I was still giggling and drunk when Boss pulled up to my apartment building. He opened my door, unbuckled my seat belt, and put his arm around my waist to help me up. I could barely walk. All of the touching felt really, really good, so I whispered to him, “Do you want to come upstairs?” Then I giggled again.
He straightened up and took his arm off my waist as I fumbled with my keys. “Um,” he said quietly. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why not?” I said. “Because you’ll regret it in the morning?” I smirked.
He shook his head at me and said, “I don’t know, Aust3n. But can you make it up the stairs yourself?”
I raised my eyebrow at him. Did I mention that I realized right then that drinking makes me feel a little…loose? A lot loose, actually. “I don’t know if I can, Boss,” I said in my best seductive voice, and then I kissed him gently on the lips.
And right when I did, he pulled in to kiss me more and I pulled away. Because right then I remembered Ian. I remembered exactly how it would have felt to kiss Ian. Kissing Boss felt really good, almost primal, but kissing Ian never felt like that. Kissing him always felt like something…more. I stared at Boss’s lips thinking about his brother and quickly sobered up.
“Yes, I can make it up the steps myself,” I said, and muttered, “Goodnight, thanks,” as I shut the door in his face while I felt my heart breaking again, the same way it had been doing for the past week.
I locked my apartment door, slumped down on the ground, pulled out my phone and texted Boss. “Sorry,” I wrote.
My phone buzzed immediately. “For what? You did the right thing.”
I did? And if I did, why was he being so nice about it? The right thing was rarely the fun thing.
“OK. Thanks,” I texted back, and my phone almost immediately buzzed again.
“I’m glad you stopped,” he wrote. Then another text followed, “Because I want you to want to kiss me one of these days when you’re not drunk.”
Oh? Something inside me fluttered and I took a deep breath.
I thought of something to write back, but could think of nothing. Honestly, I wanted to text Ian and ask him about it, which is ridiculous. I’m never going to see Ian again, much less talk to him about dating. I missed him in that moment, but I know I did the right thing.
So instead, I sat down and started on my therapy assignment. My life list. I numbered the paper to ten and right next to the number one, while still thinking about Ian, I wrote, “Eat a meal at the French Laundry with my favorite person.”
I almost crumpled the paper and started over, but Mary told me that my items didn’t have to be things I thought I could do, just things I wanted to do. Maybe my favorite person would change.
So I kept the paper and kept writing.
And it wasn’t until I was done with them that I looked at my phone again and texted Boss. “Let’s go on a real date,” I wrote. Because I’d never asked anyone out on a date before, and it was number seven on my list.