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M and I

A secret affair changes the relationship between two friends

By Featured, Literature

Illustration by Fah Prayottavekit

 

Fragment – 1 – Ejaculation

“What kind of person is M?” This is the question I have asked myself many times since I have known him. Sometimes he starts to teach me mathematical theories when we are in bed. I couldn’t forget that one day when he pulled out of me and started to calculate a lab result when I had almost reached my orgasm. He did that because an idea came to him about his research and he thought he must solve it ASAP. In M’s opinion, an orgasm means the moment when all his calculations are neat and accurate. I was left on the bed with my ejaculation, but at that moment I thought he was perfect.

 

Fragment – 2 – Bereft

Yesterday M hugged me in the middle of the night when he finished playing a game with one of our friends. I felt his hug in my dream and heard him speak, “I’m sorry if I woke you up” in my left ear. Today I won’t have it until midnight, and tomorrow, I still have to get up early. “We all have to be back because we are people and we have to work. We are not cats.” I combed the hair of my cat, who slept on my knees yesterday and said to M, “So you must go back to Wisconsin and continue on with what you have to do tomorrow.”

If you once had something that you feel is important in one moment, it is very hard to imagine the time without it by your side. I believe this is a moment of “bereft.” 

 

Fragment – 3 – How to Talk

I think both M and I should learn how to talk.

Our conversations are usually very distinct. If I let him know I want to call him tonight, M would answer, “I don’t wanna ruin my entire week,” instead of saying directly “No, my heart beats 120 times per minute because I’m so nervous about talking to you. Under that condition, I cannot work at all, but can only dream about you.” And every single time when I try to tell a truth or my real feelings, I add “Can I say this to you? ”

I asked M, “Will you be regretful after I die? Since you will never have a chance to talk with me anymore, and you will never learn how to talk to me. ”

M says, “To be honest, I think that should be the end of your story if you want to write a story between us.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean after you die, I will regret not always telling you directly what I think and how I feel. But I won’t know my own feelings until that moment.”

“See? When I raise the topic of death, you tell me your feelings in a direct way. ”

M stops a second and then I hear a bunch of laughter from the other side of the phone. “You always break my rules.”

 

Fragment – 4 – Markers 

The weirdest thing in my life is that I never feel that I am in love with someone at the same time he is in love with me, but mostly at the time he is away. Those two days, every single time I walked from my bedroom toward the kitchen, I felt a significant, unfamiliar ache between my legs. When I tried to pull my hair to the back and unexpectedly touched my earlobe, I felt a sudden, unobservable swelling. I could not even see the redness in the mirror. 

M explains his opinion to me in another way, “I don’t wanna hurt you so I’ll never leave any markers on your body.” 

However, he still destroys me but in a very decent way: I cannot stop thinking about the days you are here, M. I check my Facebook and Discord perhaps 30 times a day, reading every single word at least three times, and even in my dreams I see myself seeing you in my voice channel, playing games with our friends. At the moment I try to jump in the voice channel, you immediately mute yourself, telling people your mother called. I never see replies in my direct messages, so I throw my keyboard madly from my desk. I wake up from the nightmare of destroying my keyboard and my sound equipment, so I jump up from my bed to check it. But I totally forget I’ve turned off my Discord on my computer to avoid seeing ‘new messages’ because I’m afraid to see ‘no messages.’ 

And when I turned on Discord, I couldn’t spell words correctly. I just spelled ‘image’ wrong. That’s all your fault.”

 

Fragment -5 – Friends with Benefits

Sometimes I’m jealous of those who can always focus on their studies or work. We have 24 hours each day, and our workload is more than 24 hours. I guess that’s one of the reasons why M doesn’t want to be in a relationship with another person, because the other person definitely will take much of his time away from his research. 

“If I note down all the dialogues we have, I’ve successfully written a book. ” I rotate my pen between my fingers and say this through the phone.

“Fair enough.” It seems that M is crazy with some of his data and never listens to me carefully.

“I hope you will remember that we had this conversation when you read my book after it is published. ”

Neither M nor I told our friends that we are already involved in a romantic relationship. How we describe this to our friends is very difficult — starting from where, and how? 

Should we say M is dating someone who already has a boyfriend just because he sexually matches with this girl, wonderfully? Or, that I am having sex with other people to kindle new ideas for writing stories? Or, M cannot find a regular girlfriend because they all think he is a weird nerd. 

I don’t want to become the gossip among my friends. We decide to not let other people see our relationship. Instead, I make up a story about us — a story where we are just friends. 

I’m not lying, we are friends with benefits.

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