November 1, 2014. The day after the Halloween party.
We met, what, 7 years ago? Talked games. It was so nice to have another gamer at work. We bonded over it. We flirted some and one drunk facebook chat night, we spoke too freely about the possibility of a little hookup. After a moment, we decided not to because it was too dangerous and dumb. So in spite of the fact that I had a little crush on you, I shut it down.
I honestly did. Not just saying that. Things were getting serious with M and I had a couple of other guys on strings (yeah, that’s right) and so I didn’t really feel the loss. Or mourn it. Instead, we became friends. Good friends. Over the years, we’ve talked about everything. Politics, men, women, relationships, idiots, computers, bosses… You listened and advised me about the men in my life… and I did the same with the women you saw. I will admit, one made me mildly jealous. I didn’t analyze that, though. We were solidly in the friend zone. We did lunch, you hid in my office, I hid in yours. We texted and chatted. We are solid. For 7 years.
And then I quit that horrid job throwing papers that made me a walking zombie and once I started getting actual sleep, it was like stepping into the sun and remembering who I really am. I was almost giddy with the happiness of a full night’s sleep. I sauntered into your office about one thing or another and said “OMG I’m in such a good mood that I’m even flirting with you!” You didn’t even turn and look at me. But you laughed and without any agenda or thought I ran my hand over the back of your neck as I walked away.
All the way back to my cube, I thought about that offhand touch. Why had I done that? Wierd. I brushed it away. But then later, you dropped by my cube and all I could think of, I swear to you, was what it would be like to kiss you. I have no idea what you said. I was horrified at myself. GET A GRIP, WTF? This is B, my friend. Holy mother, where was that impulse coming from? You’d be horrified. Or embarrassed. Or both.
But then that desire would not go away. I kept thinking you’d notice that I was acting weird when you came to visit my cube because I was just trying to keep it together. I have such a tiny cube and I just wanted to touch you. You were so close. Driving me mad leaning there at my table with your knee inches from me. Then, when you were talking about me working for you with the T-shirts and I texted you and said something about I couldn’t because it would probably be unethical for me to flirt with the boss. Your response was, “Yeah, I’d have to break that rule.” OMG. That was actually a hint of a flirt back.
Now I was well and truly fucked. I made a choice. Stop hiding the flirt and see what happened. I mean, my feelings had changed, maybe hopefully yours had too. And flirting is pretty safe, even between us. If you aren’t picking up what I’m putting down, we just chalk it up to playful and I’ll get over the now GINORMOUS crush I had now worked myself into.
I seriously must have fantasized about you kissing me hundreds of times in the last few weeks. One day, I took a deep breath and invited you to my kid’s football game. I worked hard to not make it sound like a date so it wouldn’t be threatening, but deeply hoped you’d take it further. You said yes and I was so happy. But then you bailed for your hunting thing and I was sad. Not hurt, cuz you had no idea how much I wanted to be with you, but just sad. Now I was going to have to come up with something else, dammit. Cuz, you know, I’m so subtle and all. :p
More flirting. I texted you at the next game to give you shit about not coming with me. Really, though, it was just a ploy. I knew you were at Matt & Audra’s reception, filled with booze and babes, and I wanted you to think about me instead. What happened next was beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t even.
At 10:30pm, you texted me “what are you doing?” and I thought — ooh. He’s drunk. Maybe some phone flirting or even a little phone sex? ☺ Might be putting myself out there too far, I mean, he doesn’t really like me. Just likes to flirt. But alcohol…so… hmmm…. At least he’s thinking of me. Mission accomplished.
“Just dropped off my kid for the retreat. Headed home to an empty house and a day off tomorrow.” The hint there was so I am free to stay up as late as you want and play. I meant by phone. I never anticipated your….
“How does a hotel room sound? I know it’s a bit aggressive, but I’ve got it all to myself.”
OMFG. I literally had to pull the car over. Breathe, Sandi. Breathe. I responded with a “Hmmm” to give myself a little time to pull it together. Jesus H. Honestly, I’d been thinking about kissing you and now the fantasy just erupted into a probability. And the possibility for more. Holy shit. Time to put my money where my mouth is, right?
With my mind saying ‘Keep it light’ I finally responded with “You looking for a drunken hookup sugar?”
As a way of clarifying, I add “I’m not opposed to that. I just want to know what I’m walking in to.” The voice in my head switched to ‘tell him the truth.’
“You matter to me and I don’t want to fuck that up.”
Was that true enough for you, you fucking stupid conscience? Now he’s freaked out and it’ll be weird. Damn Damn Damn.
“Haha. I’ve had a few. I don’t want to get too ridiculous. But yeah. I want you here.”
I want you here. I read it a whole bunch of times. There was no mistaking your intent at this point. Your terribly sweet “not too ridiculous” would give me the out I needed at any point, but the ball was clearly in my court. I want you here.
“Then have me there you shall.” Double entendre completely intentional.
An hour later, I pulled up to the hotel with absolute knots in my stomach. You had the benefit of alcohol, but me? I was stone cold sober and terrified that, I don’t know, it would go badly and I’d lose you as my friend. What the hell was I doing? I sat in the car for a long time getting up the nerve.
Deep breath, this is B. He’s your friend. Trust that and just see what happens.
You’d given me the room number and left the door unlocked so I walked in. The sheer awe in your voice and the sweet, sloppy smile you burst into stopped my heart. “You came,” you said incredulously, as if you couldn’t believe it.
“You asked me to.” I responded, already lost in you.
I slid off my shoes and climbed up onto the bed where you were. If I didn’t kiss you, I might possibly explode. As I got closer to you, I said “Now that I am here, what are you going to do with me?” You were reaching for me before I even finished the thought.
We spent the entire night tangled up in each other and it was wonderful. Other than a brief consideration at the very beginning that you could very well break my heart, I just enjoyed. I enjoyed touching and laughing and being touched and kissed and played with. Loved every moment of it. You kept saying things like “you’re here” and “this feels like a dream” and it was so amazingly sweet. It was a lovely night. At one point, it occurred to me that maybe that’s all this was — one lovely night — but you assured me that it wasn’t. You told me that I’d been driving you crazy for years and that more than once while in my cube, you’d thought about just kissing me. THAT made me weak. You told me I was beautiful and I believed you.
I said that I didn’t want our relationship to change or to and be all about sex. That I wanted to date you. You know, like real people. That was the first time I felt you pull back. “That’s hard for me,” you said.
I thought it was about the age thing and your friends. M hates me. How will he take that? And all your buddies that you are always hanging with. They’ll hassle you to death if you show up somewhere with me. I get it. <sigh> But I do understand. Still, I’m not backing down that it’s what I want. We left that there and moved on.
Breakfast was only a tiny bit awkward — probably more for me than you. Cuz I’m a toucher. I like to hold hands, touch feet, whatever, just to stay connected, and I didn’t. I kept wondering if you’d hate that and I don’t want to be that clingy girl, so I didn’t. But I wanted to, and that made me awkward.
I worried all the rest of the weekend if things would be weird when I saw you at work. But it wasn’t. It was nice. Except that I really really really wanted to touch you.
And the very first thing you did was invite me to the Halloween party. Oh man, that threw me, y’know? I thought that you didn’t want to be seen with me, didn’t want your buddies to know that you’d hooked up with me. And now you wanted me to go with you, to your buddy’s house, to a party? Um, yes. Of course I’ll go. But now I’m re-thinking the “you know that’s hard for me” comment, because this sure does feel like a real date. Was I right about what you meant and you’ve changed your mind? Or did you mean something different? Good god what’s going on?
And then we FB chat for hours and as we are wrapping up for bed I’m thinking “I want to see him again. How stupid is that. I can’t get enough. What’s wrong with me? I’m feeling like a freaking teenager.” I swear to you I was seconds away from seeing if we could do lunch when you asked me “lunch tomorrow?”
Maybe we are more on the same page than I realize. And my heart soars.
The week passed quickly and slowly at the same time. I can’t get you out of my mind. I ignore the impulse to text you 100 times a day because you’ll think I’m a crazy girl who’s gone off the deep end. Seriously. Even I think I’m a crazy girl who’s gone off the deep end.
DIAL IT DOWN A NOTCH SANDI is my new mantra. I’m surprised you can’t hear it when you walk by I’m thinking it so loudly.
And then the party.
I drink some and that makes me bold. I kiss you, in front of people. In front of your friends. I wonder what you’ll do. You seem delighted with me and that floors me. You stay by my side, telling me when I give you an out “Maybe this is where I want to be.” <swoon> You steer me toward food when I need it. You hold my hand in front of people — that seems to be a thing for me. It’s a public declaration that we are together and it makes me feel protected and sort of cherished and that makes me even more drunk and bold than the beer. When I tell you about my Batman underwear, you are immediately done with the party, dragging me home. Which is WAY SEXY.
But here’s the part that really wins me. We are kissing in your bed and you pull back and say, “I don’t want this to be just about this. I want more.”
‘If only you knew how very much more you could have,’ my mind answers. I just kiss you because I am a coward. I think I said something flirty like “You already have me.” But you wouldn’t let me bat the thought away. You were so serious. “Sweetie. I know you care. I do.”
“I don’t like hurting people. I don’t want to hurt you.”
It was like a big ole tire screech in my head. Ah. Message received. Do not fall in love with me, I’ll only break your heart. Gotcha.
But I can’t, of course, say that out loud. Cuz even vocalizing the word love would send us both into a panic. Both of us. I try to tell you I get it by saying “Honey, I will make you a promise. I will never ask you for more than you want to give.” (Note I said ask, not want.)
That seemed to placate whatever demon you were wrestling with and the kissing began again, but under your breath you added “I want so badly to give you everything.”
Well that sent my adrenaline into absolute overdrive. I tried to shush you before I freaked out. But you kept on…”everything I have, everything I am.” OMG you are trying to kill me. TOO SOON. I think I may have actually said that. “Too soon.” I said it quietly, but it was screaming in my head. You nodded and I added, “Let’s just see how we are together for a while.”
I am already at least one toe deep falling for you after one week. ONE FUCKING WEEK and I am falling like a god damn domino. That excites and terrifies me because I don’t know where your head is. LOL. One of the songs on the new TSwift album says, “It’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames.” Yeah.
I’m already trying desperately, not to fall. I’m repressing the urge to text you, talk to you about every little thing? I’m already doubting my tightly held single person long term plans because all of the sudden they don’t work without you in them? This terrifies me to recognize.
I know it will be what it will be. And I’ll be fine. But damn if it doesn’t look like I am going to fall for you. I’ll try really hard not to be that girl and create drama and make you uncomfortable. But I desperately want you to date me in public. I want people at work to know how much I adore you. I can’t not want that.
Chances are, this is all in my head. But I thought that was true last week turned out to be completely wrong so now I’m questioning everything.
The ball is so in your court.