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Fifteen Minutes

Page 3

Mark Haines

It was, of course, a proposal. There fell a long and solemn silence. Phil could sense Tim still looking at him, waiting for some answer. What he did was look out the window again, out at the passers-by, the cars, the darkening sky, the autumn trees, the fading afternoon.

Within himself, he could feel a strange excitement. Was this pleasant, casual hook-up the long-awaited mate he’d seen in so many films, heard in so many songs? Because he was by no means impervious to these and many other forms of romance, of coupledom, of finding The One. He often laughed at this stuff, but felt its fierce, classic appeal, all the same. Tim was casting himself in quite a new light, one that opened enormous possibilities, thrilling possibilities, even. But there was also alarm, and hesitation.

Tim saw his attention, neutral though it was.

You might be wondering how it might work? I…really …haven’t thought it out too far…but you could move in, or just try it for a few weeks anyway… And if you’re worried about rent (Phil was a final year student)… I could cover that, if you like…

Phil carefully took this in. It would certainly make life easier, he could shift out of his parents’ increasingly claustrophobic household, could concentrate more on his studies (not going so well lately), maybe save a bit of money, not travel so far to the campus…there were many advantages, it seemed.

But just as he was pondering all these upsides, a creeping thought began to emerge: who was Tim, really? Sure, he’d become an enjoyable part of his life over the past few weeks, but living with him? Since meeting one evening at a Chapel Street bar, they had spent many hours together, but exclusively in this quickly-established, separate, somehow cut-off way. 

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