2 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS
Probably for the first time since we’re friends, we were all sitting properly onto the sofas, silence reigning, as it had for the past 30 minutes. 30 long minutes of silence. Not even while watching a crucial match we’ve gotten to that, I swear.
Yet now here we were, sitting quietly, all staring at one, single, thing: the white cup in the middle of the coffee table. Inside that cup, six pieces of paper, each bearing a word. Just ... one. The one word that might alter our friendship for good, either for the better or the worst.
Let me take a step back. Remember that night at my place, ten days ago? What we discussed? Yeah? Then you may know what those pieces of papers say.
Yes, you got that right. On each of those pieces of papers were written our most secret fantasies, the one thing we desire the most but have never dared say.
When we got together tonight, we had dinner, as usual, we usually do almost every night, but this one was different. There wasn’t the same carefree aura, the whole night was coated in both anticipation and worry. I guess I wasn’t the only one concerned about the future of our friendship.
Even Liam was more silent than usual, and his eyes kept travelling to me more often, which ... had me perceive what he may have written in his piece of paper, but I’d rather not dwell upon it more than due.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m not Liam’s most secret desire, maybe he secretly fancies ... I don’t know, having a gay encounter, and he wonders what will I think of it? Does that sound likely enough?
We spent these past hours trying to lighten the mood, be normal, but never quite able to be our weird selves. Sure, we bantered and laughed, but there was always that odd aura surrounding the room ... and now we got to the climax.
Yesterday Melissa sent us all a text, telling us to grab a piece of paper and a pen, and write down our most secret desire, that fantasy we’ve had more often, the one we really, really would love to see become reality. Those papers, at the end of the dinner tonight, we put them into that cup, and now there they were, swimming around in that void sea, relentlessly floating in each of our minds.
“Alright, this is ridiculous.” Liam snapped, leaping to his feet. “We’ve been friends for years, we’ve shared practically everything. There are no secrets amongst us, are there?” We girls eyed each other, not that unnoticeably. “Except for those the ladies keep, right.” Liam added, catching us in foul.
The secrets we keep aren’t so big, they’re just ... girly things the boys don’t necessarily need to know, that’s all. Plus some ... sexy details they better not be aware of. Like ... the fact that we’ve graded all three of them based on looks, or that the girls have a rank regarding which of the guys would they sleep with if given the chance.
Like ... the wet dreams Melissa has had about Liam, or the moans Natasha holds back every time Caleb’s fingertips brush her skin even involuntarily, or ... the lesbian adventures I’ve had in college and of which the guys don’t know.
Like... the fact that during our girls nights we drink wine and buy weird stuff online, or the fact that Natasha’s been thinking of Caleb every time she has sex since two years at least, or the fact that she sometimes masturbates imagining it’s him to be fucking her.
In a word, we girls keep extremely secret all those not very decent thoughts we have about the guys. I’m sure they do the same about us, so I guess that, in the end, Melissa was right, the sexual pull in our group is pretty strong and it might have condemned us someday. Good thing we’re giving in, huh?
It was fun having Liam try to find out anyways. This week even Ethan broke our ‘no talk after sex’ unspoken deal to ask me about those secrets.
“It’s safe to say we’re a unite group, without problems whatsoever, so what’s holding us back?” Liam wondered, pretty serious.
None of us answered, but I bet we all agreed. What’s holding us back? They say that, the friends you make until you’re 23, they’re all temporary, but I tell you, these people here, each and every single one of them, I will grow old with them.
Even if we might part one day, we will not split, we might live in separate places, but we’ll always get together for our dinners, maybe not thrice a week, instead twice or thrice a month, but we will. We’re making it now that we’re all busy with our things, it’s gonna work later as well, I’m sure. So what’s holding us back?
“Alright.” Melissa spoke up, standing. “I came up with it, I’ll have the honor.”
We all agreed. It’s strange, when we agreed to it we were all so excited, now we all felt ... nervous. I can’t speak for the others, but I was beyond nervous, I was kinda scared. One thing is to gape at them and daydream, the other is to actually find myself in a room with them doing to me what I fancy.
Liam grabbed the cup, and handed it over to Melissa. When she put her hand inside, we all held in our breaths. Ethan was sitting right beside me, and while I wasn’t directly looking at him, I could tell he was nervous, too, opposite to his usual impassive stance, which was a telltale sign that even he has dirty secrets.
Not that I doubted he would have a kinky side, I mean, I’ve been sleeping with the guy for four years now, and I can tell you he’s quite ... creative in bed. Well, he’s creative of his own, I mean, Ethan is a writer. He writes scripts for theatre, lately he’s writing a novel. Surprising, if you think you wouldn’t exactly peg him for the intellectual type.
I’ll admit I had a crush on him when we first met. He’s two years older, so when I started playing in the soccer team he was already a senior. I met him only after Liam and I became friends. At first, when I went over to their place, for either practice or simply homework or both, Ethan and I would always bicker. It seemed we just couldn’t stand each other.
He just never knew it was all a trick. I was jealous of the girls he would take to his room every afternoon after school. So I would always put up a fight with him, officially because he annoyed the heck out of me, actually because ... well, I wanted to distract him from the whatever girl waiting for him in his bedroom.
I grew out of that crush quite soon, don’t worry, so we became good friends, it was only after his graduation that we decided to date. We were both drunk off our ass at his graduation party, and we wound up screwing, then a couple of days later he came to me, saying he ought to confess one thing: by the time I’d dragged him into the bedroom, he’d mostly sobered up, while I was wasted, therefore he felt guilty, because it was as if he’d taken advantage of me ...
I laughed it off, saying I could remember how sex with him was, so I wasn’t that wasted, I was lucid enough to be perfectly aware of whom was I screwing. However ... if he really felt like apologizing, he could take me out on a date. It was a mere joke, but he took me literally.
Thinking back, our whole relationship has been nothing but a game. I guess that’s why it didn’t work, we weren’t serious since the beginning, if we dragged it on, it was only because we loved sex with each other.
Starting to date was easy, breaking up was easy, the sole difficult thing is to cease sleeping together, I think. You could ask me anything, but to renounce to sex with Ethan? Eh, you’d have to give me one hell of a good reason.
I guess you could say I’m addicted, and if I had to judge by the length of his relationships after me, I’d have to say he’s got my same trouble.
I’ll admit that these days I’ve tried to guess what my friends’ fantasies could be and whom they might involve, but I got distracted by Liam’s weird looks every time, added to Melissa’s ones, so I didn’t really come up with any real ideas, except for, does Liam really want to screw me? And does Melissa really fancy turning lesbian for me?
“Okay, here goes nothing.” Melissa announced, somewhat solemn. She bit her pink lips as she unfolded the first piece of paper, and the moment she read it, her eyes widened.
“What is it?” Caleb asked, curious.
Melissa cleared her throat. “Um ... there’s just one word, actually.” She mentioned, refusing to look at either of us.
“It can’t be that bad, Mel, come on.” I encouraged, though nervous. What if the toop my paper? It’s not really hard to guess for the girls.
“It’s not that ... I just think it’s best if I don’t look at you guys while reading. This way you can’t tell whose paper is it, right?” Melissa claimed.
We all murmured in agreement, and she took a deep breath, neatly folding the piece of paper in her hand, then placing it into her jeans pocket.
“What does it say?” I nudged, curiouser and curiouser.
“Is it disgusting?” Natasha asked, blinking her grey eyes, but our friend shook her head. “Then why can’t you tell?”
“Come on, Mel ... what is it?” Caleb asked.
Weirdly enough, only Liam was tranquil. He didn’t say a word, while we were all anxious to know what was written on that piece of paper. Maybe he’d peeked, and he knew, but then why would he be so silent? He would have shouted it, had he known. He couldn’t keep a secret even if his life depended on it.
“Mel, come on, I’m sure you can muster the courage.” Ethan grumbled from beside me.
She was undecided, but she flinched when Liam finally spoke up, his voice as gruff as ever: “Just say it, Melissa.”
She eyed him intently, as if knowing something, but Liam’s green eyes were once again fixated on me, seemingly not at all willing leave me.
When Melissa spoke up, I finally realized: “Sarah. That’s all it says. Sarah.”
I didn’t even look at her. Whatever doubt I might have had, that glint in Liam’s eyes confirmed my wild idea. I didn’t need to find out whose piece of paper that was, I could read it all too clearly on his face right now. I knew what my bestie’s most hidden fantasy was.
Me. I was Liam’s most compelling desire. I was the one thing my best friend desired the most.