Friday, April 18, 2014

Just Friends

I've spent the past few days unpacking and settling in at my new place.  I have the basics (couch, bed, dishes) but I basically started from scratch.  I plan on checking out a few thrift stores for fun items or small furniture.  As a kid, I always loved going to yard sales and rummage sales with my grandma.  I would sort through books, toys and random items.  It's safe to say that at least a third of my current wardrobe has been accrued through thrifting.  I just love finding unique items, especially for cheap.  I'm wary of buying bedding or upholstered furniture through second-hand stores, though, which is why I splurged on a brand new couch and mattress.  I'm hoping to find a coffee table, a nightstand, maybe a cool lamp or some decorative things.  I'm excited to make the place my own.

I found myself daydreaming about thrifting instead of focusing on my work.  I forced my mind to get back on track and busied myself with my daily reports.  Really, I just felt antsy for the work-day to end.  Don't get me wrong, I like my job and I have a strong work ethic, but I'm planning on making dinner for Eric tonight for the first time.  He's meeting me at my apartment around 9:30pm.  It's funny to think we are both so accustomed to eating dinner that late.  Just a few months ago, I would've balked at the idea of having dinner any later than 7.

The day ended up going by quicker than I thought it would.  My day had run smoothly and efficiently, and I soon found myself waving goodbye to a few coworkers as I clocked out and headed home.

Eric and I were snuggled up on the couch after dinner.  I'd prepared homemade Alfredo sauce over fettuccini, topped with garlic butter shrimp and finely shredded Parmesan.  He had complimented me on the meal, kissing me softly while he thanked me for dinner.  It felt so normal and domestic.  I'd missed cooking for someone else.  I loved watching people enjoy a meal I'd prepared for them.  I hadn't done much cooking while living with Kate and hadn't realized until now just how much I'd missed doing so.

We talked about our respective days, unwinding together.  Eric had his fingers laced through mine, stroking small circles on the back of my hand with his thumb.  I sighed in contentment, leaning my head on his shoulder.  Eric apologized for not helping me move in, and I assured him I'd had plenty of help between Dale, Kate and Rob.

At the mention of Rob's name, I felt his body stiffen, almost imperceptibly.

"Rob's your neighbor?" he asked.  I could tell he was trying to sound casual, but wasn't exactly succeeding.  I know I'd made reference to Rob before.  I'd mentioned how he'd helped me out that night when Michael had shown up drunk at Kate's door.  I'd also mentioned how his sister was a lawyer and had offered to help me out.  I'd even mentioned that he'd accompanied me to game night.  Why Eric was playing clueless, I had no idea.

"Well, not anymore.  He's Kate's neighbor.  But he's also my friend." I offered. "I know I've mentioned him to you."

"Friend.  Hm." was the response I received.  His tone was curt, hard to read.  I noticed that he'd stopped rubbing the back of my hand, and I sat up, turning to face him.

"Yes, 'friend'." I parroted.  We'd been having such a lovely night together, but things seemed tense now.  I was genuinely confused by Eric's reaction.  I blinked slowly, studying his face, hoping for some hint as to what was going through his mind.

"And he knows he's just a friend?" Eric inquired, raising an eyebrow.

I couldn't help it, I laughed.  I'm one of those people who laughs when nervous or faced with an awkward or mildly uncomfortable situation.  Eric scowled a bit, seeming confused by the fact that I was laughing.

I shook my head, trying to regain my composure.

"Yes, Eric, he knows he's just a friend.  He's a good guy, he looks out for me.  And he knows I'm dating you, by the way.  Oh, and he thought Kate and I were a couple when we first met, so it's not like he helped me out thinking he'd get in my pants." I squeezed his hand reassuringly.  His face softened a bit.

"Well, if he's such a good friend, I'd like to meet him and thank him for keeping you safe."

I leaned in and kissed Eric, happy with his response.  He was visibly more relaxed.  I'm not sure if he was feeling jealous or threatened by my friendship with Rob, or maybe he was just feeling insecure.  Despite the fact that we've been talking for months now, the "exclusive" label is brand new.

"I'd like that, I really would," I said softly, meeting his eyes.  I could almost feel the tension leaving the room.  Eric wrapped an arm around me, pulling me closer.

"Sorry for being weird just now," he murmured, kissing my temple.  We sat that way in relative silence for a long while.  I only realized I'd fallen asleep when Eric woke me up to tell me to come to bed.

** Apologies for a somewhat short post. It was my birthday this week and I slacked a bit on writing in advance.  Keep an eye out for a bonus post next week! **


  1. I'm not sure if its possible or not, but is there any way the baby could be eric's?

    1. No, Emma was already pregnant when she met Eric, she just didn't know it yet.

  2. Happy birthday!!

  3. Have a wonderful birthday!! mum