English is a very particular language that likes to be precise. In most areas you can cut and recut words into more and more definitive ways to say something until you say exactly what you mean. Even so the language still manages to fall short sometimes. The word love is one of those words that somehow tends to lack clarity when English speakers use it. When you tell someone you love them they have to rely on context. The Greeks were a little better about being clear with what they meant when invoking love. Philia is a strong, what we call brotherly, bond. A deep, meaningful, friendship. The opposite of that was phobia; an abiding disdain for someone. We use the words in conjunction with other things now, but rarely by themselves in reference to a person. Thomas and Nina share a deep philial love for one another. A strong friendship forged in the fires of hardship. I think that even though they might not know it themselves they are best friends. Or maybe they know it, but haven’t put it in those words to themselves or each other. Thomas is his most real with Nina. The pretense of what he tries to be, even with Carol, drops away for her. That’s not to say that he cares less for his other friends, but he’s safest with her. Nina, on the other hand, is much more herself all the time, but feels safe sharing her pain with him. He doesn’t treat her pain like a burden, or embarrassment, the way other people might. I love writing them together.
I fell in love with the only girl I was ever that close with. If I were Thomas I would almost assuredly be in love with Nina. She would not be in love with me though, and I would be relegated to supporting cast, as is my fate.