Best Boy was coming over my place for the first time in seven weeks. (I wasn't sure of his motivation for doing so, but I thankfully didn't have time to overanalyze the situation.) When he arrived, I introduced him to my friend, Carly. They exchanged pleasantries before she headed home.
Once Best Boy and I were alone, it was like no time had passed since our last interaction. His smile was warm, and the conversation was easy.
I had a craving for chicken tenders while I was recouping from chemotherapy, and he had offered to pick some up for me. Best Boy went into the kitchen to put the tenders on a plate, and I realized how touching this simple act was. Despite the fact that I had told him that we could no longer sleep together, Best Boy remained giving and kind. (At a time when I was feeling sick and vulnerable, that was just what the doctor ordered!)
When I was finished eating, he reached for my hand, as we watched the game. At the next commercial break, he moved toward me, kissing me softly and gently. A part of me wanted to continue, but a larger part of me worried about my relationship with Mr. Agency. I pulled my lips away and said:
I’m still seeing Mr. Agency, which was why I told you over the phone that we couldn’t mess around.
Best Boy: Okay.
Me [pausing]: But, I've missed you. [He smiles.] I just don't know if we could be anything more than we were, given our history. [Pause.] And, it's not like you're looking for a relationship. [He had said that back in August.]
Best Boy: Well, I’m not looking to be in a bad relationship. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be in a relationship if it was right. I just know that I’ve lost my focus and gotten caught up in a lot of unnecessary drama in past relationships. I don't want to be in that situation again.
Me: I can appreciate that. I guess I’m trying to figure out what I want right now.
Best Boy: I think you change what you want every week! [We laugh.]
Me: Yeah, I won’t disagree with you. All bets are off during chemo. [Pause.] I just don't know if it's even possible for us to be more than friends or friends with benefits. So much would need to happen for us to work. I’d need to figure things out with Mr. Agency. [I use hand gestures to accentuate each point.] Then, we’d need to figure out if we want the same things. And then, if we do, you’d need to stop hanging out with Melanie*. (Based on Facebook comments, it appeared as though he and Melanie had been spending time together as more than just friends. Best Boy's facial expression seems to confirm that what I had gleaned from Facebook was correct.) And then, if all that happens, you’d have to talk to Mr. Exec. I really wouldn’t envy you for that conversation. [He nods.] That’s a lot of stuff!
Best Boy: It is.
In processing my thoughts out loud with Best Boy, I came to the conclusion that I first needed to decide if I wanted to continue my relationship with Mr. Agency. I mentioned to Best Boy that I wasn’t sure if Mr. Agency’s work schedule and my needs during treatment were compatible.
Me: I just need to talk to him and figure things out.
Our eyes became heavy, as the end of the basketball game neared.
Me: You can either stay on the couch or come into the bedroom with me. But, if you just want to keep me up all night, then you should probably sleep on the couch. I need some rest! [We laugh.]
Best Boy: I'm tired, too. Let me walk Nutter and then we can go to sleep.
After he came to bed, we fell asleep with our arms around each other. I felt safe…and confused. I had thought that Best Boy and I were never meant to be more than friends. And, I had thought that Mr. Agency would continue to be there for me like he had been early on in our relationship. But now, Mr. Agency was rarely around, and Best Boy was giving me just what I needed.
I needed some clarity about the situation and was thankful that the coming days would give me just that.
To be continued…
* I gave Best Boy's girl the nickname of "Melanie." In retrospect, that might have been confusing since my web designer's real name is Melanie. They are not one in the same.