Everyone keeps asking for the truth, demanding it, wanting to know it. She had realised that the truth was a terrible thing to demand, in some situations. There are some questions where the truth is wanted but is not needed. Need to know basis and want to know basis are two very good principles.
She didn't know what to write, wanted to give a proper answer, but her head was too full of another conversation, one that cropped up every time she looked at a different boy. She wondered if she was being unfaithful to either one, wondered if it mattered. Literature often says that lovers are the bad ones, they have a choice, but words are words, and holding hands is something else.
The truth hurts. She wanted truth but did not need it, though it ate away at her that she did not know. She was, to put it bluntly, head over heels in love. The sort of in love where nothing mattered anymore, where what is important is spending time with him, and yet, with him she was not always happy. She did not stop thinking, analysing, overanalysing maybe?
He, the same boy, and told her after some exercise in a shelter on a sleeping bag that he was comfortable with her and he thought he liked her, but that was all he ever could offer. He had been drunk, it had been out of the blue, and he never would have been honest in the same way if he had been sober. When sober he was a clam, let her talk but never really answered, except to make the right noises that passed for conversation these days. She hadn't realised this until after he told her that he could only ever maybe like her.
She had answered that it was enough, because that night, it had been enough, it had been less than she had hoped for but more than he was ready for. She didn't forget though, and he had not excused himself when sober. She did not expect this, just as she did not expect boys to call who said they would, there were some things you just knew, but she had asked him about it later. Thinking about it, all she remembered was that she had done the talking, and again he had given her no reply. She had asked for the truth she wanted, and changed her mind, told him to only tell her the truth she needed. She couldn't decided between what she wanted and what she needed.
She considered asking him next time he was drunk. It was against her principles, she had in the past refused to discuss things with when he was drunk, but she would rather know now than two months down the line. One of the first dates she had been on with him, he had told her he would drink too much, because then people got hurt. She had scoffed then, but saw the truth in the comment now.
He told her he was emotionless but she wondered if this was just some way of hiding, of saying that he felt nothing for, did not know how to feel something, for her. All she knew was that she did not know what love was, despite saying she was head over heels in love, but that he made her happy, most of the time, and that he was never far from her thoughts.
She did not know what he would say to this, a different he this time one that made her think and write, but she hoped he'd understand she needed air, and that Alice Adams questions could wait. She hoped he would keep writing, answering her replies that sometimes were a different conversation altogether, that looked like they had forgotten the previous sentence. Like listening to people speak that have nothing to say to each other. She hoped she listened, knew she listened to him, wondering at the same time if he could see this.