I wake up next to Mr. Danger and quickly climb off his bed without making much noise. I go to the restroom, splash cold water on my face and look at the mirror as I mouth the word, “Fuck!” I keep running all the details from last night over and over in my head but yet cannot come to any form of clear conclusion.
I sit on his bed and put on my sneakers. He is still fast asleep, breathing softly and grabbing on to his large pillow by his head. I consider waking him up and letting him know I’m leaving. But, really, what am I supposed to say?
“Oh, thanks for smoking me up, I can’t believe we smoked two bowls. I really liked hanging out with you and watching Cruel Intentions, while we talked nuzzled underneath your sheets. Sarah Michelle Gellar is such a psycho princess in that movie, right? Oh and thanks for suggesting that I should spend the night, even though I was kind of thinking that I should just be heading home when it started getting late and you hinted that you were ready to go to sleep. Oh wait, you didn’t say you were ready to go to sleep, you said you were ready to do something else. What did you have in mind exactly?
Then you turned the lights off and turned your back on me, but a few seconds later began rubbing your butt up against my thigh and caressing my lower leg with your feet. And when I rolled over and started spooning you and running my cold hands up and down your torso, you didn’t flinch away. Instead, you exhaled heavily. And then I started fingering the elastic on your boxer briefs and getting so close down to your crotch. But then I stopped. You noticed I stopped. And I turned over and closed my tired, drunk, stoned, delirious, horny eyes. But then, you rolled over and got so close to me that I could feel your breath on my cheek. And you began poking my hips with your knees. And when I turned my head to look at you, you didn’t look away. So I kissed you, and you kissed me back briefly, softly, before you closed your mouth, recoiled back gently and said, ‘We shouldn’t do this.’
Right, I shouldn’t have kissed you. And you shouldn’t have lied to me about lying to my best friend, you shouldn’t have had invited me over, asked me to spend the night, put your body so close to mine, teasing me to make a move. And I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
No, I don’t say anything. I just grab my phone and put on my jacket and leave, slamming his apartment door as I exit. If I can’t sleep in, neither should he.
It’s a beautiful day in Lakeview, I ponder as I dash to catch the train back to campus. The entire morning, I expect the worse from Mr. Danger, calling Captain Spirit and telling him his side of the story. “And then he tried to kiss me!” he’d say after manipulating the facts, just like he manipulated me, just like he manipulated Captain Spirit.
And it really gets to me. My entire young adult life, when it comes to friends, the one rule I’ve declared rigid solid, unforgivable if broken, is “bros before hos.” Silly as it sounds, it can shred. And after everything I knew and stood by, to throw it all away for a 2-minute kiss? I feel like I’ve cheated myself.
The only legitimate reason I can come up with to justify Mr. Danger’s actions is that he was using me maybe to end things with his boyfriend, inconsiderate of the possibility that his actions might also ends things for me and my best friend. No, not his actions. Mine too. Fuck. But surely, there are easier ways to break off a relationship that do not involve setting up a trap. And in between all these rundowns of possible scenarios, my mind keeps lingering on what a great time I had hanging out with Mr. Danger, talking, smoking and watching the movie, before things got sticky.
I get back to my apartment and check my e-mail. And there it is. A notification from Facebook. Mr. Danger had written on my wall just mere minutes ago.
“Why the escape? Did an alarm go off?”
I’m positive that there’s some part of Mr. Danger that wants to get caught. That night at Sonotheque, I expect a hell blaze. An impending confrontation with Mr. Danger and with Captain Spirit, I’m ready to defend my loyalty, wavering as it might seem. I put on my second favorite pair of jeans, just in case drinks come flying at me during the course of the night.
Captain Spirit shows up alone. I’m relieved that I won’t have to deal with Mr. Danger just yet, but worried that his absence might suggest build up for a looming resolution even more explosive than I had planned for.
“Where is Mr. Danger? I thought you said he was coming with you tonight?” I ask even though I had told myself not to ask.
“He’s staying in tonight,” Captain Spirit answers without even a hint of suspicion. “I think we wore him out last night!”
But as the night progresses, I realize that Captain Spirit is clueless as to my whereabouts the night before and not a bit curious either. He would have mentioned something, if he thought something was off. Thankfully, I regain some emotional stability to enjoy the last hours at the club. Captain Spirit and I are standing by the bar, waiting for another round when he says, “I think I’m going to try to be single for a while.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“I’m serious. All these guys, even when I know it’s not going anywhere, I keep investing so much. It’s so draining.”
“Oh come on! You always get the most devoted, reliable puppy dogs going crazy over you! All of your past boyfriends were upfront about how they felt, never played games. What more do you want?”
“I don’t know, I feel like something has been missing. And I keep buckling down each time a decent guy comes around. I don’t even know if they’re right. Or what I want, what I’m missing.”
“You’re happiest in a committed relationship. It’s in your DNA. You’re the boyfriend type and I’m the type who…” I stop and I can’t say it. It suddenly comes pouring over me—a drunken retrospective of my dating life so drenched in disaster.
“You’re the type who never settles,” finishes Captain Spirit with an emotional tissue to wipe away my self-pity like only a best friend could. “That’s what I’m missing, the one thing you always go for: sparks.”
“Sparks tend to combust,” I reply.
“Sometimes, but it’s better than faking interest in someone out of fear of being alone.”
“Yeah, but aren’t we alone now?” I ask raising an eyebrow and looking around the crowded club.
“No way!” Captain Spirit responds immediately. He’s still a little frightened of being alone. “We are… in transition,” he says after careful deliberation.
“In transition,” I repeat with emphasis. I’m liking the term. “And all we need is sparks to launch the rocket.”
“All we need is sparks,” he repeats.
As we make for the exit right before closing time, I turn to Captain Spirit and thank him for coming out. I had never felt the need to do that before, but for some reason, tonight, it feels like I should.
“Of course,” he says a little thrown off by my formal regards. “You planned this whole thing, you know I wouldn’t miss it.”
Captain Spirit was right that night. We weren’t alone.
The thing about sparks is that sometimes they’re actually an alarm signaling for you to run in the opposite direction. And sometimes, they can be going off right in front of you without you even realizing they’re real.