The Firefighter and I are oddly … aware of each other. Love is present, unequivocally, but stemming more from an awareness than desire. Not that we don’t make innuendos and suggestive remarks – we do constantly – but the love is more of a mutual no-excuses-needed understanding.

Hm, I would call bullshit on this explanation if I was the audience, not author. It’s hard to explain — we just get each other. And it makes me happy when he is in town.

My absolute favorite part of our reunions is the initial meeting: I wrap my arms around his neck, and he will lift me up –he’s tall, 6’4″ maybe?, which leaves about a foot of airspace between my feet and the ground — and spin in a circle. I always laugh and he takes a few minutes to let go. He does this regardless of location –my family’s kitchen, a friend’s basement, or in last night’s case, the crowded bar’s outdoor patio while his dad, uncle, and brother-in-law looked on. But he knows it makes me laugh and he does it each time.

At his request, after my Wine Bar shift, I stopped at the bar where he was playing games with his (intoxicated) family and was immediately welcomed, teased and taunted into their clique. When his father or uncle would make remarks that I dirtily construed as euphemisms, he would pinch my waist, knowing exactly where my mind was.

At the end of the night, he told his family that, at 1am, we were going back to my place to “talk” which they said sounded like fun and hoped we had a good time. He said this without asking my permission, which was unneeded, because I had already assumed that he would come home with me – it’s kind of our MO and again, that awareness. Just like I didn’t hesitate or ask to sleep on top of him.

My place, just to be clear, right now is actually my parents’ house, which is a Catholic household – at least where my mom is concerned, which means that boys are not allowed in bedrooms, even at age 25. Guys can, however, “accidentally” fall asleep while watching a movie on the couch, which is the loophole we’ve always used.

The couch was small but luckily neither of us has personal-space issues (at least concerning the present company). For the five-minute movie-watching duration, I closed my eyes and he quoted the memorable lines into my ear. When he turned it off, I switched positions, without any verbal communication, because he’s a back-sleeper.

We discussed our current love lives with my leg draped over his, his arms around me, and my face breathing into his neck. When I asked what he thought I should do with my future, he answered, “Marry The Kid. You still love him.” This conclusion came after a deliberate exclusion of anything Kid-related and a deliberate up-selling of current prospects. This is one example when his ability to read me is annoying.

And again, I can’t really explain that. Just like I can’t explain how I didn’t get jealous when he received a late-night dirty text from his current lady friend. The thought of him with someone else? Oddly, no jealousy or territorial problems. And it’s not because I am not attracted to him — I got goosebumps when he grazed his nose under my ear.

As I am rereading this, I am trying to picture how an audience would construe these insightful details into our dynamic. If I was an outsider, I would call bullshit. Maybe it is. I get him, he gets me, we both want each other to be happy, and it’s either really fucking healthy or really fucked up – and even as the author, I can’t decide which.

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