Sweets and Baby Cakes, my two best guy friends from college, are also The Kid From Boston’s best friends. The nicknames were bequeathed soon after The Kid and I started dating –although Sweets originally suggested “Spot” when I requested a pet name –when The Kid would tease me mercilessly and I would laughingly threaten to find a new boyfriend or more accurately TWO new boyfriends. The duo charismatically played along, provoking The Kid until his jealousy caused him to take my hand and kiss my neck as a peace offering and reminder of my rightful place. Although my place has changed and the Tweedle-Dee/Dumb Duo no longer antagonizes The Kid for sport, the nicknames stuck and to this day those names are how we are listed in each others’ phones.

They have always been my little playmates, whether convincing me to join the Booting Game festivities (different tasks to initiate booting –aka vomiting –like chugging vodka over the toilet) or to get me stoned and then watch soft-core porn and see how long it would take me to notice (sometimes hours).

We all met at the same time, remaining good friends mostly because they were The Kid’s roommates and, as The Kid and I were together daily, I saw these boys at least that often. We were all friends, comfortable to hang out as a group or individually.

I never felt like just their roommate’s girlfriend.

It’s complicated now. Because now, more than ever, I feel a tie to The Kid, that when I hang out with them I am their old roommate’s ex-girlfriend. The elephant in the room fades with alcohol, but it never disappears. And I understand that maybe it’s not supposed to clear. Because our memories, so many of which involve The Kid, nevertheless tied us all together and that history is important. But that still doesn’t make it any easier.

Sweets currently resides with The Kid and is also going to law school. We still call and email frequently. Baby Cakes lives in downtown Minneapolis, a convenient location when I need to pass out and my friends have abandoned me for booty calls.

I slept at Baby Cakes’ apartment both nights last weekend. On Friday we were sober –which is a rarity for us together –and we watched a movie; I always sleep during movies. If the weather wasn’t below zero, I would have gone home. But warming my car seemed like an effort at 2:30am and his couch seemed like the better option, especially when he covered me with a comforter.

On Saturday I was drunk and slept in his bed. Nothing happened. If I wanted something to happen, I probably could have made it happen. It would have grossed me out. But sometimes I question how he feels for me.

We’ve always teased, and I returned the teasing comfortably because I had The Kid as a barrier. Now I feel weird about it. He will now rub my back when I am quiet in a group setting or touch my knee and ask what’s wrong. He will integrate innuendos into our repertoire. On Saturday, he came to The Wine Bar for dinner. Later, when I was texting The Bestest Friend, he joined me on the couch and the conversation bordered on flirtatious banter. We laugh together; we do not flirt with each other. There is a huge difference.

I am really hoping this is all in my head.

When recounting my weekend tales to my mom, she asked, “Would you ever consider dating [Baby Cakes]?”

“Only because I know how much it would hurt The Kid.”

Blunt. But honest. I don’t want to date him nor his law-school-attending counterpart. And I know I play the “just friends” card often, but those boys –like The Firefighter and my Work Boyfriend –I selfishly want to keep as mine. I do not want to share them. Sweets and Baby Cakes? Exactly the opposite. I want to set them up with good friends of mine and watch them be happy in non-platonic relationships.

They are my boys. I like taking care of them, like being their goofy playmate and peer, like baking cakes for their birthdays; anything sexual was saved for their roommate.  Always has been that way, always will be. I really hope it goes both ways.