End of Noah
I didn’t hear from Noah for a long time after that drunken night. When I emailed him, he would reply but never asked me to see him. After a time, he mentioned in his email about his birthday party, to which I wasn’t invited, and said his “date” had prepared a surprise cake. I never knew he was seeing someone and wondered why he never mentioned it until now. I kept emailing him because I didn’t see a reason not to, and sometime before my trip to Europe, he invited me to lunch.
He was as friendly and nice as always, but toward the end of lunch, he told me he had become more mindful of who to be friends with because he realized some people were taking advantage of his generosity. I felt sorry for him and was vexed by whoever did that. We parted in front of my office, and when I reached out to him for a hug, he was hesitant for a moment and awkwardly hugged back.
I sensed his message that he could not spare his time for me because he had a date, but I expected he would want to remain friends. As I contemplated his words that afternoon, I realized it might have been his polite way of announcing the termination of our whatever-ship. And he felt I took advantage of him. But I didn’t believe he had been so emotionally invested in me. He needed the company of a young woman to experience all the fun Tokyo offered, and I was a great company who enjoyed those experiences with him. If he wanted a romantic relationship, he would have told me so or looked elsewhere. How would I know that if he never talked to me about what he wanted from me?
Or did he?