The following conversation took place in Melissa’s overnight apartment in Stockholm where she was staying for the weekend between two photo shoots. I had fortunately been granted an audience in private with her, although she was slightly annoyed when I wouldn’t reveal the topic for our meeting.
I walked the streets of the capital accompanied by a light rain and eventually reached her address. I rang the door phone and the entrance was unlocked shortly after. After a few stairs I found the door ajar and stepped in. Melissa was out of sights, so I uttered a ”Hello!” while I took off my jacket and shoes. ”Hiya, come on in!” was heard from the main room.
I treaded carefully into Melissa’s realm and probed the furnishing for a place to sit. Her sofa was strategically cluttered with clothes and stuff so that only one of the three seats was available. Min plats, I thought and made myself comfortable. Melissa sat in her throne chamber, 1.5 meters above the floor on top of a massive king sized bed with drapes in gold and purple. I had seen Star Wars enough times to know that the battle would be at my disadvantage when my opponent had the high ground, but like Anakin I was blind and unable to accept my forthcoming defeat.
”What do you want to talk about?” Melissa asked as soon as I sat down.
”I just want to tell you how I feel about you.”
”I hope it’s good”, said Melissa warily.
”Too good”, I replied as I turned my sad eyes down to the floor.
Åkej, nu börjar showen, I took a deep breath to calm myself the best I could.
”Melissa, you are a bringer of happiness with a lovely smile and a contagious laugh. We laugh at the smallest things when we’re together and it’s never boring being around you.” Melissa gave her characteristic smile, as if I needed a reminder that what I had just said was true. I continued.
”You’re intelligent, not because you’ve studied at uni for years like me, you’re just smart. You’re great at arguing and expressing your thoughts and our discussions are always challenging and rewarding. Sometimes I just want to argue with you to see what tricks you’ve got up your sleeve.” Melissa seemed to enjoy the praise. I kept going. ”I’ve always thought that rational fights and passionate sex is much better than the other way around, and we do at least fulfill the first half.” I giggled nervously and closed my eyes to avoid looking into Melissa’s. I was such a cliché, how could I permit myself to be so embarrassing?
Melissa looked amused and then she asked ”What’s rational sex?” like she was trying to find a logical flaw in my statement. I scratched my cheek as I pondered. I soon came up with a witty response and now it was my turn to be amused.
”Think of the old kings during the middle ages. They used to marry wives they didn’t fancy, but would still fulfill their marital duties to hopefully father an heir to the crown, very rational and not passionate at all. Stannis Baratheon is a great example, and he died!” My confidence was skyrocketing, but Melissa was quick to parry.
”Stannis’ early death was him owing up to the facts that he let assassinate his brother and burned his daughter alive, not due to him being rational between the sheets.”
”You’re missing the point”, I muttered.
”Well, bringing up Stannis isn’t exactly helping your case since you both share a passion for grammar as well as religious femme fatales”, Mellisa laughed sarcastically.
My brief feeling of confidence and amusement was now completely gone and the embarrassment had returned, I attempted a feeble defense.
”A correct usage of language is important if you wish to be understood.”
”I suppose that working with compilers would make you believe that.” Melissa said dryly.
After two compliments delivered I had made zero progress, it was time for a foolproof recipe with guaranteed success.
”You’re the most beautiful human being I’ve ever seen. When my eyes look into your blue ones I wish that the moment we’re sharing would go on forever.” The well rehearsed line sounded as unnatural as if I would have read it straight from a script. Melissa replied mechanically with a ”Thank you” and smiled.
Komplimangerna rinner av henne som vatten på en gås. Hon är lika dum som gås också. Undrar vad hon gör av alla fjädrar? My thoughts were racing as I was trying to come up with something to tell Melissa that would release her from boredom. Having already broken all boundaries of sensibility I decided that I might as well go all in. I would win Melissa’s heart or die trying.
”I love you”, my voice was trembling. Melissa could no longer hide her discomfort. If we would have been somewhere else than at her place she would have fled the scene by now.
”Did you expect me to say the same words back to you?” Her response was serious and cold.
”A part of me just wanted to say it and see how it felt. I’ve never said it to anyone before and it doesn’t feel like a total waste saying it to you, even if you don’t feel the same. However, considering that you’ve said that you love everyone and their mother I’m a bit disappointed that you can’t say it to me.”
”I can’t tell you that because my love for you is of a different kind than the one you feel towards me. That if anything has become painfully obvious after your little compliment fiesta.”
I could not feel anger for her analysis was as flawless as herself. I was the silly goose. How could I expect a happy ending from this? I was starting to lose hope that she would ever contemplate the idea of her and me as belonging to each other.
”I’m like a dog, loyal and my love for you is unconditional. You’re like a cat, the cuddliest and coziest cat in town that everyone loves. But if someone close to you makes one mistake you run away fast as lightning, with your claws leaving behind scratch marks as the only evidence that you were there in the first place.”
Melissa laughed. This was one of those little things. Others would not understand let alone find it funny. For us it came naturally.
We sat in silence for a while and looked at each other. Having no more beans to spill, I felt relief. I could just admire Melissa as she sat and radiated beauty. In that moment, living was easy. This was how it was supposed to be. But it was not to last. Snap back to reality. I had kept my feelings for Melissa a secret for so long and now those feelings were finally revealed. I could not believe her indifference as I showed my true colors.
”Now you know how I feel about you. I hope you will remember my words even at difficult times in your life. You’ve made it clear that you do not desire to share those moments with me.”
”I’d happily share those moments with you, but it seems to me that you want more from me than I’m willing to offer.”
”I’m willing to offer everything for you, why can’t you do the same for me?” My tone was irritable.
”You’re not good enough for me”, came Melissa’s snappy reply.
”Our chemistry is unparalleled.”
”We have no common interests!”
”Yes we do, music for instance!”, Melissa was unimpressed as she rolled her eyes and sighed.
”Disagreeing on which pop artist is best does not count as a common interest.”
”But you do at least hold an opinion. My other friends are as interested in listening to pop music as they are in listening to cosmic background radiation and some even prefer the latter.” The conversation was side-tracking, but it was nice to switch to a less intimate subject.
”You can’t really shame someone for their music taste…”
”At a minimum, they should be aware of the basics. I think some of them haven’t even listened to Taylor’s 1989 and it’s been out since 2014. HOW CAN THEY NOT HAVE LISTENED TO IT?” My fists were clenched.
”You should talk to someone professional about this”, Melissa said empathetically.
”Oh I’ve already discussed that issue as well as many others with my therapist. I’d happily give you her number, maybe she can talk some sense into you too.” Being spiteful wasn’t helping but at that time I didn’t care.
”If she’s supposed to help you feel better she doesn’t seem to do a very good job”, her rationality was painful.
”How can I feel good when you’re so impossibly stubborn. Have you at least considered that I have more högskolepoäng than any other of your love interests? And even though you are beautiful enough for both of us I can still bring six well-defined abs to the table. On a good day with good lighting they might even be eight. That must be worth something?”
”Not really, I remember when you compared gaining högskolepoäng to having fried sparrows fly into your mouth. You’re a nice guy, no one denies that, but your desperation is starting to become a bit too cringey.”
Melissa’s defiance was endless. My huge emotional investment was for nothing. This would be the biggest regret of my life. Next up was the blame game. I wanted to see if Melissa would take any responsibility for the damage dealt.
”If you hadn’t led me on then this conversation would never have taken place!”
”Led you on? In what way have I done that?”, Melissa seemed honestly surprised by the accusation.
”You’ve practically done it in every way possible. Sending cute little emojis and hearts in our text messages. Always asking for hugs cause you’re feeling down. You’re one big flirt!”
”Oh come on! You think that’s leading someone on? We haven’t even kissed!”
”Is that where you draw the line for flirting?”
”I don’t think you really wanna know.”
”You got that right!”
”Well, I’m sorry if I’ve been sending out the wrong signals”, there were no sign of remorse in her voice.
”It’s not enough just being sorry, you can’t be oblivious to the fact that you can make any guy fall in love with you with a single look.”
”I’m just being friendly and I expect that my male friends can remain just friends.”
”Like when you’re ‘just being friendly’ and invite me over to your place for the night and I get to sleep on the sofa and not share your bed… It is like when Anakin is given a place in the jedi council without being given the rank of a master. It is outrageous and unfair.”
”You know that I don’t understand your silly Star Wars references.”
”You have no valid reason for not watching the movies. If you don’t enjoy them for the lightsaber duels, which are magnificent, then you’d enjoy the manipulation of the political battlefield as dark forces turn a democratic republic into dictatorship!”
”I know plenty already of manipulation, thank you.”
I was exhausted. I didn’t want to squabble anymore. I just wanted to completely remove Melissa from my life. It was over.
”Jag går nu.”
”Have you already grown tired of our rational fighting? That doesn’t bode well for the passionate sex you promised me.” Melissa finished her sentence with a sneering laugh.
”You are not rational, you’re chaotic”, I said furiously.
”Darling, order is trivial, I mastered chaos long ago.” If she would have had a cigarette holder in her hand she would have been indistinguishable from a young Cruella de Vil.
I put on my shoes and jacket and slammed the door behind me with a sound that echoed down the stairwell hall.
Shortly after I had left the building Melissa went to lock the door. Filled with adrenalin she turned on the water boiler to relax with a cup of tea. A part of her felt sorrow for having lost a close friend, but the kick from playing the perfect game was exhilarating. All that remained now was the death blow. But before that she sent out a selfie to her remaining list of expendables, moaning about how lonely she was.
In the evening that day when I’d been home for a couple of hours and tried my best to numb the pain from my defeat with all the beverages the fridge had to offer my phone lit up. I opened Messenger and was presented with Melissa’s latest message.
My broken heart will mend in due time. A more severe problem is to find a replacement for the Fairphone which, due to a sudden impact with the wall, now has a broken screen. I am therefore much grateful for any recommendations on which my next phone model should be, leave your tips in the comment’s section!