Friend or Lover

Michael lived with me as a roommate for over two years. The first place we shared was a tiny 900 square foot top floor of a three level home that tipped slightly ocean side. It didn’t always lean. The landlord decided to do some much needed renovations, so he began to dig in the front without a city permit. When I asked if he had all the necessary inspections done, he scoffed at the idea and said he’s doing it himself and no one would be the wiser.

I came home one day and the place felt slightly off kilter. My home leaned enough that the doors would all shut without any help at all. But we loved it there. I could see the ocean from my bedroom and hear the waves at night. The moon’s reflection shimmering in the water is something I will never forget. I had a porch swing on the balcony and often slept out there, letting the seagulls wake me in the first light of the morning.

Michael and I got along well. He was a quiet man. He said he liked to ‘write stuff,’ when I questioned him about just what did he do in his bedroom at night? Bold question, I know. But, he never watched TV and I didn’t see any of his books around. So, hmmm, a writer too? We become friends. He became my confidante and many times I’d arrive home after a breakup or a dismal date and he’d listen and give me his slant on things.

I recall lamenting about a man whom we nicknamed, Papa Ray.

“He stopped the car and waited for a girl dressed in next to nothing to cross. She was like half a block away, Michael. There we are sitting and waiting for her. And then afterwards he grins at me and tells me he couldn’t help it. He had to get a look at her.”

“Adrienne, most men know better. Take me, for instance. I have a special attraction for blonds, with green eyes and pale skin (Yikes! That’s me!) and you can bet that I will notice a woman like that if she passes by me, but my girlfriend will never know it.”

“We all look, Michael. Women check out guys, but it is with great discretion that we do. Okay, most of us.”

I can talk with Michael about anything, sex included. He was/is a friend. There have been bedroom issues that have risen and I feel quite comfortable discussing them with him. He would know just after glancing at my face when something was wrong. He would also know if I didn’t want to discuss the matter. Living together gave us such insight to each other.

When I bought my condo I asked if he’d come with me and help me choose and he was more than willing. He’s a smart man having bought and sold many properties and he told me he’s never lost money. He agreed to move with me making this daunting decision and responsibility tolerable. Once moved in, he walked around with a screwdriver and tightened up cupboards for me. He figured out how to get the gas fireplace on.

He looks like Yul Brynner, tall, bald, even featured. His deep voice commands attention. He stands over six feet tall and he smells good. He presses his shirts for work and always looks presentable. But, he started as a friend and it’s difficult to cross over to anything else.

He moved out a few months ago. We’ve been texting ever since. My new female roommate saw him at the supermarket and remarked to me how ‘hot’ he was. I immediately texted him.

Hey Handsome. My new roommate saw you tonight and said she thinks your hot!

Are you saying you think I’m handsome?

Of course you are!

Okay, sexy. I’ll take that as a compliment.

That’s how it started. I had a serious problem at work that was causing me sleepless nights and he texted me for days and tried to bolster my morale and confidence in dealing with the issue. The night before I had an important meeting he asked what time I started work. I told him three o’clock. At two forty-five the next day on my drive to work, I received a note that read: good luck, Adrienne.

I told him last week that I was writing to a guy who wants to take his future partner on a world wind tour of Europe, all expenses paid.

I’ll take you to Frankfurt, but it will have to wait until April.

Okay!

In the meantime, want to meet at the Quay for lunch next week.

That’s a date.

Will you hold my hand?

Of course.

Well, then I will be forced to put my arm around you.

I had to stop at the store yesterday for a few items to pick up and I saw him by the dairy. I immediately turned and went the other way. I didn’t have lipstick on, and my hair needed to be brushed. All of a sudden I care about minor little details like this when Michael has seen me in fuzzy slippers with hair dye on my eyebrows!

“What have you done to yourself?” Michael asked when he arrived home and found me in my comfy house clothes, fuzzy slippers and hair dye on my eyebrows, looking a bit like Groucho Marx in drag.

“Oh! You mean the eyebrows? I’m dying them. Most women do.”

“You are getting way too comfortable around me,” he shook his head and wandered off to his room.

At the checkout I quickly paid and grabbed my bags and tried to escape out the south entrance, but there he was, looking quite… debonair, just like Yul.

No escape.

I walked by and tapped him on the shoulder.

“Hi, Michael.”

He looked up and smiled and I knew he’d seen me right from the start.

I’m meeting with him today for the first time on a date and I am apprehensive about it. He’s been such a buddy to me. If it doesn’t work, I lose him. But what if it does work? He’s got all the inside goods on me. He knows what I like and what I don’t. I gave that information quite freely. Funny, isn’t it? We lived together first and know we can co-habit. And now living apart we’re going for a coffee date.

Don’t you just love life?

 

Friend or Lover © 2011 Adrienne S Moody. Read the latest of Adrienne’s outdoor adventures and romantic exploits in her profile on Now.readthisplease.

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