As Zoom steps out onto the balcony he is blushing so badly he’s almost glowing more than the building. He puts his hands up in surrender, does a little apologetic bow and confesses.

“It was me,” he says in a voice that’s slightly strangled. 

And then he rubs a hand over his face and laughs a little as he stares at the floor, while we all take that in.

“Nice work Zoom, you incurable romantic,” one of his friend’s calls out, and Zoom shoots him a grateful look.

“I’ve been known to get myself in these embarrassing situations before,”  Zoom goes on, addressing us all, then glances at the massive building glowing with his enormous message, “but maybe this is the most embarrassing.”

There’s a little bit of nervous giggling amongst the girls, but we’re all still taking this all in.

Zoom turns to look at me with a smile that is half apologetic and half desperate for me to save him from this nightmare. It’s quite endearing actually.

“Hope, if I’d known you and Zack were back on, I wouldn’t have, umm…worn my heart on your neighbour’s building,” he says with a rueful smile. “It’s just that after that story about your Valentine’s in the paper, and then meeting you and discovering you are so…lovely, this idea just popped into my head. When I first met you I could tell you were still quite heart sore from your break up, and feeling so exposed about your street art ‘love letter’ – so I thought that looking out your window and seeing that surprise one night might…help.”

Deevya has a huge smile on her face. “I think it’s awesome,” she says, “You had no way of knowing Zack and Hope were back on, or that we’d all end up together back at Zack’s place tonight of all nights for this collective viewing! But it’s classic!”

The rest of us keep staring agog at the wall with its glowing pink heart and words. I feel like everyone’s waiting for me to say something. I turn to look at Zoom again and he looks so shy and vulnerable. Kind of like how I felt just a few days ago when I had my own paint-on-wall hoo haa.

“Zoom – I love it! I mean, I love Zack, but I of all people can only admire you for doing that,” I say, and then I start to giggle. Me – hot? I’ve never really thought of myself like that.

Zoom also starts to laugh, and then so does everyone. I feel Zack’s hand on my back and then I hear him say jokingly, “Thanks for completely showing me up dude! I’m going to have to think of something unbelievable to impress Hope after the scale of that work of art, Zoom.” 

I love Zack even more for having a heart that’s much bigger than his ego.

The party takes off. Isn’t it amazing how these crazy, truthful expressions that you can’t run away from really get under everyone’s skin?

I can see Zoom is going to be fine. He’s one chilled guy. Zoom’s friends tussle his hair affectionately and Nomusa turns up the music.

I notice Lindi follow Nomusa into the lounge, and say something to her. Nomusa smiles radiantly, and then they kiss, right there, for the entire world to see. 

I say a mental thank you to Zoom, for providing the inspiration to say what you feel and roll with the consequences.  We’re all only human, after all.

Zack pulls me into his arms, and I love the feeling of his body as he hugs me tight. Over his shoulder I notice that Vel is talking animatedly to Zoom. Her eyes are sparkling, and every time she emphasises a point, she touches his arm.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? What do you think of Zoom’s experience? Is it better to risk embarrassing yourself by showing your feelings, than to never show them at all?