Read Part One- The Day We Met- here.
Read Part Two- Getting To Know Each Other- here.
Read Part Three- Moving In- here.
After that night in which Mr E saw me kissing someone else, something in our friendship changed. I ended up starting a relationship with the guy I worked with and I know that it upset Mr E a lot, but although I cared for him greatly I still didn't see him in that way. Or rather maybe deep down I did but I know I didn't want to ruin our friendship. Who knows.
We were still great friends, and we still lived together, but we didn't see as much of each other. We still saw each other every day at work but a lot of the time in the evenings I was with my new boyfriend and Mr E was round at friends so there wasn't as much time for our cosy nights in. Whenever we were together we had a great time still, and as my new boyfriend worked in the same bar, Mr E would make our shifts separate so he still got to spend time with me. Cheeky but a perk of being the boss I guess.
He still used to say things about how we should be together and how much he liked me, but I got to the point where it was almost a bit of a joke and he would never have done anything while I was with someone else- not that he had ever tried anything before anyway. However I probably should have stopped flirting with him, but I couldn't as that was a huge part of our friendship and our banter. Still, we settled into a degree of normality, I was with someone else and that was it.
There was a still huge part of me that was desperate to know what Mr E was doing- my boyfriend was a really nice guy but it got to the stage when I was with him that I wanted to be with Mr E- not in a relationship sense, but just because I enjoyed spending time with him- I would rather have gone out and chilled out with him as we had so much fun. Looking back all the signs were there, but in my head I just liked him as a very good friend.
This friendship setup carried on for a few months before it was time for us to think about renewing our lease on our flat again. My boyfriend knew how Mr E felt about me, so was a little funny about me extending it out for another six months. This was understandable really and so we decided that we would move in together in a new flat and see how it worked out between us. My relationship with him was a strange one, we were more like friends than anything else. All my girl friends used to say that I obviously had feelings for Mr E and that I should just admit it to myself but I was so stubborn that I always refused point blank that I thought of him anything more than a good friend.
Around this time I had to go home back to Cambridgeshire for a few days as I had some bad news and needed to be with my family. On the day I left I went into Mr E's room and got quite upset in his arms- I don't know what happened but he tried to kiss me. I have no idea why he did it as in almost two years he had never ever tried anything like that before, I think it is because he was trying to comfort me. We both ended up pulling away after less than a second and I left to walk to my car with tears streaming down my face. I just didn't know what to think and I was so confused.
I left quite quickly to get home to Cambridgeshire with my room a complete mess. My boyfriend came to visit me at home and I remember my Mum saying that he seemed a nice guy but not really my type. On returning to Leeds I remember being so excited to see Mr E and I walked into my bedroom to find that it had been completely tidied and filled with flowers. Mr E had done it for me as a surprise to cheer me up when I got back. I remember crying that someone could do something so thoughtful when I was feeling so low.
I remember a little while later going into work one day and finding two of the chefs that worked there gossiping about something. On asking what they were talking about they told me that Mr had been out the previous evening on a date with a friend of a friend. I didn't know the girl but when Mr E came into work he giggled along with the rest of us and said that he quite fancied her and would probably see her again.
With all that was going on, our 'almost' kiss was forgotten about and we didn't speak of it again. However one day I came home to find a letter from Mr E. I have kept it to this day, as I have every single card, note and letter he has ever given me. The letter was long but here are a few snippets.
This has probably been the hardest letter I have ever had to write. I know you are going through a horrible time at the moment and regardless of what I say in this letter I will always be there for you, always, but I have to do this for me, I have to get my life back on track. For the last six months, I have not let anyone get close to me in the hope that I could be with you. I realise now that this is not going to happen, at least not anytime soon so it is time for me to move on. I have even tried telling myself that I am over you, god I have even lied to myself that I am over you in the hope that I would convince myself. This is crazy I am typing and my fingers are just shaking.'
The gist of the letter was that he had allowed himself to get too close to me when I was with somebody else and that although he would always be my friend, he needed to stop getting so involved in me. He said that the fact we were moving out of our flat was a good thing and that we would be stronger as a result.
I read that letter and sobbed. I had so many emotions going through my head and I was so confused. In my head I thought that I didn't think of him in that way yet my heart was saying that if I was getting so upset I must do. I kept thinking it was because we were moving out and things wouldn't be the same. Here I was, about to move in with my boyfriend and all I could think about was Mr E. We had signed the rental agreement, Mr E was in the process of buying his own house and was starting to see a new girl. The timing couldn't have been worse and I felt so scared.
We packed our things up and on the day that we were due to give the keys back, we sat on the edge of my bed and Mr E hugged me and I just cried. Here I was, supposed to be excited that I was moving in with my boyfriend, but all I could think about was how much I would miss living with Mr E and how our friendship would never be the same again...