2:00 am

Platonic intimacy is defined as the act of making yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically vulnerable to your friends.


: ( :

I can feel my thigh falling asleep under her head but I don’t think I can bring myself to wake her: she looks so pretty with the blue light on her face. She looks so comfortable. The issue isn’t my thigh – I don’t really mind being numb for a little while longer – I just can’t tell how long I’ve been watching her instead of the screen. Odd.


“Is there a reason you’re staring?” Uh oh. “Did you need something?”




“Weirdo,” she giggles as she sits up. Before continuing, she furrows her brows and locks eyes with me – suddenly serious, “You know you can tell me anything, right?”


Anything has its limits.”




“I just mean if I told you all the things that went on in my head, we probably wouldn’t be friends anymore.”




“I’m sorry.”




“I wish you didn’t do that,” her heavy sigh breaks the silence, “You don’t have to apologize for your emotions all the time. You’re allowed to be human.”


It’s easy for her to say things like that. She’s gorgeous and intelligent; she can walk into the world unapologetically without anyone batting an eye. She knows who she is, who she wants to be and no one has to like or approve other than herself and God.


It’s never been that simple for me though.


I just can’t understand how you’re supposed to love yourself when there isn’t anything about you worthy of love? It’s almost funny how terribly cliché that sounds but perhaps that doesn’t make it any less valid just some sort of universal suffering: The Mantra Of A Sad Teen. It’s all futile in the end though. I can never make myself small enough because someone’s always watching, waiting for you to slip up. Someone’s always judging.


I can feel it – she’s watching me know. My face is burning under her glare. I know what she’s thinking: just talk to me, please but, really, what’s the point?


“You look good in blue light.”


“You have to say that.”




“In order to fill your role of friend, you have to say nice things. It’s in the description”


I cuddle into her in an attempt to move on from the conversation at hand. Within moments, she picks it back up again saying, “There aren’t roles or descriptions: this isn’t some film.”


“I wish it were.”


Films are simple. Everyone has a role to play because there’s more than enough side plot and fantasy for every single character to develop. Films are better. Most days, I wish I were the leading role in an indie classic; a cinematic wonder about coming-of-age or love – like in 1 Night. Those kinds of characters are special. They’re the lovers and they’re the loved. Their import isn’t questioned because characters like that are pivotal.


That doesn’t sound very much like me…


She speaks softly but I can hear her voice breaking. “You’re important to me.”


I quickly shift to see her red-eyed; I whisper, “Why are you crying?”


“You just don’t get it, do you? You’ll never understand how vital you are to me! You don’t have to be special to matter… why can’t you see that?”


I didn’t mean to say it aloud. I hate seeing her cry.


“I’m sorry.”


“Please. Stop that. Aren’t 2:00 am conversations meant to be genuine, leave-it-all-on-the-table types? There’s no need to be sorry.”




How does she do that? All at once, she is smiling and crying: both genuine yet undisruptive of the other. In that moment, she is the most beautifully complex person I’ve ever had the honour of knowing.


“I love you.”


She holds my face an inch from hers and presses her forehead against mine, “I love you, too.”


I wipe her tears. “Okay,” I say. We breathe each other in and I feel safe, “Can I have some personal space now?”


Light chuckles.


I hold her against my chest for a while and, gently, I kiss her forehead. We watch Lady Bird for the fourth time, in silence.


“You’re not alone,” she says without looking at me, “Sometimes, I just really want to die.”


She giggles. Then I giggle. Neither of us is laughing.

October 10, 2018, was Mental Health Day and seeing all the love and kindness people are able to spread online inspired me to write this piece. It is also inspired by the conversations I have had with my marvellous, but broken, friends. To my dear friends: please know you are deserving of love and we’ll survive this whole high school/ life thing somehow. I won’t make empty promises about a tomorrow I have no control over but, for today, I’ve got you. You’re not alone and I love you all.

All images used are not my own, all rights to original owners. Photos are taken from:



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6 thoughts on “2:00 am

  1. Dearest Ibukun,

    I absolutely loved this! WOW! Your piece is so well written and articulated. I love how you took a realistic approach in terms of your concept and I can’t get over the way you built the relationship between your characters. I found the female character incredibly relatable because I often find myself in her position where I am the one most comfortable with talking about my emotions and problems. However, there are occasions when I feel like no one wants to or will understand what I’m feeling; therefore, I try to mask it by being overly confident. Defining platonic intimacy was so pivotal because I feel like, as teenagers, we usually associate intimacy with sex and personal vulnerability, but we tend to forget that we don’t need a significant other to fulfill this human need for intimacy.

    Through your writing, you definitely captured the essence of doubt and internal conflict and I appreciate the way you structured this piece.

    In terms of improvement, I have nothing other than try to incorporate more setting into your story-then again it was probably a stylistic choice not to do this but I feel like it would add more meat to the world you are creating.

    Brilliant job, Ibukun! Thank you for this thoughtful and important piece of writing.

    Much love,


    1. Dearest Liza,
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my piece: I’m really grateful. I’m glad you were able to find some truth in it and relate to the female character; it is, at times, easier to hide behind the facade of confidence than address whatever the problem is. Furthermore, I really appreciate your comment on platonic intimacy. I’ve been playing around with the idea for a while a feared people may not really understand or think it was ~silly~; intimacy certainly doesn’t have to be just sex! Finally, I was also very nervous about the structure so I’m glad you were able to see the value in it.

      I am especially grateful for your comment Liz as I was extremely uncertain about this one so thank you so so much.


  2. Dear Ibukun,

    This piece was remarkable, and I loved the creativity of the structure that you used when making it. I felt like I could truly relate to this piece as I am not an extremely open person and the whole idea of platonic intimacy interests me. You are an integral part to the class, and I am grateful for having you as someone to learn from.

    I have only started reading your writing as of this year and could actually hear you saying these words aloud. The ability to do this is what creates a connection between the reader and the writer – allowing for the distance between the two to close. Your use of the italicized words to represent thoughts was easy to identify and actually worked really well with the flow of conversation between the two friends. The whole story seemed so natural as it had a fluidity that carried me to the next line. What surprises me is how near the end the topic of “death” just came out of nowhere; it was as if something had taken control over both of them. Even your use of the word “giggle” instead of “laughing” has a connotation of uncertainty and it was perfect for establishing the mood of the entire story.

    In terms of improvement, all I could find was a recommendation that maybe making the sentences a bit longer would give readers a chance to see more of your writing. However, I also see that using a more fragmented structure could work well with the message that you are trying to give, so it really is up to you.

    All in all, this was a beautiful piece that really resonated with me. It seemed that you were able to emotionally connect to this piece which is why you were able to articulate it so well. Thank you for this once again.


    1. Dearest Abhay,
      Thanks for taking the time out of your time to read and comment on my blog. I’m all warm and fuzzy <3. Regarding your interest in platonic intimacy, I really suggest you read the blog (not mine, ehehe) linked on the word "Medium"*; it's quite fantastic. The concept of openness and candour is quite confusing and challenging for me also and I would love to chat with you about it sometime :). I'm really glad that you enjoy my writing style and the piece as a whole.

      This style of storytelling is certainly foreign to me so I appreciate your suggestion. I'll attempt to incorporate lengthier sentences into future pieces.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting Abha-by (or would it be spelled Ab-aby?).



  3. Dearest Ibukun,

    WOOOWWW!!! Your piece is so beautiful! I agree with Liz; your writing is relatable and your voice/style wraps everything up in a big bundle of unity. As someone who has a different view (or maybe an innocent ideal) on what relationships would be like, platonic love has always been something that I viewed as necessary before relationships diverge into something sexual. Your piece demonstrated this in such a realistic way, and for that, I thank you for allowing my views to be set more in reality. I really related to the character who speaks in first person – the simplicity of films and set roles is very appealing – in that I wouldn’t have to think of what to say to other people because it has already been ingrained on paper. The character’s yearning for self love but inability to do so contrasts with the complexity of human feelings and emotions. Your piece definitely showed the struggles of individuals, especially teens, and I really appreciated that you wrote this because of mental health day.
    In terms of improvement, I have nothing to say except maybe making your font bigger so it’s easier to read (or I just have really bad eyesight)? 😉 All in all, your piece was really elegant and reflects who you are as a writer.

    Many hugs,

    1. Dearest Kelley,
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my piece; I really appreciate it. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it and were able to find some realism in it. I agree with you in the sense I feel platonic relationships growing into sexual or romantic ones is how I think things ~should~ go but that could also be tied to my spirituality/ general hippie disposition ;). Mental health, of course, is very important; I’m glad we’re in the same camp regarding that also.

      I will increase the font right now, sorry. 🙂

      Thanks again for reading. I’m really grateful.


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