A mere night or two after our after-hours ordeal, I saw you again.
Our boss was throwing his end of the year party, and you were there. I had never pinned you as the kind of guy that would go to that type of thing, but there you were. We sat next to each other at a table with our peers, business as usual. But, then, you did the unthinkable; you offered to get me more wine while you were inside. It sounds innocent enough, but we all knew you better than that. As soon as you were gone from the table, the girls all shot me questioning stares.
Naturally, they were curious at first. Then, they were all disappointed to learn that no juicy gossip was to be had. It was all soon forgotten. But, once again, they all deserted the party early, and we were left to walk out together again. It was just the following day that we started messaging on Facebook, and, shortly after that, you started texting me. We would run into each other often at our friends’ house, often overstaying our welcome. Then, finally, you asked me if I wanted to walk around the mall, just the two of us. It was so high school and it was wonderful (it was Poltergeist, the new one, at the cheap theater, in case you had forgotten).
So began the summer of our friendship. It was a summer of laughter, secret-telling, and, sometimes, oversharing. It was a summer of country drives, discount movie days, bonfires, and late nights talking in your car. And, of course, it was a summer of questioning glances and comments from friends, family, and strangers alike.
Despite your adamant attitude that two friends of the opposite sex could, in fact, just be friends, I found myself loathing the idea more and more. I couldn’t help falling for you; you were the only straight guy I had been friends with as an adult that I felt genuinely comfortable with and could really talk to. I became frustrated with everyone (my mom, my friends, etc.) insisting that we would be dating soon when you kept insisting we would not.
It eventually resulted in me drinking too much over too many nights on a trip to Portland, where I spilled my feelings out to my companions. At that point, I had to truly admit that I had a big, fat crush on you. I couldn’t even begin to deny it anymore, not when other people had heard the truth from drunk-me firsthand.
That was last July. After I returned from the PNW, things continued on in the same fashion. Grad school resumed without you in it, but spending time together remained a common occurrence, with or without other friends. Summer faded into fall, and eventually October rolled around.
On Halloween night, everything changed.