We went on a group date last Friday. Just the roomies (I guess Nick still counts even though he moved out and still owes us money). I totally spaced it for some reason and didn't remember until Jake reminded me at about three o'clock Friday afternoon. I told Jake that I had forgotten. Jake, of course, said, "It's not too late, dude. Man up and call somebody." This command was particularly humorous because Jake was telling me to do something that he would never do himself... and attempting to mock me for my lack of testicular fortitude. I told Jake and Aaron (Nick was there, but I'm giving him the silent treatment) that it was too late to find a date and no girl in her right mind would accept a date invitation on such short notice, because that would mean she'd be admitting to having no plans on a Friday night and must therefore be a loser.
Then Aaron suggested I ask out Kristen. I realize I haven't mentioned Kristen before. Jake and I were talking the other day about how many people play huge parts in our lives, but never make it into our blog. Kristen is one of these people. She's been my friend since high school and she still makes a special effort to keep in touch with me. I'm glad she goes out of her way because if she didn't, I'm sure we'd have lost touch by now. I'm lazy and luckily, Kristen knows that, so she assumes most of the responsibility in keeping our friendship alive. I love her for that.
In high school, Kristen and I purposely went to registration together just before our senior year started. We wanted our lockers next to each other because we were such good friends. We'd hang out all the time. I'd talk to her about the girls I happen to be dating and she'd talk to me about the guys she was dating. We'd even discuss physical intimacy with each other. I've always been secretly jealous of the guys she was involved with. She'd tell me about her horizontal make-outs. We'd laugh and compare notes. Interestingly enough, I credit her for most of my sexual prowess even though our relationship has always been strictly platonic. She taught me so much about women and kissing and flirting... it was awesome.
She used to come over to my house at night during the summer. I'd answer the door and see her standing there wearing a tank top and shorts. She's adorable. I knew why she was there, but I'd always wait for her to ask, "Hey, Calvin. Wanna go for a walk?" We'd walk around for a long time, just talking and laughing. She always smelled like a tanning bed. A lot of people don't like that smell. I loved it. We hugged a lot. At school. At home. At church. She was (and still is) my only real female friend. I don't do well with female friends. I don't think very many (straight) guys do. It just seems like no matter how innocent the relationship is, the guy always ruins it cause he's horny. I've always been able to control myself around Kristen. I'm not sure how, but I've always been nervous to make any kind of move and risk destroying our friendship. But every time Kristen tells me a story about a guy she's dating, I get a little bit jealous, but I would never ever tell her that. I just listen to her laugh and I admire her tan legs and flip flops and think, "I'll bet she's such an amazing kisser. How could she NOT be?"
So on Friday night Aaron suggested I ask Kristen to come on the date that I had forgotten about. It was a pretty good plan. If she didn't have anything else to do, she wouldn't be ashamed to admit it. I was sure we'd have a blast. We always had fun together. So I called her. I had no idea if she was even dating anyone. It had been about a month since we'd last spoken. "Of course, Calvin. I'd love to go out with you." I didn't even feel like I needed to say, "you know... just as friends." She knew it and I knew it.
The date went really well. Kristen and I were talking and laughing like we always do. Something felt a little different, though, and I still can't put my finger on it. It's possible that the fact that we were on an official "date" had some sort of effect on our attitudes, but that seems so unlikely. I just noticed that we were looking at each other differently. Not uncomfortable at all... just different. It didn't affect our chemistry or our behavior. Something was just... not the same. Not good or bad. Just different.
While we were sitting and waiting for the show to start, I glanced over at Kristen's legs. She was wearing shorts (since it was over 50 degrees) and her feet were on the seat in front of her. Her smooth, tan legs were propped up at a very attractive angle and we continued to talk about anything and everything. As we bantered, I remembered her saying several times about how her legs were her "weakness". Like, it turned her on... a lot... if a guy touched her legs. During one of our many topics of conversation, I reached over and said, "So does it still drive you crazy if a guy touches your leg?" and I gently placed my hand just above her knee. Kristen started laughing like I was tickling her. She grabbed my hand and moved it off of her leg as she laughed, "Yes, it does. A lot." I started laughing as I looked down at her leg and said, "Oh, Kristen, you have a hair or something on your leg right there. Let me brush it off." I reached over and rubbed her leg gently as though I was brushing a hair off of her leg. She still laughed, but it was more of a giggle. She made no effort to remove my hand from her leg. She just giggle quietly and watched my hand brush her leg. Then I started feeling pretty uncomfortable. Mostly because I was expecting her to hit my hand away again. Then the show started.
There was no hand-holding or arm-over-shoulder action. It would have been extremely awkward since we were friends... and nothing else.
Dinner was normal. Conversation was shared with the rest of the group. I still sensed something was different with Kristen, but it was almost impossible to notice. It was there, though.
When I walked her up to her door, I felt like our parting hug should have been like the hundreds of other hugs we've shared. But it wasn't. It lasted longer than usual. We were talking to each other while hugging. I was pretty sure we hadn't done that before. I told her how much fun I'd had. Kristen agreed. But neither one of us were very quick to break away from the hug. I started to wonder if she was giving me a Greenlight. I decided I'd move out of the hug slowly and see how she reacted.
As I slowly pulled out of the hug, Kristen stayed close. So close, in fact, that I stopped moving out when I noticed we were cheek-to-cheek. I knew what was happening. I'm sure Kristen did, as well. We kept hugging for maybe 20 more seconds with our cheeks touching. No talking. No whispering. Just hugging and thinking. Thinking about what we were about ready to do. Thinking about whether or not it was a good idea. Thinking about how things were gonna change. Actually, I'm sure that's what Kristen was thinking. I was thinking, "I hope she's as good as I think she's gonna be."