T and I met up with our other friend, M, a few days back. We were pretty close back in high school but we lost touch after we graduated. I can't even remember the last time I saw M before the other night. She introduced us to her boyfriend who apparently she has been together with for many years now. We had no idea. M is a licensed nurse who works part time at Hooters. Back in high school, M was pretty much "Little Miss Perfect". Good grades, nice to everyone, comes from a conservative family, you know the type. When T and I first found out that M was working at Hooters, we were shocked, to say the least. I admit, we even made some pretty snide comments about it.
Like I said, we hadn't seen M in forever and I thought that hanging out with her again would be a bit awkward. I was wrong. It was surprising to see that after all those years of not so much as a Hi or Hello, things were still the same. M had changed considerably since high school. She's not as stuck up and as big of a prude as she was before. I know it sounds kind of mean, but it's a compliment. She dresses sexier, she's more confident and now she can openly talk about things, that six years ago, she could not not even say out loud. She had changed but somehow, things between us were still the same. We still laugh at the same jokes, we still finish each others' sentences and everything was just like it was back when we were in high school. It's as if those six years of not talking or seeing each other didn't even happen.
M told us the story of how she and her boyfriend met. It was a really cute story and the boyfriend was a pretty great guy, in my opinion. I don't say this very often about couples, but I am genuinely happy for M and her boyfriend. She also told us that the Hooters gig was actually her second job. Turns out, her dad is sick and can't work anymore, while her mom lost her job. M works two jobs to support her family. She told us that she no longer sees any of her other friends and she felt alone and disconnected from everyone else. She told us that the only who was there for her was her boyfriend. It made me feel terrible for all the bad things I said about her working at Hooters. I felt terrible about judging her when I didn't even know what was going on in her life. Most of all, I felt terrible that I wasn't there for her. I wanted to hug her bf and tell him thank you, a million times, for being there for M when us, her friends, weren't.
I watched M and her bf all through the night with a sense of fascination as they told us their stories about each other. They said that they fight a lot but they work through it and it was strange to hear them actually owning up to their mistakes in the relationship. They make fun of each other, they joke around together and aside from being boyfriend/girlfriend, they seemed to be each other's best friend as well. They seem like they knew each other, like really knew each other, down to their deepest, darkest secrets, down to their hopes and biggest fears. I must admit, I was definitely a little jealous. I can't even imagine having that kind of relationship with anyone. I don't think I can handle another person knowing the most intimate details of my life. T and I are pretty close but there are still parts of my life, of myself, that I am not willing to share with her. I feel like there should always be a necessary amount of distance between myself and every one else in my life. This is the reason why sometimes I think I'm really better off alone. M's boyfriend, on the other hand, said that the reason I'm alone is probably because I want to be alone and it's purely by choice. I never really understand why people keep telling me that my singleness is by choice. Okay, it is by choice but only because I have no other choice. It's not like guys are lining up around the corner for me.
T mentioned that she was delayed. Almost two months delayed. She said she already took a test and it was negative but she wasn't ruling out the possibility. I wasn't sure whether I should congratulate her or not so I asked her. She told us that if it was up to her, she wouldn't want a baby yet but if she was pregnant, so be it. I asked her if her boyfriend knew. She said yes and she showed me his text message. It was reassuring to know that he is supportive and that he will be there for T whatever happens. I can't say I approve of the whole thing but that's largely due to selfish reasons. If T has a baby, everything will change and nothing will ever be the same. I keep thinking of all the things we couldn't do, all of the adventures we couldn't have if she has a baby. I don't want her to have a baby. Just trying to imagine it makes me cringe. T having a baby would be the nail in the coffin of our youth. It will once and for all set into stone the fact that we were actual adults. A fact that I'm still clearly in denial of. But of course I didn't tell her that, and no matter what happens, baby or no baby, I will always be there for T.
After a few drinks, I did the unforgivable. I texted Lover Boy. Technically, I sent him a blank text message. He asked me where I was and before I could do anything even more stupid, I asked T to keep my phone and not to give it to me for any reason at all. I hate the fact that I was the first one to break the silence. I blame it on the alcohol. M had no idea about what has been going on between Lover Boy and me so we filled her in. Six years ago, I could never tell her any of it but now, I could go into every little detail. EVERY LITTLE DETAIL. She took it better than I expected and mad props to her boyfriend for not making me feel uncomfortable about any of it. M asked me if I had feelings for Lover Boy. My answer was an obvious fuck no. Her bf said that I probably do, or else I wouldn't stick around for as long as I have. Do I have feelings for Lover Boy? I considered the thought, but then I stopped because maybe I wouldn't like the answer. Even if I did have feelings for him, it's not like there's anything I could do about it. That night ended with me feeling victorious over the fact that he was the last to text this time and not me. Small victory, I know, but victory none the less.
He texted me earlier asking if I had work today. I told him I didn't but I was going to go see a movie with my brother. He said he had to pick up his boss from the airport but maybe we could see each other after. He didn't say it quite like that of course. His version was a bit more R13. Still, I told him okay. Because I'm stupid. About three hours ago, I asked him if he wanted to go to this place near where I live to get a drink or something. He wasn't familiar with the place so he asked me where it was. I told him and he didn't text back. After a while, it occurred to me that the place wasn't just near my house, it was also near his girlfriend's house and a lot of people we knew frequent the place. He probably didn't want to be seen with me. I will always be just his dirty little secret and you know what? I'm done and I couldn't care any less.