Last week was odd to voluntarily spend time with a boy –odder yet one that I enjoy; a refreshing change from begrudgingly and exhaustingly treading to activities under the guise of maintaining a social life. Albeit, the boy, also known as The Firefighter From Seattle and the nice one to whom I alluded, is only a good friend, nothing more.

But I have had a lot of fun with him this past week. I had forgotten how much I enjoy him.

Since I have been fighting a cold and could not justify impressing him with the sheer quantity of snot my nose could contain, the beginning of the week consisted mainly of daily communication exchanges, via text or phone. But he still tried, daily, to hang out, heedless to my warnings of my life-threatening germs, which –not to be overdramatic because oh no, that’s not me at all –was more than likely a super-hybrid of AIDS and SARS.

When I was feeling somewhat better, we went bowling with newly engaged mutual friends, complete with slippery shoes, neon lights, frozen pizza, and beer from plastic cups. Those fortunate enough to bowl a strike were required to perform a victory dance. I (fittingly) finished last but first in the after-bar rendition of Trivial Pursuit –I’ve always been more of a scholar than athlete. During the board game, with one arm draped over my outstretched legs, he quirked an eyebrow when my friend called me a flirt, as if daring me to deny it. I felt like quirking one back.

At 4am, the dosage of cold meds ensured a quick slumber from my resting place of the loveseat, but I woke up an hour later to reposition myself nearby, on top of his chest, which he accepted without a word spoken. He had gained some muscle since his last visit, his 6’3″ frame solid enough that I could sleep directly on his chest without the worry that I would crush him followed by reluctant fidgeting to the side. 

While I was lying on top of him, simultaneously sweating and shaking with chills (that AIDS-SARS hybrid is a bitch, I do not recommend contracting it), my nose cleared from stuffed-up mucus to the runny stuff. He looked at me then and worriedly said, “Molls, you’re bleeding.” WHAT. The ever-constant snot had somehow dried up the interior of my nose, causing a bloody nose, and he woke up with me BLEEDING ON HIM. Can I reiterate that again?  BLOOD. ON HIM. And on the blanket and the pillow. He graciously cleaned everything while I freaked out about all the blood – especially that on him and (possibly) the suede sofa. I wasn’t squeamish –I should maybe mention that I once had a blood disorder and am therefore desensitized to my own blood –but that doesn’t mean I am ok with it leaking everywhere.  But he took it all in stride: sweat, chills, snot and blood. Major boy points. (Don’t I sound charming? Who WOULDN’T want me sleeping on top of them? I’m a goddamn princess.)

But that’s so who he is. He has always been strong and the strength is not derived from his muscle tone but his personality. He knows exactly what he wants and that confidence, that assurance and ability to see the goal and work toward attaining it, is very attractive. And not what I have experienced, as of late, in boys who want and do one thing while saying another. He’s one that will clean blood from a blanket unfazed and give me a hug when I am freaking out about being the type of person who bleeds over everything.

He is a boy whom I adore and in return, he genuinely loves the real me, the flawed person, not the fake one I sometimes hide behind. The mutual admiration doesn’t need to be changed or progressed. We are friends. Great friends. Granted, we flirt, but we flirt as friends. He always (always) makes me smile, but he doesn’t flip my stomach and, without the stomach flip, I wouldn’t want to chance our dynamic’s demise. Plus, there’s the whole living in Seattle thing and I would rather contract a real AIDS-SARS super-hybrid than go through a long-distance relationship again.