Let you in or let you go
We danced for an hour, none stop with the craziest dance moves known to man. It was a welcome distraction from everything that went down tonight. I was aware Liam opted for the distraction method also, only his involved a girl.
Harris’ eye was slightly swollen and he complained it was tender but there wasn’t a visible bruise on the surface of his dark skin. He & Tia were drunk, two happy drunks. They found everything funny and it was lovely to watch them let lose and enjoy themselves. I had drank a lot but the events with Liam were sobering and any alcohol I consumed didn’t seem to affect me anymore.
“Lets go for a swim.” Harris pleaded in a child-like begging voice.
“I’ll pass, I’m not feeling up to it.” I admitted.
Tia jumped on his back and they headed off together in the ocean. They set the trend because not long after everyone started stripping down to their undergarments and ran towards the ocean. There was nothing but sounds of laughter and splashes rippling through the mild waves.
I spotted Liam sitting on the secluded sand watching his friends take their drunken dip. His knees were tucked up under his chin, protecting his heart and for some reason he seemed more approachable this time. I knew what I needed to do because the guilt had been eating me alive all evening. Cautiously I approached him and sat down next to him in the sand, feeling him tense clearly affected by my closeness. We stared out to sea, not saying a word to each other.
“Not going for a swim?” I broke the silence with my stupid question.
As soon as the words left my lips I realized he wasn’t going for a swim because he wasn’t comfortable with removing his clothes. Lost azure orbs glowed against the moonlight as he shook his head and pulled his legs further into his chest, resting his chin on his knees. Through the thick awkwardness I silently urged Liam to apologize first but when that didn’t come I knew I needed to make the first move.
“I’m sorry I got so mad.” I whispered really quietly.
“You knew my weakness, but you used it against me anyway.” Liam whispered back, like he couldn’t quite believe what had happened between us. His voice was equally as quiet and disconsolate eyes fixated on me. Making me feel much worse than I already felt.
“I know.” I admitted, every ounce of guilt that I had been carrying all evening overwhelmed me.
“Why?” I barely heard that word, he spoke so low.
With those three letters Liam looked broken, confused, betrayed and it made me feel physically sick that I was the cause. I felt my crime was unforgivable and I didn’t truly have a reason why I did what I did. I was just ... mad. Taking a deep breath I decided honesty was the best policy.
“I lost control. I was mad. Mad at you for blowing hot and cold. Mad at never knowing where I stand or what mood swing I’m going to endure today. Mad at how complicated our friendship is. Mad that I don’t even know if we even are friends. Mad you hit my friend for no reason. Mad at myself for not walking away.”
I kind of went off on a rant but this time it didn’t send my rage soaring because I was too busy reeling in how bad I felt. Liam turned back to the water, processing my words but remaining mute. After a few minutes spent deep in thought he turned back to me.
“I have to let you in or let you go, right?”
Those were the exact words I said to him when he turned up at my house drunk, but he said he couldn’t remember anything that happened. The tiniest of smiles pricked the corners of his lips and he nodded his head “yeah, I remember” he admitted.
I turned my attention back to the ocean, Tia was climbing onto Harris’ back trying to push his head under. They were surrounded by lots of other people splashing and joining in the fun. I debated joining them to wash off the sticky night air but I didn’t want to leave Liam alone and I knew he wouldn’t strip off his barriers and join me.
“You wanna hang out tomorrow?” I interrupted Liams thoughts with my out-of-the-blue question.
“Hang out?” he rolled the words around his tongue like he was re-learning how to speak which made me giggle.
“Yeah, that’s what friends do, isn’t it? You can come over and we’ll watch movies or something.”
“uhh” I could tell my invite caught him completely off guard but I wasn’t sure what the big deal was. He was really thinking about my proposition like it was the hardest choice in the world.
“Liam? What gives?” Now was the time for him to let me in, to tell me what was really going through his mind and I waited patiently for him to decide if he was going to.
“Don’t take this the wrong way.” he started, making my eyes roll immediately “but you’re a girl and I only really hang out with my boy mates, girls start to develop feelings and I’m not the relationship type. I can’t commit to that.”
Laughter built up inside of me that I couldn’t contain, lying back in the sand I put my hand over my mouth to try and mute the uncontrollable sound. Liam watched me the whole time, confused about what I was finding so funny.
“I’m sorry that sounds so childish, like you can’t play with girls because they have boogers. Would you chill Romeo? I’m not going to fall in love with you if you come hang out at my house. I’m just tired of this up and down roller coaster with you. One minute we’re laughing like friends the next you’re horrible or avoiding me. Can’t we just try being friends, period?”
Liam looked at me with a half smile on his face, thinking over my words carefully.
“Ok. Tomorrow, I’ll come round at six.”
“You’re gonna have to apologize to Harris” I tried my luck.
“I’m not doing that.” His voice dropped a few pitches.
“Liv.” And that was my warning to end that conversation there.