep telling myself.
But also, would it be fair to leave him, when he is treating me perfectly fine? He would walk around, wondering what he'd done wrong, and it would be nothing. That would be terrible too.
God, what am I supposed to do? I don't get to finish that thought, but I wouldn't be able to either. I never am.
”Hey Cal, you okay?” Luke asks from the opening of the barn. He's got his jeans back on, but is still shirtless. Does he have to be so distracting?
”Yeah sure, I'm fine.” I force a smile. He believes it.
”Good. Thought for a second that I'd fucked up somehow,” he smiles that dazzling smile that makes you want to slap him and kiss him simultanously.
”But how could you ever do something like that?” I tease, well-knowing that it will pull his focus away from me.
”Exactly my logic! So are you ready to go home?” he smiles. That's all this is to him. A trip out of town, a good fuck and a trip back home.
”Yeah, let's go. But shouldn't you, like... bring your shirt?” I ask. He holds up his hands, and that's when I see the crumbled t-shirt in it.
”Let's go then.” I have a hard time smiling at him. I don't want him to think anything is wrong, which is ridiculous, because everything is. And I don't want him to think that he has done anything wrong, which is just as stupid, because he has. Everything he's done in the last hour is wrong. But then again, he's not alone with that.
He pushes a button on the car keys, and the car lights up. Dusk is just around the corner, and the misty chill in the air matches something inside of me, and I welcome it. When we get into the car, it is too dry and warm for comfort.
As time passes, my self-pity retreats, and the mood in the car lifts.
On the highway, Luke starts scrolling through radio stations.
”Stop there!” I yell, when I hear the beginning of Taylor Swifts' I Knew You Were Trouble, but of course he doesn't. Instead he scrolls a little further, and ends up at a random dupstep song that he apparantly likes.
”I don't get your taste in music,” I mumble, not at all happy with the insufferable piece of crap he's swaying to.
”And I don't get yours. I mean, Taylor Swift is really hot, but you're a girl - why would you care? Unless you're a lesbian, and even though that would be really hot, I somehow seriously doubt it,” he winks at me.
”Oh shut up!”
”What? I mean, all I'm saying baby, is that I don't get your infatuation with that hot, blonde songstress. That's all.” A rueful smile in my direction.
”I'm not infatuated with her, you idiot! It's just... She knows how to write, and how to capture emotions while doing it. And I think that's really rare in the music industry these days,” I explain, trying not to sound like an old lady, or crazy, or both.
”Who says they can't write?” He points at the radio while asking.
”Good Grace... Okay, maybe they can. What are they singing?” I ask, full well knowing that he has no clue.
”How would I know, it's french. But probably something about eternal love, and how the world is ever-changing, and one day, an infinite sea will swallow us all. Or something,” he smiles, knowing that he, in ways, just aced my test.
”Woaw, that's deep. But probably wrong too,” I point out, mocking him.
”Probably. I actually made it up thinking about what you would say. I did pretty good, didn't I?”
I laugh. I don't know if I do it because it's expected or because I actually mean it. Either way, it feels pretty great.
”Yeah, you did good,” I smile.
The rest of the drive is uneventful. We have a long debate on whether the lyrics of a song is an important part in the process of determinating that quality of music – which it is.
When we reach the corner of my street, he drops me off, and I feel amazingly lighter, when I get out of the car and watch him drive away.
That is what doesn't make sense. When I'm around Martin, I feel like his feelings for me are weighing me down. When I'm with Luke, our connection makes me feel like I'm flying. But still, when I'm with neither of them, I feel infinitely lighter.
What I'm about to do I've done a hundred times, and I don't think it will ever work, but I still tell myself to just try it one more time.
I'm going to close my eyes and count to ten. And when I open them again, all this will make sense to me again.
I open them.