“The bro-code remember?! It applies to girls as well!” She said. “Never hook up with your ex-boyfriend’s best friend.”
She didn’t want to think about it. It was just too….tedious. Too much at stake, too much familiarity. But she couldn’t get him out of her head.
Where had he been all this time? Where was he when she was busy wooing his best friend? Had she made the wrong choice? Or had her choice simply brought me that much closer to him?
“We can see it. Don’t know what it is, yaar, but it’s there. Something’s up between you two,” they said.
She let it be. Wait, let me rephrase that. They let it be. After all, there was nothing between them….yet. They were comfortable believing that.
Till they met a week later. And the week after. As they always did. Because you see, before she went and got herself embroiled with his best friend, they hung out every Wednesday. All of them. All of them who now sensed the electricity in the air between the two. Like hot summer air it hung heavy, stifling, giving them no respite. No matter how many cold beers they downed.
Then one day, as smoothly as whiskey sits on the rocks, their friends left them alone to have a smoke outside. Suddenly these two had nowhere to go, no one else to turn to. Conversation became high pitched, strained, restrained, as they attempted to skirt the issue that had for long been making its round.
“So that chick’s hot, huh?!” She said, eyeing the girl in skimpy shorts, her smile barely reaching her eyes.
“Yeah. Think she’s with someone else though,” he replied.
Was she dreaming or was he trying to say something? She had made the mistake of jumping to conclusions too often. She was willing to make the mistake again.
“I like you,” She blurted out.
Then she waited. Heard the din of silence. Then the resonance of her heart beating.
“I like you too.”
Her heart soared like a thousand eagles taking flight. Wind beneath their wings, endless possibilities ahead of them, no horizon in sight.
She was flying.
Heartaches, heartbreaks, lust and longing- She left them wilting on barren land as she took to the skies.
Their friends returned. She sat there, face burning, his confession wreaking havoc with her system. She wanted them all to leave. Right then.
An hour passed.
Have you ever held your pee for an hour? Waiting patiently, then impatiently, for that release that’s imminent? That’s what she felt like during that hour. Till it slowly but surely passed and the time came for them to leave the club.
It was her friends and not the universe that conspired with them. She kicked hypothetical stones with her shoe as she heard the see-sawing of ‘who would drop her home.’ Suddenly, everyone had somewhere else to go. Except the two of them. It was settled then. He would drop her, because her house was on the way.
It took them precisely four minutes of walking to the parking lot, getting into the car and locking the doors. As they say, the rest is history.
Except it didn’t end there. They met the next day, and the next, and the next….right uptil the next Wednesday when they all met again. Only this time, they let the electricity have free reign between them. And no one was complaining.
“We told you so!” Their friends' eyes said it all.
They let the telling continue. They let their courtship continue. Well into many a Wednesday and beyond.
Would she have met him if not for her ex-boyfriend? Would she have acted upon her instincts without the goading of her friends? Would she have confessed without the conversation about that sexy chick? There were too many hypotheticals for her pea size brain to comprehend. And she didn’t want to make the effort.
She was happy to bask in the moment. She was content with the iota of hope that all is well.
He broke the bro-code. She helped him break it. And she wasn’t sorry. Yes, they had taken a risk. The risk of losing their friendship, the risk of another heartbreak. But she couldn’t get over what someone had said a long time ago- If not now, then when?