We sat there by the edge of the court, our shoulders touching. It felt good. We took some water to cool ourselves in the mild mid-morning Saturday heat. The autumn sun was peeping through the clouds and smiling at us, like it was waiting for us to finish our thing the go full blast. We were catching some air after several intense rounds. Rounds of hard shots, missed ones too and a lot of panting. It was our normal routine every Saturday to challenge ourselves and see who would buckle to the pressure. It was playful fun beating each other. I always looked forward to my Saturday mornings with him, whipping his ass and him whipping mine. Besides the tennis games that we played every Saturday morning, he was my other addiction and I could not wait for Saturday morning to go play tennis and spend time with him.
A few months ago we had met on our first date at a small coffee shop near his house. I wasn’t sure how sure how the date would go. I showed up fully suited up from work and did not feel like losing the tie because I was heading for a meeting after my date with him. He rocked up in a shorts and a hoodie and I thought, how cute. He looked stunning and I vividly remember how handsome he looked that day. I had known him for a few years but he never knew that I existed before then. Before our date, I had seen him for a couple of years, albeit from a distance, on the television and in the newspapers. I had seen grow into the young handsome man that was sitting in front me at that little coffee shop. If you had asked me a couple of weeks before that day if I would ever be sitting with him on a date I would have said no but as fate would have it, here I was with him.
We began hanging out after our date with more coffee dates and along the way we found that we shared lots of things in common like movies, tennis, motorsports, travel and adventure. Soon we would be playing tennis every Saturday, catching movies, attending motorsport events together and eating out. I found myself enjoying his company and he became my drug. I needed him.
During one of our tennis sessions, I had told him of my plans to leave country. He did not show on his face but I could tell that he was devastated by that news. My plans to leave were already at an advanced stage and there was no way I could have reversed them in as much I did not want to leave him. All long I had that feeling in my heart and I did not know how to tell him. Was I afraid? Was I scared? Yes I was! I was afraid to break his heart or hurt him. I did know how to tell him. I had to find a way.
About two months before my departure, I found myself at a friend’s house party. The crowd was beaming and everyone was having fun. Good conversations, laughter, food and drinks made the party rock. A friend of mine from way back come over to where I was standing in the kitchen and we started chatting. I had not seen him in a long time. We caught up on what was happening in our lives. Then he asked the question that I least expected from him. He asked if I was seeing someone. I have always kept certain aspects of my life private and I do not like discussing my personal affairs. This time though it felt different. I told him that I had met someone but I was not sure about the whole thing because I was about to leave the country. I did not want to express my deep feelings for him then in no time I am on a plane out of the country. He heard my predicament and gave me the most important relationship advice any one had ever given me in my lifetime and to him I am very grateful.
A week or two later after the party, we were back at it again, our tennis ritual on Saturday morning. The day was perfect, the sun was out and the air clean. You could feel the beauty of the day kissing you in your face. After a couple of games, we packed up and headed to car to chill for him to be picked up. He was heading out of town for the weekend and the driver was picking him up. I held his hand and looked straight into his eyes and on my friend’s advice, told him what I saw in the future. What the future had for us, what future I saw with him, a future as us. I could see it in his eyes that he did not know what to say. I think he was overwhelmed by all this. He did not want to give his heart to a person who was about to leave the country and was not sure if he would return. I could however tell that he liked me. We then kissed passionately for what seemed and eternity. It was good, as it usually felt whenever we kissed. I could live in that moment forever.
That day I did not tell him that I loved him. I told him what I saw lay ahead of us, however uncertain it was. I saw a future together and I wanted it. I wanted him to see it, a future together. I knew I loved him then and I still love him today.