There was something very different about him after the long business trip. His friend couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but Joe was certain that his roommate had changed during this trip. Something had happened to him, or he’d suddenly been enlightened. Joe wasn’t sure but he planned on showing his friend that changes went unnoticed. They’d known each other for too long for this to be meaningless. Joe and Miles were very close, they met in college as psychology majors. However, just seven months ago, Miles had received an offer from an important company in the city and claimed he couldn’t turn it down. Thus he left his passion for a more practical option. Joe hadn’t minded until today. Today his friend seemed strange to him. It seemed as though Miles was trying to cover something up, though he knew not what.
“Could I talk to you for a moment?” asked Joe.
“Sure. What about?”
“Well – and I’m not jumping to any conclusions here – but it seems to me that you’ve been acting in a rather odd manner this past week, ever since you came back from your, ah, trip.”
“Really? Well I wonder what might’ve given you that impression.” Replied Joe as he scratched his chin, a reflex Miles knew came only when he felt pressured. However, pretending not to have noticed he continued:
“I don’t know, generally when you leave for a weekend or such you’re in a better mood. You’ve been distant, I’ve noticed, and I’m just worried.”
“No, no… No need to worry. No need whatsoever. So how have you been Miles?”
“Fine, just fine.” He nodded and decided it would be best to leave it at that, at least he’d spoken his mind. His friend would tell him what was bothering him when the time came, eventually.
Miles was surprised his flat-mate did not attempt to question him further. He had been mentally preparing different answers when he found that they were not needed. Joe simply continued talking about his affairs whilst he was away. He was equally surprised that he hadn’t figured out the reason he’d been quiet since he’d returned, considering that he had warned him, a few months ago. Perhaps he was still engaged in his attempts to figure it out. In any case, he wasn’t going to take risks. He’ll have try to show his friend that nothing had changed and that he was the same as when he’d left. Although, he knew that was not the case.
A few days later, the two went out to watch a football game at another friends’ apartment. Try as he might though, Miles was not his usual fun self, everything about him screamed change. And this time, others noticed, and others inquired after the truth. But Miles was as reluctant to admit to anything as he’d been with Joe. However now, he seemed distressed, he seemed preoccupied with God knows what.
Miles was preoccupied. How could he not be? After what had happened during the longest week of his life. It was completely unlike him. He couldn’t believe what he’d done. Of course it had changed him, how could it not? Oh God, he thought, I am in big trouble. How do I get out of this? The answer he didn’t know was this: you can’t get out of this. One way in, no way out.
If Joe had been aware of the seriousness of the situation he would not have stopped asking questions. The extent of his thoughts were that his friend had fallen in love and now was too shy to admit it. Huh, if he only knew the truth…