To Ben, it was everything he thought a university campus should be. The classic gothic architecture of its stone buildings conveyed the sense of history, seriousness, and intellectual fortitude found at universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. There was no question in his mind that he would apply and be accepted.
Ben had always been a very serious student. He didn’t have many friends and his social life was nonexistent. Who had time for friends and girls when there was so much yet to learn?
His parents had hoped Ben might choose a less academically rigorous university so that he might be able to find more balance in his life, but Ben would not have it. He didn’t want anything to stand in the way of his learning.
Ben was midway through the fall semester of his sophomore year when he and one of his intellectually oriented classmates, Joshua, became fast friends. They had much in common and Ben felt like he had finally found in Joshua a soulmate, someone who shared his intellectual curiosity and whose thirst for knowledge matched his own.
The two became almost inseparable, attending many of the same classes and spending hours together at the university’s resplendent library.
But Ben noticed a change in Joshua’s behavior near the beginning of the spring semester. Concerned, he asked Joshua if there was anything wrong. Joshua asked Ben to meet him under the arch behind the old chapel.
When Ben arrived, he was both eager and nervous as he awaited Joshua’s arrival. He was worried that Joshua might have stood him up, but was relieved when he saw Joshua approaching.
Once both were standing under the old arch, Joshua reached out and grabbed both of Ben’s hands. He looked closely into Ben’s eyes and told Ben that he loved him as more than just a close friend, but he was worried about how Ben would react. Then he leaned in to kiss Ben on the mouth.
Ben pulled back. “I don’t know, Joshua,” he said. “I’m not gay.”
“Neither am I,” said Joshua. “But you said yourself that we’re soulmates and in spite of myself, I have fallen in love with you.” Joshua then leaned in to kiss Ben once again and this time Ben didn’t resist.
Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.