The Date With My Crush’s Best Friend

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I honestly had no idea he liked me. I didn’t like him all that much but he was good enough. Tall and kind with thick forearms, honed from playing drums in a mediocre rock band. He dressed well: denim jacket and jeans, with an artfully tousled mop of blonde hair. He was what I like to deem a classic misfire — I’d liked his friend, let's call him T, for years.
We’d had an on-off thing, T and I, but timing always got in the way. Somehow I’d veered off course and met his best friend, S, smoking a cigarette on the balcony of a house party.
That night some unfortunate dancing ensued. S and I exchanged numbers, had a brief flirtation over text, then faded out of each other’s lives.
Almost a year went by and I’d all but forgotten about S until one day I found myself looking for a palate-cleanser.
I had something to get over — and what better way to do that than getting under someone else?
So when he messaged me on Facebook, this acquaintance of T’s, I answered immediately.

We went to a bar, consumed more wine, and I asked myself back to his place.

On a wet November evening, I found myself sitting opposite S in a Japanese restaurant, eating scallop sashimi and sipping red wine. We talked about music, mostly: the bands he toured with, the egotistic banter that ensued. We went to a bar, consumed more wine, and I asked myself back to his place.
He said yes and off we stumbled. When we got in the door, my heart skipped a beat. There on the chair in the living room was T’s coat, distinguishable by the faded back patch he’d sewn on himself with red string.
"Is that…T’s coat?" I stammered, forcing down a wave of nausea.
"Yeah, how do you know T?" S replied. "He lives here. He’ll be back in five, actually…"
Reader, they were the longest five minutes of my life — followed by five of the most awkward.
And yes, I still slept with S. Palate-cleanse successful. Love life, less so.

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