Chapter 11:

We Need to Talk

Fair, no Fair

I did not see Georgy or Max after we returned to the hotel and I grew more and more restless. I was well aware that the clock was ticking; the sooner I would get to talk to Georgy, the less likely it was our friendship would be ruined forever. My courage was getting weaker by the hour as I aimlessly paced up and down the hotel halls. At a certain point, I accepted that I might not be able to speak with Georgy today at all and retreated to my room in a state of discontent. Fortunately, luck (and my friends, Max and Derek) were on my side.

My stomach was severely upset by my high level of stress and when I went to the dining room at the end of the day I was not sure if I would be able to eat anything. When I had shared my concerns with Derek when we had arrived, he had insisted I should come anyway. “Trust me, it’ll be worth it,” he had winked with a devilish grin. “Just leave it to me and Max, okay?”

I looked around the dining room and wondered whether I had arrived late when I noticed that there was only one table left that was not yet packed with students. Only one lonely student was sitting at the near-empty table; he had pulled his hoodie over his head and I only started to recognize him when I came closer. Fucking Derek, that son of a bitch had set me up! Hoping Georgy had not recognized me yet, I frantically looked around the room for a different place to sit down. To my dismay, my eyes landed on Derek, who was sitting at a table near the back end of the room with a couple of his theatre friends. When he caught my gaze, he worded without a sound: “You've got this,” before looking away again. Fucking hell... I guess I had no choice.

I reluctantly sat down across from Georgy and started eating my dinner in silence while I occasionally looked at him from the corner of my eye. I wondered how I could best approach this situation. Georgy ignored me relentlessly. I tried coughing to get his attention, but it only earned me a disapproving side glare.

Instead of actually starting a conversation, I wasted valuable time by coming up with various doom scenarios for how Georgy would react if I tried to talk to him. Would he throw a fit, as he had done at the museum? Would he not react at all and just ignore me for all of eternity? Or, would he try to murder me with his nasty, ketchup-stained, butterknife, dragging me to the lake by the forest to hide my body? I admit, that last scenario sounded pretty ridiculous, but I wanted to be prepared for anything. Something I did not expect, however, is that he would get up and leave before I had the chance to say anything.

I left my half-full plate for what it was and quickly followed Georgy into the hallway. “Georgy wait!” I exclaimed desperately.

He kept his eyes in front of him and started to walk faster to shake me off his tail. A move which I -begrudgingly- recognized as one of my own. It was also a move which I -ironically- had used earlier today when I tried to get rid of Derek. Georgy grumpily replied: “What do you want?”

Something that Georgy had not taken into account, however, was that running away from someone only works if you are faster than the person that is pursuing you. And I -being both lanky and fast as fuck- could easily match his pace. “I just want to talk to you,” I replied as I started to walk next to him.

He clearly did not like that and once again tried to outpace me. “No, leave me alone!” He shouted.

We soon reached the end of the marbled hallway which led to the heavy, dark oak front door of the hotel. Georgy snatched his blue winter coat off the rack and ran outside in an effort to avoid me. “Shit,” I muttered under my breath, swiftly grabbing my own coat as well. I ran after him while fighting to get the stubborn piece of clothing on. It fluttered in the wind like a distorted flag.

“I just want to talk, please!” I pleaded. My leather boots left deep marks in the crisp snow as I chased after Georgy.

“I don’t wanna talk, asshole!” He shouted back at me with the subtlety of an elephant in a porcelain shop.

Georgy's childish insults started to get under my skin and my face flushed in anger. “Oh, so now I’m the asshole?” I’m not the one who called his gay friend a fag, you absolute buffoon!” My voice broke when the words left my mouth. I could not believe this guy.

To this day, I still do not know whether it was the emotion in my words or Georgy's laughable lack of stamina that made him slow down, I can only be glad that he did. “I’m sorry about that, man, I was so mad at you that I stopped thinking straight,” he panted as he slowly came to a halt. "I shouldn't have said that, but it just slipped out. I didn't even realise what I'd done until after our fight."

He bent over with his hands on his knees and took a moment to catch his breath. When I finally caught up with him, I noticed that I was panting slightly as well, though my stamina was certainly much better than Georgy’s. I shook my head in disappointment. “You know that’s no excuse.”

After a minute or two, Georgy stood up again. He was still breathing somewhat irregularly, but other than that, he seemed fine. “Okay, if you want to talk about it, then we can talk about it. I promise I won’t throw a tantrum this time.” That was more than I could have hoped for.