Her name was Olivia. She’d been my absolute best friend for twelve years and she had no idea how much I loved her.
It wasn't just a cliche. With Olivia, it was love at first sight. I'd never seen a girl so gorgeous and smart and down to Earth. That combination was damn near impossible. She was perfect.
She was perfect, but I was sixteen; I knew better than to go there. She was innocent and I had no interest in being innocent. Being her friend was selfish. I got the joy of her company without having to give her more. As much as I recognized her beauty, inside and out, I was too young to know what to even do with all of that.
In college I could tell it drove her crazy. I'd catch her staring when she thought I wouldn't notice. She was a little too giving and too caring. She behaved the way only a woman in love behaved. It made me feel like shit but what can I say? I was nineteen, twenty, too young and incapable of that sort of reciprocity. College campuses were a breeding ground for bad decisions and I was in no way willing to miss out on my share of scandalous mistakes.
The one time I tried to have a serious girlfriend, Maxine, she cheated and left without batting an eyelash. She solidified my theory that love was for the birds. Olivia was there for me; to this day, she's the only person to ever see me tear up. I appreciated her too much to risk losing that friendship for a love that I knew would ultimately fail. All love failed in the end and besides, my young dick had other plans.
But none of that matters now. Olivia is a grown woman. She sees through my bullshit and knows better than to want anything to do with me romantically. I don't catch her staring anymore. She's still giving and caring but not too giving, not too caring. She behaves as any other friend would, doesn't get too close, doesn't get too mushy. Like most mature woman she's smart enough to build that wall that protects her from assholes like me.
The only problem is I've grown too. I'm a man now, ready to put childish things behind me. I'm a man smart enough to see the true beauty in front of me. I'm a man in love with his best friend. Unfortunately, I'm also human and terrified of the inevitable rejection that would come with any sort of sentimental confession of love. For years I selfishly accepted her friendship. Now, I cling to it, the only chance I have to be close to her without blowing my cover. I try to suppress the way I feel, make sure not to stare too long, smile too wide, touch too playfully. But, it gets harder every day. I'm a man in love.
"I brought you a water anyway," she said, returning from the bar.
"I see you managed to stay afloat in the pussy sea."
"Stranger things have happened. And who knows, maybe this old dog could turn a new leaf."
We laughed together, her from sincere amusement, me with subdued discomfort.
I pulled her close to feel her body and hide my pained expression. I feared if she caught a glimpse of my eyes and asked me what was going on I'd confess my true feelings right there in the middle of that dance floor. Usher singing about what he wanted to do to his own love interest "In This Club" did not help the situation.
Our bodies pressed together and I tried to keep my manhood in check. It was hard to do. She wore a skin-tight, black dress with heels that forced her legs to go on for days. Burying my head in her neck I smelled the perfume she wore all the time. She was intoxicating, always was. We swayed and grooved and grinded to the music. She turned around and pushed her ass against me and continued to move like sex through a valley of sin. What the hell was she trying to do to me? I fought to contain myself. She had me too fucking hard. It was an impossible task. I gave in, refused to put space between us and allowed her to feel my girth. She paused for a split second but then kept on grooving. I wrapped my arms around her waist and pretended she was mine, really mine.
The next thing I knew the lights were on and the music stopped. Closing time already. The brightening room broke my trance and forced me to readjust my dick, no longer protected by darkness.
Olivia stepped away from me and offered up a friendly smile.
"You need a ride?" she asked, casually.
"No, I, um, came with Steve."
"Well, it doesn't look like you're leaving with him."
She nodded her head towards the crowded exit where Steve and Saundra were making out while making their way out of the door.
"Looks like we've been ditched again, buddy," she continued.
"What else is new?"
"Not a damn thing," she chuckled with me.
We were both still hot and sweaty. The chilled air blowing through her car window was sobering and refreshing.
"You're pretty quiet over there."
"Just enjoying this air."
"Sorry if I...ruined anything."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"By dancing with you all night. I was just playing around earlier. I don't want to stand in the way of any, you know, conquests."
"You sure about that?"
"Excuse me?" she asked, slightly blushing.
My heart skipped half of a beat but I continued anyway.
"You never? You know..."
She sounded almost defensive. Shit, this was a bad idea.
We came to a red light and sat in stilled silence. Olivia looked out her window and I looked at her. As her head turned back to check the traffic light I was sure to to remove my gaze in a timely fashion.
"Do you ever?" she eventually asked, still looking at the light.
"Because I don't. I meant what I said, I'm really not trying to get in the way."
I took a hard breath.
"Trust me, I know that," I stated plainly.
Another red light. Another hard silence. I knew she wasn't feeling me like that anymore but damn, she never even thought about it?
"I just don't want you thinking I'm like, obsessed with you, because I'm not. You have enough of these chicken heads running around making you feel too damn special."
"What the hell, Olivia? Are you trying to make me mad?"
"What?! I'm just saying you don't have to worry about me getting in the way!"
"Well, what if I told you I wanted you to get in the way?"
She furrowed her brow in confusion.
"What? Why would you want that?"
I ran my hands over my head and tried to figure out what to say next. Fuck. I was in too deep. Me and my damn mouth.
"I'm just not interested in it anymore. Girl after girl. Hook up after hook up. I'm tired of that shit."
"If you're serious, Luke, that's great for you. I just don't know what that has to do with me."
I bit my lip and wiped a sweaty palm into my jeans.
"We're here," she said.
"We're at your place."
I looked out the window and sure enough we were parked in front of my building.
"What are you doing for the rest of the night?" I asked her, the words flowing uncontrollably without filter.
"It's 3 o'clock in the morning, I'm going home, Luke."
"Come up for a quick second. I need to talk to you."
I opened the door and stepped out of the car before she could turn me down. Enough was enough. I needed her to know how I felt and I needed her to know now.