Sometimes is pays off, some days it doesn’t, and that’s OK.
We put lunch on the calendar for yesterday, but when I got to the office, she sent a text informing me of her 101F fever, lack of showering, and diminishing social skills. I laughed and told her I was immune to germs since having three kids who brought home a wide assortment of bugs, germs, viruses, and sniffle/sneeze/cough/and gag moments. I fight them all off through clean living and time at the gym, and lots of water.
I hopped in the car, picked up some soup from her favorite restaurant, and went over. She stumbled to the door in a robe, sweats, and an adorable red tank top. A quick hug and a disclaimer about “I don’t want to get you sick” and we moved to the couch. I could talk with her forever. She looked tired, her pale skin paler still as her eyes drooped and swayed with waves of nausea and fatigue.
Risk. When do you take it? Because of my changing employment status, I knew I had to say something. She knows my story and we both know that we won’t have a natural excuse to be close to each other. I took her hand and pulled her into my arms. I turned her around and wrapped my arms around her as she laid her head on my chest. Soft kisses landed on the crown of her head as I inhaled her in, trying to remember everything about her. She turned towards me and snuggled in and we talked some more.
Fingers intertwined we talked of the future, my job search, her transfer to a new college that, while in town, will keep her much busier, and we spoke of how much we would miss each other. The cat jumped up on her lap and we just sat for a bit. Finally, she needed to move and I had to admit that the clock was calling me back to work. We stood up and I took her in my arms again and kissed her on the forehead.
“You know I love you,” came out of my mouth with not a hint of nerves.
“I know.” she replied and gave me a squeeze.
“I want to kiss you.”
“No, no, no” she said in languorous tones, her head now resting against my chest again.
“Just one?” I added, feeling the moment slip away as my heart raced.
“No” was her quiet response.
And we were done. The mood lightened as we moved around the apartment getting her ready to get outside for some fresh air. I had taken my shot, state my case, and she gave me her answer gently, but firmly.
This is not a dramatic story. It was quiet and short. I told her, aloud for the first time, of my feelings for her, which didn’t cause her to run screaming from the room, but didn’t make her swoon either. Feeling vulnerable has it’s place, and yesterday it didn’t pay off. But I’m glad I said it, I will miss her as I change situations and we drift inevitably in different directions. But I said it, I asked, I was bold, as s friend tells me to be. And I’m glad she knows.