I came back to the scene of where it started.
Weighing on my mind was my best friend's disappointment with me, and my other best friend's cheerful but distracting presence. It was only distracting because it took away from the focus between me and him. We just wanted to know... where do we go from here?
Bricks on my mind, he dropped off my best friend and I feel like I was finally comfortable enough to exhale. I take good care of my friends and if it's at the expense of the answers I'm able to find, so be it. Closing off that obligation, we drove back to his place to start this scavenger hunt.
It started off with an intertwining of bombarding questions and answers. We fired back and forth, trying to get to the kernel of truth. I kept grasping, and I continued to try to find it in other ways besides words. By touch. By my heart.
At first, it felt so utterly comfortable. To hold hands. To lie next to one another. To be in calm.
Expectations unmet, things were escalated. Time and time again, I refrained. It was a judgment call, and not an easy one in the moment.
But I knew I was too old for this to happen again. It's happened again in the form of another body, another bed, at another time. I had to learn a lesson.
I was proud knowing I went only as far as I was comfortable with. That wasn't something I could've worn on my sleeve a few years back. And I daresay it prevented this situation from being dragged out. How do I know? Well, when we started to debrief, he had an epiphany. He revealed he has a huge thing for another girl, but has a tendency for sabotage. He made meals for her when she was sick, cares for her immensely, and is stuck in the friend zone. I cast off the insensitivity of the situation, galvanized myself and became the supportive friend I needed to grow into in that moment.
I rose to the occasion and gave him my truth. I gave him my full confidence and said, "You have to believe you deserve her. If you don't, then you'll never have her. It all comes down to you. There's never a perfect time to ask the question. But you have to believe that what you have to offer in the present moment is worth sticking around for."
He dropped me off, and I truly didn't know what to think. I didn't feel a thing, and when I came to open the door, I was met with a string contraption that prevented me from opening the door. I heard Wally's proximal barking, and smiled of bemusement.
I sat down on the concrete, and made myself at home for the 2 hours before my best friend went to work. I got to see the world wake up and see the spider webs as a glittering network among the tall weeds in her lawn. I had a Thoreau transcendental morning. I saw her look of surprise as she opened the door to go to work, and thinking of the journey I had the night before, the grab bag of emotions that occurred in a span of 12 hours, and the physical exhaustion, I couldn't help but smile and wish her good morning.
I walked in, and had a conversation with Wally, petted Michaelangelo, and took a hot shower that stood for cleansing.
Every now and then you need them. They're hot. They're long. You just stand under the flood of water and think, in this present moment, I'm okay. Things will be okay. Whatever happened before is done, and I'm so glad that I'm safe under this cascade of clean water.
I retreated to the bed. And finally, was allowed to sleep.