Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

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“Maisy?”

“Yeah, Mum?”

“What’s going on with you and Mark?”

I shrug.

“Don’t shrug at me, love – what’s going on between you?”

I sigh. Well, the sex talk had to happen eventually.

“Nothing much, Mum. We’re friends, OK?”

“Just friends?”

I shrug at her again.

“We tried kissing – it didn’t work so good. So yup, just friends, Mum.”

“Well, OK.”

She doesn’t look happy, but I haven’t given her much room to nag me about Mark – and that’s all I’m really worried about.

“So -”

Oh God, MORE talk?

“- is there anyone you are interested in?” she asks.

I shrug again.

“Words, love?”

“Mum! There’s no-one. It’s Bathurst, they’re all idiots.”

She laughs.

“Fine, I’ll stop torturing you,” she says.

“THANK YOU!”

****

“Mum finally started asking the questions,” I say.

“What’d you say?” Mark asks, quirking an eyebrow at me.

“That we’re just friends – we tried being more and it didn’t work.”

“She was happy with that?”

“Kinda – I think she’d prefer I didn’t touch a man til I’m 30 or something.”

“Hey, are we – more than friends?”

Huh. I shoulda seen this one coming.

“Does it matter?”

“I think so,” he says, looking serious, “I mean… if one of us is thinking one thing, and the other is thinking another, then… couldn’t someone get hurt?”

He’s making a lot of sense, but I’m antsy. I want this to be like our friendship has always been before – simple, just like jigsaw pieces fitting together. Right because we fit, not because of something we say or do.

“I – want to be friends,” I say in a rush. I know this is likely to hurt him, or hurt us, but I can’t think of any tactful way to get it out. “I love you, I love kissing you, but – I don’t want to do the playing at love thing, you know? I’d prefer to be friends, and be more, but leave the pressure out of it?”

He nods.

“And what if one of us falls in love? With the other, with someone else… what then?”

I sigh.

“Then… I guess we talk.”

He nods. Funny, he’s not looking at all cut up. Maybe that was exactly what he was wanting to hear. And now that I think that, I feel just a little bit sick. Geez, this shit is more complicated than it should be.

“So, fuck buddies for ever?” I say, jokingly.

He looks shocked, then catches the mischievous look on my face and laughs.

“Kid, you never stop surprising me!”

“If I do, call an ambulance.”

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