“I hung out with M. last weekend. Actually, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.”
I couldn’t believe it. What was this? It was honesty. The LDC was going to tell me about the girl he brought out to the bar.
“Oh yeah, M. told me. It’s fine.”
“No, it’s not fine. Because she has no idea. Every time I bring a girl out, she glares at me and she brings you up like I’m some kind of ass hole. I brought out my old friend S. from high school a couple weeks ago and M. stared daggers at me all night.”
Truthfully, I didn’t want to talk about it. I wanted to settle comfortably into my little bit of pain and write him off as another guy who didn’t care. But he wasn’t letting me settle.
He called the next night.
“Heeeeey.” His voice was warm and fuzzy.
“You’re drunk. You sure you want to talk right now?”
“I’m not drunk. I’ve had two beers, I’m just in a good mood.”
“Okay, so… Did you want to talk about something?”
“Did you want to talk about something?”
“The M. thing.”
“I guess I just want you to know that her feelings are not my feelings. I’m not asking her to be my spy or anything.”
“I know you well enough to know that you would never do that.”
“And honestly, I did bring someone out on Saturday. It was just this girl that I thought was cool and that I was semi-interested in, and it didn’t work out. That’s it. I feel like I don’t have to hide things from you. I’m comfortable enough with you that I feel like I don’t have to lie.” I took a deep breath. I wasn’t used to this. We were both so aware of our situation and its pit falls, and we were carefully stepping around them. These giant chasms that could break us as friends, as more-than-friends, as whatever we had turned ourselves into. I had never worked with someone the way I was working with him.
I wanted to say more but I didn’t know how to put it. He pushed me into it. “I guess I’m also afraid of being the fool,” I said. “I don’t want you to be texting me while you’re hanging out with some other girl.” We chatted for a little while longer and eventually the mood lightened. I heard his friends in the background as they got ready to go out for the night and an old friend of his walked into the room laughing. “I’ll be there in a second,” he called out to her.
“I would never do that to you. I’ve had people say stuff about me… I wouldn't do that. I wouldn’t continue to flirt with you like this if I was with someone else. I really like you. And it just really sucks that you live across the country. But you have to know that I am always honest with you.”
“Who are you talking to?” she asked.
“Hi, Lauren!” she yelled out. “I’ve never met you, but I like you already!”
We chatted for a little while longer and eventually the mood lightened. I heard his friends in the background as they got ready to go out for the night and an old friend of his walked into the room laughing. “I’ll be there in a second,” he called out to her.
And for the millionth time, I cursed the 2,408 miles between us.