Miss Aida
Sometimes things appear from thin air. Appear out of nowhere, and leave you dazed, confused, by the unxpected turn of events.

"Where do you see us going?"
"Us? Is there an us?"

We were friends first. Introduced through a mate, and always hanging out together as we went out in groups. He was endearing, charming, good natured, and hopelessly cute. I was naive, cautious and open. We grew close as the months passed by, to the extent of being speculated about by friends in our social circle. We were friends, or so I was blissfully adamant.

As the year grew to a close, so did my increasing awareness of an undercurrent that seemed to pass between us. Attraction? Lust? I put it down to hormones, and smiled and laughed and went about things as usual, denying the emotions I felt for him for fear that I would be plunged headlong into something I knew nothing about.

We came from two different worlds. We spoke the same language, could talk for ages on different topics, but there were so many fundamental differences between us. Differences that ran deep, that I was aware of from the first moment that we met and realised that nothing should happen, for I would become attached, and so would he, and then the inevitable question.

Now what?

Yet I felt happy with him, safe and comforted and cherished. I cared for him more than I would admit. More than a friend. The plateau of friendship was the safest route, and it was the one I took.

I left for Malaysia and left things hanging between us, unresolved issues that ran underneath the veneer of flirting and friendship that was always between us, for I felt like letting time and distance make things clearer.

Some things would have ended in heartbreak. And this was one of them. I knew it. He knew it.

We kept in touch despite the distance, through the convenience of the Internet, through mails and texts and MSN conversations and when I returned, we went out. Friends going out, music, dancing, the normal shebang. And when he pulled me aside to sit down, I didn't expect him to ask me what he did.

"Where do you see us going?"

"Us? Is there an us?"

I was so comfortable with the idea of being friends that I had ignored the attraction I felt for him. That's when it came out. How he felt for me. How the issue had been playing in his mind ever since I left, how his emotions were involved as well, but like me, he too could not see us going the distance.

Shock, denial, happiness followed by sadness, and acceptance. I had a million and one questions, flaring hope followed by what I had realised months before, my wayfaring emotions followed closely by cold rationality. As he shared his feelings, I did mine, and I could not quite comprehend why it felt like we were 'breaking up'. Breaking up something that hadn't even begun yet.

We promised to remain friends. Some things remain private. Shared between only me, him and my friends who were there to witness the events of the night. The night shook me to the core, and things passed between us that I do not care to analyse, nor wonder about.

And the future still remains uncertain. Except for the fact that I will always have cared for him. Deeply. He remains in my heart as a question leading on to even more questions, of which none I have the answer to. For only time will tell.