After the day Mark found out that Julian, his best friend, started dating Erin, he found himself isolated. He wouldn’t return Julian’s calls because he didn’t know how to avoid a meet-up with Erin. One day, he was walking across Peri Street, 2 blocks away from his home, when Julian called his name…
” Mark, hey Mark! ” Julian shouted.
Mark turned around. It was Julian with Erin.
Erin froze. Julian grabbed her hand and said ” Come, let me introduce you to my best friend Mark! ”
” Where have you been man? I’ve been trying to reach you for days now and nothing! You better have a good excuse. ”
Erin tried to pull herself together, while she realised that the man she’s been dating is the best friend of the man she’s been trying to avoid for so long. Mark smiled at Julian and introduced himself to Erin, supposedly, for the first time.
” Hi, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Mark, Julian’s friend. Julian has told me a lot about you. ”
” H-Hi, I’m Erin. It’s nice to meet you too.”
He reached for her hand for a formal greeting and when their hands touched, Erin remembered the first time she touched Mark’s hand, a few years ago.
It was back then when Erin felt so comfortable touching another human being. Mark’s hand was cold but so soft, like the snow. She felt like she couldn’t keep them for long, but she didn’t want to let go. She asked him to hold her.
” Aren’t you afraid that you might get cold by my hands? ” he asked her.
” No, I’m not afraid… Even if I get cold, I’d still wanna be held by you ”, she replied.
” You won’t get cold… You’re too warm. The warmest person I’ve ever met. ”.
Erin’s memory stopped, abruptly, and immediately asked Julian if he was up for a coffee.
” Sure, let’s go for a coffee! Mark, are you in? ”
” Nah man, I have to go home and um… work on a song… ”
” Not a good excuse. It’s just for an hour, you owe me. Now, let’s go. ”
Mark couldn’t say no. They all went to a coffee and started talking and joking around. Julian was teasing Erin and she was teasing him back. Mark was happy to see his friend being this happy, he hadn’t seen him this happy for quite some time. He couldn’t help it though; it was still too uncomfortable.
Erin and Mark would occasionally talk about their lives, her work, and his work. They would both pay attention to each word as if they’d want to fill the void of information between them.
It was soon time to go and Julian stood up.
” I’m gonna go pay and say hello to Steve, he’s a friend and the owner of this cafe! I won’t be long. ”
As Julian left, Mark looked at Erin.
” Julian doesn’t know about us. There is no need for him to know now. ”
” I figured… I agree with you. ”
” … I’m glad that you’re happy, Erin.”
” Happiness is a choice Mark, isn’t it? ” she smiled.
Mark wanted to respond but Julian got back and interrupted them by kissing Erin. They all stood up and right before they got separated, Julian told Mark that he’d pass by his house tomorrow to discuss some work issues.
Mark returned home, exhausted. He grabbed his beloved guitar, and started playing his favorite song while thinking, that he is deep in hell.