Seth comes over early today, the day Lance is leaving. He knows about the relationship I've had with him, and like he always, Seth is all too forgiving.
I had sex with his former best friend, and he's still willing to have a relationship with me. This man will never cease to amaze me.
We haven't totally defined what our relationship is right now, though. The last time we kissed – and kind of the first time – was at the pool, which isn't a definite I want to be your boyfriend statement. And with all things considered, I wouldn't be stunned if the only kind of relationship he wants with me is the good-friend, mother-of-my-child type.
But some of the things he does, almost absent-mindedly it seems, is so boyfriend-like. It's as if even though he doesn't remember our time together, his body does. The way he'll lightly push my bangs out of my eyes, or the way he looks at me when I'm talking to him, making me feel like the only person in the room.
Or the way he's hugging me right now. So intimately, but so innocent at the same time, because he somehow knows that a simple hug is all that I really need right now. I breathe in deeply and inhale his musky scent, a slight smile forming on my lips.
I'm the one to pull away. It still gets to me when I realize that he's only known me for three weeks.
But I think that ever since the pool date, and when he heard our song in his car, he's been trying to be sympathetic. He knows this has to be hard for me, but I feel bad that he feels bad.
“Thank you,” I say, looking up at him with a sweet smile.
He just shrugs. “How are you feeling?”
“I don't know. I just don't want to say goodbye.”
Seth brings me in tighter this time. “There's always phone calls, and letters, and e-mails, and Facebooking. And you'll be so busy with SJ that you'll forget to miss him.”
I'm so grateful for him. Even if he turns out to be just a friend, it's more than I could have ever dreamed of a month ago. “You're the best.”
I playfully punch him in the arm, as SJ comes running around the corner. “Mom, can you keep a secret?”
“Can Seth hear it, too?”
He looks to Seth, and thinks about it for all of two seconds. “Duh, he's my friend.”
I like the sound of that. “I might miss Lance a little.”
Seth just laughs, and heads into the kitchen. “Just a little?”
“He was good at playing the guitar.”
At that moment, a knock on the door erupts through the house. I ruffle my son's hair lovingly, and then practically run to the front door.
I open it and see Lance standing there with his arms stretched out widely, as if knowing exactly what I was going to do. I jump into his waiting arms.
“I'm so gonna miss you.” I tell him.
He buries his face in my hair. “Me too. You have my number, right?”
Like best friends, we just stand there, hugging like crazy for a good couple of minutes. I can't hug him enough right now.
“If I could take you with me, I would.”
I finally let go of him and wipe off the few stray tears running down my cheeks. “No way, I could never live with you again.”
I catch Lance looking over my shoulder at Seth, and I know that the rest of my goodbye is going to have to wait a little while. I scoop up SJ, and bring him into his room, where I try to distract him so that Lance and Seth can talk.
“You're trying to distract me, aren't you?” I narrow my eyes at my too-smart eight year old. “Do you want me to be quiet so you can listen in.”
“Shut up, I don't listen in to other people's conversations.”
He rolls his eyes. “Whatever you say, Mom.”
I don't try to make out what the boys in the other room are saying to one another.
I know that in girl words, the conversation would probably go along these lines:
Lance: OMG, Seth, I'm so so so sorry about everything. I should have called you, and I probably shouldn't have slept with your ex-girlfriend, who you loved at one point in time.
Seth: I don't know if I can forgive you for that. You were my best friend!
Lance: I know, and I'm really, really sorry. Pinky promise I'll never do it again.
A little disturbing when I think about it, but it's how an apology would work between me and Cheyenne.
Realistically, it probably went something like this:
Lance: Sorry, man.
Seth: We're cool.
Once I'm sure I've given them enough time, I allow myself back out into the living room. When I walk in, they're laughing about something.
Seth and Lance bring me into the conversation, and I begin to feel this sense of contentment. Like, even though Lance is about to leave for a pretty long while, and me and Seth still have to decide where we're headed, in this moment, right here and now, things are actually perfect. And SJ sitting close to the other two important men in my life, is just the icing on the cake.
Lance gone. SJ is asleep. Which means that everything is kind of at peace right now.
I'm laying on the grass outside the apartment complex, staring up the stars. Seth lays next to me.
Stars are something that a lot of people take for granted. I wonder if they were alive, if they would take people for granted, too. Like, if they would be the most peaceful beings up in the sky, looking down at us humans and thinking how seriously screwed up we make ourselves. They'd probably be laughing.
Or would they want to be us? Would they be bored with being so peaceful?
Would I be bored if my life was so non-hectic and so non-exciting like the life of a star? Yes.
As Seth and I just lay there, my eyes get all narrow, and my eyebrows scrunch up.
Seth hands me another sour gummy worm, but not wanting to do something as simple as lift my hand up, I open my mouth. Without speaking a word to me, and keeping the serene silence between us, he drops it into my mouth. I chew.
I don't think about what I do next, I just kind of do it. I unscrunch my eyebrows firstly, then turn my head to look at Seth. He wears the same expression as I did a second ago.
About what, I have no idea. But I know that look. I've seen it so many times on his glorious face. Quietly and slowly, as to not disturb the grass beneath us, I get up and gracefully move myself so that my face hovers over his.
There's a moment – maybe a second – where we just stay like that. Hovering.
And then I kiss him. It's slow and sweet, and he tastes like the sour stuff covering the gummy worms. He kisses me back.
Seth's lips are as I remember them two weeks ago at the pool and nine years ago on his driveway. The contours of his lips shape mine, and I can't but think that their a perfect fit.
A/N: One more chapter and then the epilogue.(;