Sam and I left the lights and comfort of Xavier’s house and walked onto the dark residential streets of Hawthorn. I hadn’t thought much of the journey home but was now unsure of what would eventuate. The atmosphere around us had shifted and everything felt serious. Even though the midnight air was cold, my heartbeat was rising and my cheeks were hot.

My thoughts grew loud and I felt scared as we forced small talk.  He spoke about his car being close and I joked about us never finding it. I winced as the words emerged but was grateful that he couldn’t see my crumpled face. My inner monologue continued: ‘Why am I so nervous right now? We’re only friends, right?’

As we climbed into the car’s interior, I could feel his body warmth and I struggled to keep my cool. His presence was intoxicating but terrifying. Especially as he seemed perfectly calm in this environment.

Sam turned the ignition of the car on and undertook the usual checks: Seatbelts. Check. Low beams. Check. Music. Check. His playlist began and a romantic Lior song began to play over the speaker system. “I get lost, I get lost in you, like a prisoner walking towards the ocean. It’s hard to imagine, how something could swallow you whole”.

He dropped me home and I stumbled into bed within minutes, drunk with confusion. I had never considered him boyfriend material but now I didn’t know what to think.


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