I got to our designated meeting place on time, and Ex was already there. He rushed to help me take off my coat and instantly offered to buy me a drink. My eyes probably went a bit wide, and I'm guessing I went into emotional pull-back mode. This did not feel like a friendly hang-out. But I remembered what Good Friend had told me. That women can think he's interested in them when he's just being his "usual, charming self." But he kept complimenting me. Little things, but I don't know--I just got the sense that he was thinking this might be a date, or perhaps lead to one in the future.
I honestly can't quite remember what I was thinking at the time. Mostly, what was going through my head was, "Don't think of this guy as a dude. Think of him as Good Friend's Ex." I probably seemed somewhat uncomfortable. But then, I was. So I figured we'd go to a spot that's one of my "regulars" where I knew people, and where I felt sure we'd have an easier time just "hanging out."
That's when I had too much to drink. I hadn't planned on it, but I realize now I probably hadn't eaten enough beforehand. Then Ex kept ordering another round when I would have been ready to stop drinking. As will happen with the booziness, I loosened up. Ex sensed this, I'm sure. He asked me about our "date that's maybe not a date but maybe is a date." I hung my head, avoided looking him in the eye, and told him it wasn't a date, just hanging out. It couldn't be a date, because he was my Good Friend's Ex.
Ex protested that he and Good Friend had been "just friends" for a very long time. But I still hedged, and he relented. "Ok, we can just hang out," he said. "Are you having a good time?" I said that I was. "That's all that counts," he said.
But the hours kept on passing. Yes, hours. The date-not-date would last six and a half hours in total. At some point, he started telling me that I was "sexy." And meanwhile, I had learned that the guy is just a sweetheart. Kind, smart, passionate about what he does. If we had been on a date, it would have been a pretty fun date.
But when, at the bar, he kissed me, I pulled back. My head was fuzzy enough that I wanted to kiss him back, but not so fuzzy that I was ready to jeopardize a friendship over it.
He walked me home. And he kissed me again. And for a minute, I kissed back.
Then I pulled away, shoved the key in my lock, and yelled "Bad!" at him. I quickly forced the door shut behind me.
Minutes later, Ex texted me a very sweet goodnight, and said he looked forward to seeing me again.
I didn't text back.
Stay tuned for Part 3, in which I tell Good Friend everything the next day!