She’s single again, the one they all used to want. In high school, she accommodated, and without drama or kissing-and-telling, she dated most of the group’s guys, however briefly. Save for one. I was fine with her favorite-among-the-guys status, as all the girls were, not only because she is so wonderful, but because I didn’t want any of them; none of them made me smile. Save for one.

In college, we would hang out on school breaks – the high-school clique– and pretend we were still friends. During one such occasion, The Bestest Friend and I secluded ourselves at the bar, whispering and calling dibs on the guys. She named her favorite, as he always was, and I named mine, as he always was. We were soon found in the dark corner, and being inclusive, we shared our giggling and tales of dib-calling with our discoverer. She took a turn, and re-called my dibs. The resulting uncomfortable undercurrent was enough to keep my distance from both of them, insecurities aflame, and not surprisingly, he slept next to her that night.

For whatever reason, he and I stayed close, closer than the rest. Eventually the group gave up the act of hanging out in groups during college breaks, but he and I still hung out, just as us, doing nothing things. We watched late movies, sharing the couch, or played darts in his parents’ basement. It was never anything more, and usually one or both of us was in a relationship –and happy in our respective relationships. He remained friends with her, too, but on a different level. When she was dateless for a wedding, she asked him to fly home to be that date; they went as friends, but he was disappointed to learn of a new boyfriend.

Last year, when she and I were both bridesmaids at a friend’s wedding, the four of us –her, him, me, her at-the-time boyfriend – shared a hotel room; come morning, he and I were in a different room. She never asked about that night, and I never told.

I also never told that he and I were planning a trip of international proportions. Unbeknownst to me, she was also planning an international trip with a girlfriend during the same timeframe, and even though I had lived in Italy, she never called for travel advice. Omissions weren’t deliberate; life was busy, and phone calls were few. Once we returned, trip details were displayed through pictures online.

Last night was the first time she and I have talked in a long time. I’ve missed her. He came up, as a byproduct of life experiences, and I continued to play the safe friend card, as he and I are. Didn’t mention anything more, not that I would lie, but as I was often draped over him in the Facebook pictures, figured the topic might come up. It didn’t.

She asked if I had fun traveling with him. I said yes.
She asked if I would travel with him again. I said yes.

She asked if the three of us could travel somewhere. Together. “Someplace like India or Japan – you, me and him should all take a trip to India, wouldn’t that be so much fun?”

The three of us traveling together. Fun might not be the exact word I would’ve chosen to use right there, and I am wondering in whose weird, awkward world that word would be a proper fit. She’s going to bring it up when he’s in town next week, to see if he’d be game, and I’m too irrationally vested and ingrained from historical patterns to not be scared of the result.

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