His room was unlike the rest of the house, which had high ceilings and exposed brick that could have been placed upon a snowy mountain. Mismatched furniture, some red, dark oak, and white, and a poorly placed queen-sized bed covered by a multitude of blankets that needed to be replaced a decade ago. A childhood bedroom that doesn't allow for a young man to reflect his new sense of self. Events of the past that were undertaken within the four walls were still present, yet new hobbies and token video games filled the chipped bookshelves.
Sitting on his bed, he passed me a warm beer that made me want to reject the offer, but I didn’t. The taste of warm beer was better than none at all. In a foreign bedroom, I sat unsure of how to elegantly move my heavy body to the right side of the bed that was positioned under the window in the corner. Abruptly, he demanded me to move to the other side so, without thought, I just did as I was told. When in someone’s environment you can only do as told, not to interfere with their usual bedtime routine, which in fact you are already doing and greatly so. I suggested turning the lamp on as candles appeared too romantic for this person of great sarcasm and unclear intentions. I couldn’t help but feel I had been here before. “Depressed blue” is the common colour of more than one boy’s room that I have slept in, and I couldn’t help but stare at the inclosing walls and think as to why their mothers would choose such a colour. A colour with little to no personality, a cliché in many ways, but somewhat missing the masculine element. Although the room was full, it was neat. Intimidatingly organised in such a way I’ve never realised was possible in a bedroom that holds the possessions of someone who has collected for 24 years.
I kicked my boots off, stripped from my jeans, and sat where I was told, noticing how far away I was from the bedside table. The large bed made me feel small, but I was beginning to wonder if that was in fact his presence, not the poorly placed furniture. He was tall, very tall, with long arms and legs to suit. I felt short and round lying next to him, and with the light conversation that was flowing somewhat organically, considering we had just met a couple of hours ago, I knew what was going to happen. And for the first time, I wasn’t nervous, nor anxious about the situation. It was a given. It wasn’t a teenage scene where two adolescents lie awkwardly, maybe touching and then feeling too nervous to act on persistent hormonal indicators; it was different as we are different now.
His abrupt and considerably ill-mannered behaviour forced me to contemplate his whole image as a façade. Someone trying to break through from their awkward years through compensating by being unnecessarily unromantic. Though we only had conversations about him, and not once did he seem interested in who I was as a person, I still felt comfortable. Maybe it was because I had a gut feeling that this wasn’t really who he was and, in fact, this sort of act made me more intrigued. I wanted to win him over. I wanted him to be raw for my own ego. A selfish yet unknowing thing that I do, but only realising it days after when reflection is at the forefront of my mind.
The events of the next morning teased my challenge furthermore with little words spoken within the first two hours of being awake. I was in the room alone for an hour while he fulfilled his daily routines as though I wasn’t there. After staring at the ceiling for some time I fell asleep, but only to be rudely awoken by him who was showered, dressed, and fed. With a mug of coffee in his hand, he sat at the end of the bed, throwing my multiple pieces of clothing towards me. I felt embarrassed to be so bare in front of someone so covered in daylight that poured through the slithers of the venetians. I made an effort to put my uncomfortable feelings away and to resume a casual yet quiet persona. Too awkward to use the bathroom, knowing that his family was home, I got dressed and made yet another effort to perhaps save the morning that I didn’t expect.
I suppose I expected to wake up and for him to lower his guard, but he was still unconventionally unreceptive. Not offering me a single piece of good hostess, not a towel for a shower, not a coffee, or even a calm “good morning.” He did, however, place a plastic cup of water on the bedside table that still appeared so far from my reach. Perhaps, in the past I’ve been spoilt by good hosts in their homes. Perhaps, he just wished I wasn’t there and felt as though he had made a mistake. His intentions were still unclear and were some of the hardest emotions I have ever tried to read. My desire to know was stronger now, even though my mind was telling me to take the signs as they were. Except for the strange gesture to polish my boots before we left and went our separate ways.