She sat at a table in the bar, nervously fidgeting, awaiting his arrival. The thought that she shouldn’t be here kept running through her head. She had pushed her chair away from the table to make her escape at least half a dozen times, but she couldn’t go. They were finally going to meet, finally going to speak face to face, and finally going to be within arm’s reach.
They had met online. It all began innocently enough, just friendly exchanges between likeminded people. The casual conversation gave way to flirting that had increased slowly over time. He had finally asked for a less public way for them to speak. She agonized over whether to give him her email, but the desire to see where this would go got the better of her. Emails quickly led to phone calls. They knew they were heading toward disaster, but they both kept right on driving
Her husband and his wife didn’t know anything about this blossoming friendship. How could they? Neither would understand. Neither would accept that they were just friends. So they had to be kept in the dark, for everyone’s wellbeing. At least, that is what they told themselves and each other.
So tonight, she waited. They had decided it would be safe to meet somewhere neutral, just to share one drink and some conversation. She had arrived early. It allowed her plenty of time to flee if she decided she needed to. The extra time served only to increase her anxiety and worry. What if he didn’t show up? What if he changed his mind? What if he was disappointed when they finally met? What if…
She inhaled sharply as he walked through the front door. She knew it was him instantly from the descriptions they had shared. He seemed to be drawn directly to her too. Both stared. Both smiled. Both quivered.
He made his way across the room to her table and they exchanged a friendly hug. He held out her chair so she could sit again and they began a frantic conversation about everything and nothing at all. They smiled, laughed, shared and consumed everything the other had to say. While sharing a story of sadness, he reached out and touched her hand in comfort. They both froze, locking eyes, desperately search the others face for a signal about what to do next. They both settled back into their seats, resumed their conversation, but neither moved their hand.
Before either one knew it, hours had passed. The startling realization caused both to pull away their hands and stand up from their seats. They discussed how it had been so nice to finally meet. Maybe they could do it again sometime. He paid the tab, offered to walk her to her car and they exited the building.
She stopped at her vehicle and thanked him for the drink and lovely conversation. He locked his eyes on hers and gave her a whispered “Your welcome.” They both stood, motionless, silent, trembling. The silence was broken by two words from him, “Awe Hell,” and he leaned in, placing his hands on either side of her flushed face and kissed her. Her body gave way, as did her lips, and they allowed themselves to indulge willingly in unwise desires. A line was crossed, and they would never be just friends, ever again.