It took me a while to come up with my diabolical plan – and to be fair it wasn’t even really my idea – the diabolical planner was actually my roommate at college, Iain.
Iain was a great guy. He was on the rugby team and was totally buff. He was also straight, which I thought was a total waste of a great guy... His many girlfriends didn’t agree though – they were quite happy to have all of that wonderful male flesh covering theirs and I really couldn’t blame them!
I’d confessed to Iain all about my terrible treatment of my best friend the very first day we met…
I looked up nervously. The idea of sharing a room with anyone was a worry – I wasn’t great at sharing my space with anyone if I was going to be honest, but with a straight guy twice the size of me was nothing short of terrifying. “Hi,” I managed to squeak, “I’m Paris.”
He laughed, “You have got to be kidding me?” he said.
I shook my head. No one ever believed me when I first told them my name. “No – Mum thought it would be a good idea to name me after the city I was conceived in.”
He chuckled. “Okay, then Gay Paris,” he said with a mock French accent, “My name’s Iain – and I’m dead straight so don’t get any ideas.”
I smiled, “Dude,” I said, “Just because I’m gay doesn’t make you my type.”
He went a little pink, “Right – sorry.”
And that was it – we were mates. I felt it was a bit of a shame that he was straight – and he felt it was a bit of shame that I was gay – but regardless, we got on like a house on fire.
“So – do you have a steady girlfriend?”
He shook his head, “Nah,” he said, “I’m not averse to having a girlfriend – but there’s no one special at the moment – what about you? Boyfriend?”
I shook my head. A pang of regret went through me about Liam and I guess it must have shown up on my face. I sighed, “No.” I said, “There’s no one special…”
Iain frowned, tuning in to my melancholy, “But there was someone – wasn’t there?” he asked, “Did you leave him behind or something?”
I nodded, “Yeah, there was someone totally special – until I totally blew it completely.” I admitted.
He gave me a sympathetic look, “What happened?” he asked.
I explained everything as we unpacked our stuff and headed down to the Student Union bar for a pint.
He shook his head when I got to the bit where I realised that I’d really screwed everything up. “Dude,” he said, “You really need to wake up and smell the coffee.”
I nodded, “I know – but he’ll never want me back now.”
Iain smiled, “Where did he go to uni?”
I swallowed hard. We’d always planned to go to the same one and even though we hadn’t actually discussed anything since that disastrous night at the party – he didn’t show up at school to get our A Level results – in fact Mike and Ross picked up his results for him…
“Where’s Liam?” I asked. I was desperate to put things right between us. Desperate to tell him that I was sorry about kissing Conner and desperate to throw myself at his feet and beg forgiveness…
Ross and Mike exchanged a concerned glance. Ross cleared his throat, “He’s, uh, not coming today – I don’t think he wanted to see you.”
My heart sank. As much as I kind of knew it, it still hurt to be told that he didn’t want to see me. I nodded, “Well, uh, tell him I said hi.”
Ross nodded, “I will – I promise.”
Whether he did or not, I don’t know – Liam never called or texted or anything so maybe he didn’t. Or maybe Liam was just past caring… I was pretty sure he’d either have chosen Liverpool or Leeds. I was at Liverpool and living in constant hope of running into him. “He’s either here or he’s at Leeds.” I muttered.
Iain choked back a laugh, “You mean he could actually be here? Right now?” he asked, “Well – now’s your perfect chance, mate – we’ll have you back together in no time.”
“Oh, yeah?” I asked, looking at him incredulously, “And how do you think I’m gonna manage to pull that off?”
Iain smiled, showing off perfect white teeth and making my knees feel a little weak – don’t judge me – he was gorgeous. “Well, what about a little white lie and a whole lot of fun?”
I frowned, “I’m listening…”