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Slender Path
We were almost giddy as were we trying to get out of school ASAP on Friday afternoon. I’m sure it was obvious to the few straggler students that we were up to something. That night we went out to dinner for sushi because it’d been on both our minds. We pre-gamed a bit at her place and then had a good long dinner. Sake, beer, and sake-bombs were had. Back at her place we kept going with the drinks and listened to all sorts of old 90s music. I nearly killed Brittney with laughing when I was karaoking/dancing to Salt n’ Pepa’s “Shoop.” She was losing it and I had no fear that she was laughing AT me. Eventually though Brittney hit her wall and ordered 6 scrambled eggs (a full dozen actually, but I refused to make that many). After dinner she was apparently gravitating towards her bed and I was prepared to make my exit when she asked (told?) me to join her in bed for a few minutes of cuddling.
Of course I was game. Given how direct and honest she is, I knew that she meant exactly what she said and nothing more. I could see that she was wobbling a little as she closed up the apartment for the night, so a small voice in my head said that maybe I should decline her offer, but I couldn’t deny how much I wanted to join her. I figured she just wanted to company, so I held back a bit. But she pulled my arm around her and intertwined her fingers with mine and then she was out like a light. I, on the other hand, could not sleep for hours (I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep at all). I was dying with happiness. After being single for over a year and a half, I was starving for this type of close, intimate, comfortable contact. And she was so warm, and soft, and smelled good … my mind simply couldn’t relax and fade out to sleep.
As I laid awake I perpetually marveled at the fact that I was here. Less than a month ago we were strangers who worked in the same building. Now I was holding her as she slept, in her bedroom, and it hadn’t involved any kind of trickery. It had just happened. My thoughts stumbled as I attempted to fathom how she could be so open and honest and trusting and … secure. And of course I kept pondering what this meant for our friendship. It was platonic cuddling, sure, but this was right on the border between platonic and intimate. I know I wanted more, but the ease with which we’d come to this point almost seemed to say that this was nothing significant at all.
I had presumed that once she became sober she might regret or be embarrassed by me staying over. But that morning after a false waking, she went back to sleep, with my chest as her pillow. I died again. When we finally got up, she was perfectly at ease with the situation and I continued to marvel at her poise.
I spent my Saturday attending to various chores and tasks, but my thoughts were constantly returning to Friday night, trying to make it fit into my schema of relationships. When I told my brother I’d be going out again that night, he joked that I was dating Brittney, considering how much I texted her and hung out with her. We’re not dating, but his clumsy remark held a grain of truth. That led me to wonder if maybe I’m getting too smitten or … I don’t know. It just kinda underlined my confusion concerning what we’re about. Although I’ve only known Brittney for a month, I can see that she’s ‘universally compatible,’ capable of clicking with a diverse swath of different personalities, with what appears to be great ease. I’m also fairly certain (but less so than the previous statement) that she maintains a host of friends and relationships of varying types and levels; she can give her trust and caring and heart to many many people, without actually giving it away to any one person. This is more of a vague theory of mine, but it’s the best idea that fits all that I know about her. These two ideas explain how we became friends so quickly: because she has that ability. It also forecasts the odds of this friendship turning into what I want: essentially zero. It’s going to take real effort not to misinterpret this unique friendship.


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