''So... what do you say?'' He prompted, sitting across from me on an old -very old- armchair. The material started to wear off on the seat, making it look rather bad and badly taken care of. He stared into my eyes, making me understand this was a serious question, his offer, too. I held my breath and clasped my hands together, tapping my right leg on old floorboards as I, too, sat in an old seat.
''Uhmm...'' I started, but stopped abruptly.
He raised his eyebrows expectantly but also with surprise, surprise at how long I'm taking to choose, to make a choice.
It should be easy...
but it's not.
At least - it's not easy for me, maybe for someone else it would be. Maybe for him it was and still is.
I started to blow air quietly out of my mouth, trying to think deeply. Rationally.
He sighed and murmured, ''Take your time, it's alright. But please give me an answer soon, now.''
I nodded my head, suddenly feeling distant, zoned out. ''Okay...'' I murmured in reply, without looking at him.
As I sat, taking note of my surroundings - the clock ticking on the wall, making time seem so suspenseful, making time seem as if it awaits an answer too, I took note of him. Of his behavior while he waited for me to speak, to give him a response; which I'm sure he hopes will be a 'yes'.
He shuffled in his seat often, looking at his watch, looking at the clock, then the wall, the floor, then back at me. His eyes were floating about everywhere in the room.
He's waiting... he's acting as if he has patience, as if he doesn't mind this long process. This long thought process.
But I'm sure he minds, and I'm sure he doesn't have such patience.
Maybe he's practicing. Perhaps he's practicing his patience, on me. With me.
A woman, rather young, makes us both jump and look up at her in surprise, as she walks in the room quietly and asks, ''Tea?'' As she carries a metal tray in her hands.
I nod shyly, and she smiles, places the tray on the small table in between us and pours a cup for the two of us.
''Thank you,'' We both say to her as she steps away and nods quietly.
''You're welcome,'' She murmurs as she walks out, leaving us again in an awkward silence, a painful silence - as I think of an answer, prepare to speak my answer. He takes his cup and drinks from it, while I sip the tea as it's way too hot for my mouth and tongue. He looks up from his cup and locks gazes with me. I stare at him, trying to figure him out, trying to study him.
Is he angry? Annoyed? Impatient?
It really doesn't look like it, at all.
He gives my staring a curious grin and I smile back, pulling my eyes away from his.
''Everything alright?'' He asks, still wearing the smile that suits him all-too-well.
I frown a bit and reply, ''Yes, of course. Why not?''
''No, nothing.'' He responds, but we are both wearing a smile. His is friendly, welcoming, while my smile is more shy, isolated. ''So...?'' He presses again, returning to the topic of this meeting.
I start nodding as I swallow some tea and once I can, I respond, ''Oh yes, yes... an answer. Can I have a few more moments to think?''
Disappointment slightly appears on his face, but his expression goes back to normal as soon as it happens. ''Sure - no problem.''
Should I say yes? If I do, that means I will help him and many others to rebel. To stand up for ourselves and our rights. To fight the oppressing ways and laws we have to live with, without any of our voices heard, without any of our opinions being mentioned. Life would be so much easier, however. So much more peaceful. But this would all be the case after a battle - bloodbath. After many lives put at risk and sadly, lost. After tears and pain, after horror and fear.
After a war.
And who's to say that we will win? Manage? Succeed? What if, after this battle, we lose and the laws become stricter - worse? What if after a fail, life will become even more miserable and difficult for us all?
What if after a bloodbath and many lives lost, will we fail, disappoint and essentially, ruin everyone's lives?
I know I wouldn't be able to live knowing that because of this war, that was all started with someone standing up to the laws, people's lives and loved ones were killed. That all the pain we'd end up enduring would be all for nothing?
I shiver at the mere thought.
''Lily?'' a voice causes me to jump, causes me to return to reality from the horror movie playing in my mind.
I turn and find that he joined me on the seat, by my side.
''Liam?'' I reply, looking up at him.
He wraps an arm around my shoulders and murmurs, ''Tell me what's going on in your head.''
I sigh, ''I'm just- scared? I'm worried that we endure so much pain and trauma, loss too, and end up failing? That we go through so much and end up accomplishing nothing?''
He nods apprehensively and replies, ''That's understandable. I'm scared too.''
''Of course, we all are. But we need to rebel, to resist. And you, Lily, are the key to it all.''
I gulp, feeling as if I'm chocking as my throat tightens.
''But, are you sure that's all?'' he asks, gently.
I stare up at him, open my mouth but close it soon after.
My eyes widen as I realize that's not all, that there's more fear beyond that.
''Lily, are you okay?'' he says, looking concerned.
I swallow, ''I'm scared to lose you as well...'' I look down with embarrassment. I feel him squeeze my shoulder.
I feel my comfort when with him.
''I'm worried about losing you.'' he confesses, looking at me with a smile. ''So, will you join us? Will you join the rebellion that will work and fight, to save everyone who is suffering because of the laws? The oppression, the government and fear?''
I hold my breath as I prepare to answer, let it out and say, ''Yes.''