31 DAYS – a writing challenge – seventh day
Can men and women be just friends? Without any type of mismatched romantic or carnal expectations? I would say not. They all fall for me eventually. I mean they could be, even if it’s not my experience. Just kidding.
In my past teenage years it was very fashionable to have online pen pals. The internet cafes in my town were sprouting like mushrooms after the rain and many teens will gather there for hours, to talk with their friends from other cities. I was among the lucky ones that had their own personal computer, even if the internet costs were extremely high. I remember I used an internet card with a determined amount of hours, like 9 or 10 that had to last for a month, so I was writing the e-mails offline on a Word document and then connect the internet to send it. At first I didn’t even knew how to copy paste the content, so I would transcribe it word by word. It sounds dummy now, but was really fun back then.
My first pen pal was from Bucharest, which is the capital of my country. Our e-mails were in the friend zone, but when the internet became more affordable, we talked more often, almost daily and we begin to friendly flirt. It wasn’t nothing serious, just endearment. He was 2 years older than me and he taught me lots of things, like building websites, using Photoshop, Corel and other stuff. One time he even sang to me “Nothing else matter” on his guitar in front of a webcam. It was fun. And so we talked for three years without ever meeting in person.
But one day, my bestie’s boss was invited to receive an award in her field of activity from the president himself and she could bring three guests with her. So she invited us – the happy three friends: her nephew, my bestie and me. The awarding ceremony were to take place at the Cotroceni Palace. We were all very excited and dressed up like for a gala, but we lost our way and arrived late, so only the person to receive the award was admitted in the end, for not disturbing the others. I was annoyed then, but now I’m glad, as I don’t like our president at all.
So… what to do now? We couldn’t go too far, as we had to wait for the award winning lady. But we still took a ride to see the The Palace of Parliament or The House of People, as we call it. It is the second larger building in the world, after the Pentagon. Pretty impressive.
The Palace of Parliament
Then we went to grab a bite before living. We still had a 4 hours long drive till our hometown. Sure, easy to say, but difficult to find the bloody way. We passed three times by the Cotroceni until we admitted we were lost again. So I thought of my pen pal I didn’t thought I’d have time to met.
We agreed to wait for him somewhere and he came to save the day. It was an amazing meeting. I had the feeling of seeing someone I very well knew and still a new person. He got in the car with us to put us on the right route and we ride thru Calea Victoriei at dusk, holding hands all the way. When we finally stop, the others got out of the car for a smoke, while we stayed in to say our goodbyes. We, Romanians, we’re more kissing people than people that hug, so I was expecting the usual kisses on the cheeks. But surprise. He went for the lips. We didn’t actually kissed, he barely touched my lips, while I asked him what is he doing. It was an unexpected and pretty intense moment. I remember I sang along with the radio all the way home. I didn’t even realised it until my friends start to tease me.
A few months later we went again to Bucharest, in the same formula. I met my pen pal on the airport this time, while accompanying my bestie to her flight. We again remained in the car for a chat while the others went to departings. A chat interrupted by kisses. We consumed our three years old penpalling in half of hour of kisses. While returning, they had a glimpse of what was happening. On the way back, my friend was all like: “OMG, did you guys kissed for half an hour? I mean I can understand that, with those lips, I would have kissed him too. But half an hour? What kind of friendship is that?”. I got teased for months after that.
Surprisingly enough for the others, things didn’t went awkward between me and my pen pal afterwards. We never saw each other again and most probably never will, but we keep in touch. Not as often, of course, as we’re both grown ups involved in serious relationships now, but we are friends. Good friends.