11.30.2011All those yesterdays
“Oh yes,” Sarah said, the sparkles in her eyes intensifying every second, “and I have so much to catch up on.”
“All those years wasted on men. Such a shame.”
“I wouldn’t say wasted. Arif and I have two children. In fact, if it weren’t for them, I would have left Manchester already.”
“Where to? San Francisco? Portland?”
“No, silly, London, of course.” I was glad I didn’t have to entertain the possibility of Sarah relocating to London, glad the temptation would end tonight. The way she looked at me, her hair all shiny and her eyes twinkling with the promise of hours – possibly even days, or weeks – of freshly liberated sensuality, proved to be an unexpected test. I grabbed my phone out of my blazer pocket and showed her a picture of Lou. “Is it serious?” she asked.
“People keep asking me that, as if I couldn’t be serious about a girl. It’s all I’ve bloody ever wanted.”
“You know why I’m asking though, don’t you?” She tilted her head down and ran her fingers through her hair, then looked up again with the most sultry bat of an eye-lash I had ever witnessed. “I have such fond memories of that night.”
“Yeah, that was quite something. The way you threw yourself at me.” And that was the old Sarah, I thought. Who knew what the new one would be like? “Lou and I are exclusive, though. No more of that open relationship bullshit for me, thank you very much.”
“She’s a lucky woman.”
“I’m the lucky one.”
“And I just ran out of luck.” She shot me a shy glance, one reminiscent of her former, pre-success, pre-coming out self. That one was the hardest to resist.
“Are you kidding me? Look at you. Women will be throwing themselves at you. I can take you to this club and there won’t be a dry–” She put her hand on mine and adjusted her pose, as if retreating into her more reserved persona.
“It’s OK, Lee. Maybe this weekend. We’ll see.”
After dinner I walked her to Vivian’s townhouse in silence.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come in?” she asked. “Vivian’s not home, if that’s what you’re worried about.” I shook my head. Vivian was the last of my concerns.
“I’ll call you Friday evening. I’ll introduce you to Lou.”
“Can’t wait,” she said and covered my ears with her mittened hands. Then she kissed me on the forehead. “Thank you, Lee. For everything.” She quickly disappeared into the warmth of the house and I rushed off home. Once back in my room I couldn’t settle down, couldn’t find peace. I called Lou.
“Hey, aren’t you off on some date?” she joked.
“I love you, Lou.” I said it without thinking, and for the first time.
“Is that the reason for your call?” Her voice seeped into my ear, all gooey and full of lust.
“No, obviously this is a booty call.”
“OK, I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”
“Great.” I hesitated to put the phone down. Surely this couldn’t be the end of this conversation.
“Hey,” she said and it was as if I could feel my blood go hot as it rushed to my cheeks, flushing them the brightest, silliest red ever. “Me too.”
To be continued…