I kissed him in return, ignoring the shouts in my head, letting him kiss my neck and forehead. He made a comment about hopping in the shower, cleaning the city's grind off. There was a different kind of familiarity as he showered and walked naked around my apartment. It was the comfortable ease of a man and woman sharing a space, a bed, a life. I almost cried at how sad it was. How at one point, I'd wanted nothing more than Steve at the moment and now I wanted nothing more than for Steve to leave.
I was not all in. I was afraid of losing my friend, confused on my feelings for everything. Transitioning and figuring it all out. And through the night, I was haunted by the foreshadowing of what was to come. Of what happens when friends take up residence in the point of no return only to forfeit the lease and lose their deposit. I saw the nights curled on the couch, chatting or watching movies disappear. Walks in the park and piggy-back rides given through the park (so the rats wouldn't get me) fade to black. Steve was one of the most solid men in my life, but somewhere between toeing and crossing the line, Steve wound up stuck in the friend category. I knew it was a done deal.
I tucked the notion of most likely ruining one of the best friendships I had known into the furthest parts of my brain and did what I do best: ignore. Life resumed with a ferocity. This would be the part in the movie where a good montage would play the daily activities of life, set to a good Natasha Bedingfield song. Out with friends, traversing Manhattan with a pair of great stilettos and a hot bag, dating.
Over the weeks, Steve's competition was steadily becoming the only team on the field. While, Steve had all but exited the stadium, he wasn't down and out. He wanted overtime, to block the kick, go for the extra point. See, Steve and Steve's competition knew each other in college, a fact I'd found out all but too late, and when Steve found out, he wanted answers. Answers to why I'd disappeared, took his heart and ran off, confused him, dated his friend. Answers to questions I didn't want asked, but didn't really have time to ward off because Steve's name was popping up on my caller ID.
to be continued...