Dear aspiring writers,
Today I would like to write a story about the friend zone and unrequited love. Here is my sixteenth short story, enjoy reading!
We cannot have a rainbow without any rain.
One month had passed since Mark and Elodie had broken up. They had lived a passionate story during few months but unfortunately, love had vanished as quickly as it appeared. They had gone too fast and had not taken the time to get to know each other. Their relationship had faded before it could reach maturity and it was a shame because they could have been very happy together.
If only things had been different… That’s what Elodie kept wondering. Everything had started so well yet… The first time they had met, it was abroad and they were both students. They had a group of mutual friends, had fun together and there was no ambiguity. At that time, Elodie had a boyfriend and saw Mark as a friend, nothing more. It was three years ago. Then Elodie had returned to Paris and they had kept in touch, exchanging news from time to time. Later, Mark had come to visit Paris several times and they had become even closer, without anything happening so far.
When Elodie came to see Mark in Dublin for the weekend one year after, things became more confusing. This time he was more demonstrative than usual, he even confessed that he had missed her. Obviously, Elodie detected nothing, associating all this to the warmth of Mark. After all, her friend had always been warm since she knew him, he was just a loving person, she would still not complain!
The day before her departure, Mark invited Elodie to have lunch in a pub and then he asked her if she had someone in her life. She had broken up with her boyfriend for a year and naturally asked if he had a girlfriend. When she learned that Mark was single too, Elodie could not help rejoicing secretly, without knowing why. It was ridiculous. Mark was just a friend and it was just a simple question, friends could ask this kind of thing. There was no need to make a big deal out of it…
The rest of the conversation continued without any further allusion to their non-existent love life. Mark insisted on paying on the pretext that it was the last day of Elodie in Dublin and suggested they go for a walk. The streets were so crowded that they had to walk arm in arm to avoid being separated by the crowd. Mark and Elodie took refuge in a souvenir shop but when they came out, the street was still crowded, as if the whole world had planned to spend his weekend in Dublin! This time, Mark took her hand and Elodie let him do without protest.
It was nice to hold his hand and Elodie even wished that this moment drags on. She had felt alone for so long… The presence of Mark made her happy and she felt safe with him. They did nothing wrong, holding the hand of a friend was not a crime! But was he only a friend? Elodie did not want to think about it and just wanted to enjoy the moment. When they arrived to the tram station, they were still holding hands and it did not seem to bother Mark.
They sat side by side and Elodie leaned her head against the shoulder of her friend all the way. He accompanied her at the entrance of her hotel and it was time to say goodbye. Elodie hugged Mark strongly in her arms. She felt that he wanted to kiss her, she also wanted to kiss him but she turned her head at the last minute. Elodie was afraid of the new feelings she was going to experience, she was afraid to spoil their friendship, and she was afraid of never see him again. As long as they did not kiss, she coud keep control of her life. She did not want to risk everything to flip as she had a flight the next morning. There was no point to start anything with him if not to make them suffer.
She told Mark that she was going to miss him. He pressed his forehead against hers and promised her that he would see her soon in Paris. They kissed as friends and Mark left, leaving Elodie more perplexed than ever. He had not offer to accompany her to the airport and it was probably better that way. Life was poorly done, why did such things happen to her? She did not ask anything, all she wanted was to have a good weekend with her friend she had not seen for a long time! The weekend was wonderful but she had fallen in the trap of the friend zone. Why did Mark become so cute and attractive? Why did he live in another country? Why did they have to be attracted to each other while they were supposed to be friends? Friend zone and distance relationship presaged nothing good.
Elodie had to calm down. She would return to Paris, get on with her ordinary life and her budding feelings for Mark would eventually disappear, they had to… Elodie had a seat by the window. She took out her phone from her purse and saw that Mark had sent her a text. He told her he had an amazing time with her and wished her a safe journey home. There was no “See you soon”, it was probably a farewell text message. What did she expect? She had flirted with him and had prevented him from kissing her. He was probably mad at her. She sent him a brief friendly message and closed her eyes until landing in Paris…
Back in the City of Lights, Elodie felt a huge void in her heart. She was already missing Mark. She hoped to hear from him soon but he did not seem in a hurry to recontact her. Elodie did not want that, she refused to lose their complicity, she had to find a way to break the ice. Mark was too important to her, she did not want to lose the privileged relationship she had with him, even if they were just friends. She was supposed to buy an Irish soccer jersey for her brother and she completely forgot about it. Of course Damien was furious but at least Elodie had a pretext to recontact Mark, it was the perfect excuse!
Elodie sent a Facebook message to Mark to tell him she got back home safely and to ask him if he could bring her the soccer jersey required by Damien the next time he would be back in France. She concluded by saying that she hoped he was fine and that he could come in Paris anytime. It sounded a bit exaggerated but at least Mark would know that she wanted to see him again. Mark replied a few hours later and everything seemed back to normal.
Two months later, Mark was back in Paris and Elodie started dating him on the same day. It was bold but she wanted to have a chance with him. The last time in Dublin, she thought she had lost him forever and she had counted the days until his return. She knew that their attraction was mutual so there was no reason to be afraid. Mark had kept his promise and he had even brought the soccer jersey for her brother. He was a man of his word, she wanted to trust him.
Damien welcomed the new boyfriend of his sister with open arms. They had the same tastes in sports so it helped a lot. Mark was very sociable and nice, even Elodie’s best friends loved him. Her parents were not yet aware of this relationship, she wanted to preserve her secret garden and she did not want to introduce Mark to them too early. Mark and her were living a distance relationship, they did not have a lot of time together so Sunday lunches could wait a little. Plus, the last relationship Elodie had before Mark had been disastrous, her parents had big expectations for her. They had bluntly told her they did not want to see anybody before being sure that she was with the right person. It was too early to tell…
Every time Elodie saw Mark, the passion was there, she had never felt so alive and fulfilled. They usually saw each other four days every two months, whether in France or Ireland. They could not do more because the tickets were expensive and their salaries were far from being high. But Mark and Elodie did not complain because this lifestyle suited them. They still had time to see their friends and family, and each reunion was pure happiness. At least they would never turn into a Siamese couple, it would be so boring otherwise!
Anyway, they never reached this stage since they broke up after seven months of relationship. The last two months had been arduous, whether it be job problems, health issues, jealousy, the language barrier or uncertainties about the future. Elodie was not bilingual so misinterpretation and misunderstanding had occured more than once. And the level of French of Mark was not good enough for him to hold a conversation, he did not even seem wanting to make efforts. For this reason, they always spoke in English. For Mark, it seemed obvious that Elodie would leave France if they had to live together one day. Of course, this had caused huge disputes, each one preferring to stay in his home country.
They had not been able to put aside their personal issues and to support each other as they should. They had gone too fast, believing that their former friendship was enough for them to know each other. They had skipped steps and got their fingers burnt. Such a firework, their relationship which was so bright and beautiful at the beginning, had finally exploded and went up in smoke. Mark and Elodie looked like two immature children. They wanted to grow up too quickly and they had fallen on the ground.
Elodie asked him a second chance but Mark told her that they had reached the tipping point. Feelings would not change anything for him. He was convinced that their relationship could not be saved, they had too many inconsistencies. Their differences, which were sources of openness and enrichment at the beginning of their story, also represented barriers to the development of their future. Mark preferred to follow his reason whereas Elodie had always followed her heart. One more incompatibility. She felt like he was sending them to the scaffold. He literally acted like a cruel executioner!
Risking everything and determined to fight until the end, Elodie asked Mark one last time if he still loved her. She saw his face startled but he did not even have the guts to answer. He only said he did not want to make her suffer more and that he was hoping they could remain friends in the future. What a phony excuse! If he really loved her, he would fight for her and he would do anything to improve the situation. Instead of that, all he could say was “I’m so sorry” as a doctor announcing the imminent death of a patient suffering from an incurable disease…
It was hopeless. She had lost the battle. Elodie had just lost a boyfriend and a friend at the same time. Even if Mark wanted them to remain friends, it was not immediately possible. She wanted to be his girlfriend, not his friend. After all they had lived together, pretending as if nothing had ever happened was beyond her strength. Elodie was starting to believe that the friend zone was a fortress from which it was impossible to get out. Even if people managed to escape it for a while, they inevitably fell back into it at one time or another…
One month after the breakup, the pain she felt was still not healed. It was as if the memory of Mark was forever engraved in her heart. Maybe one day she would succeed in thinking of him without sadness, but for the moment it seemed impossible. She had to rebuild herself, she had to learn to live without him. It would be difficult but Elodie knew that she would eventually get there.
She remembered a quote that Mark had sent her before they started to date: “Everyone wants to be happy and nobody wants pain. But we can’t have a rainbow without any rain.” Mark had brought her sun and rain but he had not been able to build them a rainbow. Elodie wanted to see a rainbow in the sky of her life so she was determined to face the rain as long as it took…
Hope you enjoyed this short story. See you soon 🙂