“So Ian is coming here now?” Sarah asked while I folded a blanket and put it at the end of the sofa. I nodded at her but avoided eye contact. “And he’s going to sleep on the sofa?” I nodded again. “And you’re just going to be friends?” She said, this time her voice dripping with disbelief.
“Stop it! I get it! You don’t think Ian and I can be friends!”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t think Ian can be friends with you. I think you can be friends with him.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that he’s crazy about you. Why isn’t he staying with his brother?”
I shrugged, because I didn’t have an answer.
“It’s because he’s crazy about you.”
“I think he has a thing with this girl in Portland.”
“The blonde hipster? No.” Her mouth puckered.
“Do you have some kind of inside scoop into his brain that I don’t know about?”
Sarah looked away and bit her lip while remaining quiet. She seemed oddly nervous. “Sarah?”
“So, what are you two going to do as ‘just friends’?” she asked while making air quotes.
“I thought we’d go out to eat and maybe I’d cook and we’d hang out on the sofa and watch some movies. And talk. I dunno, nothing big.”
“So he’s coming up from Portland to hang out on your sofa and watch movies and talk with you, and he sends you romantic texts, and you don’t think this is weird at all?”
“He doesn’t send me romantic texts!” I screamed, completely frustrated. “Besides, he told me there’s something important he wants to tell me. I think that’s the real reason he’s coming up.”
“I hope he just gets it over with, or leaves you alone completely. This in between is driving us all nuts.”
“In between WHAT, Sarah?” I gritted my teeth and said, “Ian and I are not dating. It didn’t work. It was a disaster, OK? It was nice for about five seconds and the rest of the time it was me not telling him things and him not telling me things. Ever since we decided to be friends it’s been fantastic. Stop pushing it, OK?”
“OK,” Sarah said, her hands up in the air as if surrendering. “Just…just do me a favor?”
“What?” I asked, suddenly very tired of this conversation.
“Ask him what he wants to do, not what he feels like he should do.”
“What does that mean?”
“Just ask him?”
“OK,” I said. I glanced at my phone and saw a text. Ian was in the city and less than ten minutes away, and my heart beat picked up at the thought of seeing him so soon, and then my stomach twisted at what Sarah had said. Weren’t we better as friends? Or should I push for more?