The first thing I notice about Bryan when he arrives is that he is not afraid to look me in the eyes. I, however, am awkward and always am the one to look away, only to find him still ready to make eye contact. He complains that his feet hurt, and mine do too, so we just sit together on the couch. It’s obvious that he’s more of a talker than I am, and though he keeps finding things to bring up, I feel like I should be offering something more entertaining than sitting on my scratched up couch.
Bryan starts to tell me the story of his kayak incident, so I politely remind him that he already told me yesterday and say, “Remember? I snorted when you told me.”
He laughs tiredly. “Oh, yeah, sorry.” And although I know it’s a complete mistake, a thought flashes across my mind that makes me ashamed. I think, Is this all there is? I’m not one to talk, though, because I have no stories and no excitement whatsoever. He’ll probably get bored of me before I get bored of him.
I’m starting to tune him out because of my thoughts, but then he says, “I’m glad you decided to text me, even if it’s not because you find me extremely attractive and want to jump on this,” which makes me pay a little more attention.
I look to him shyly. He smiles. “I didn’t say that. I just think being friends is better for both of us.” He looks at me doubtfully. “Okay, better for me at least.”
We both laugh, embarrassed. I try to think of something else to say or maybe something to do since I’m the one who invited him. He leans forwards and takes off his shoes, faded purple/brown, puffy hair moving with him.
“Do you want to watch a movie or something?” I ask.
“Sure,” he answers, slumping down in his seat. “What should we watch?”
I bring up Netflix and hand him the remote. “Look through. I’m going to grab some food. Want any?”
“No, I’m okay. Thanks though.” He starts scrolling through movies, and when he reads about a certain movie, his thumb runs across all the buttons in a circle, concentrating.
I slice some cheese and grab crackers, making a neat, little circle on my plate.
“Can I ask you something?” Bryan says, more as a statement.
Assuming it’s about the movie, I say yes and sit down, bringing my knees up to hug my chest.
“I know you said you and that guy aren’t dating, but do you think you ever will?”
I look to him, thinking. Thinking about Scott and I’s shared kiss and other lovely things. “I really, really hope so.”
He nods, pink lips pressing together tightly, hiding his slightly crooked teeth. “This movie looks good.” He clicks play and doesn’t ask me any more questions.
We fall asleep right after the movie ends. Both of us worked all day, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s on my couch when I wake up at three in the morning. I sneak off to my bedroom to let him have the whole couch after turning off the television that had gone to its Samsung screensaver. I nestle into my own bed. Bryan is going to laugh so hard in the morning when he finds out he conked out on my couch.
I sleep later than I thought I would. It’s around nine when Bryan is in my room, whispering “Mitch” in an attempt to awaken me. My eyes squint open and I roll over to face him.
“Sorry to wake you up,” he starts off with and then I notice he’s holding my phone, “but someone was calling you this morning. It said Scott on the caller i.d. so I picked it up for you, figuring I could take a message. But that must be the name of the guy you like? Because…” He trails off and I sit up, rubbing my eyes.