The brass numbers looked back at me. One was my hotel room and one was my friend Silvio’s. I couldn't believe I was even considering knocking on his door.
It was 1 am and I was considering taking him up on his offer to end my celibate dry spell.
My friend of 15+ years! I didn't even have the excuse of drunkenness to excuse this judgment lapse. Silvio on the other hand had been bathing in his bourbon. It could have been the bourbon talking. Could I even face him if I went through with this? It had been a long time since...
Silvio had agreed to help me drive out to my cousin’s wedding. I hate long car rides and Silvio is always open to helping me. Whether it’s moving a couch or bringing the morning paper when we settle into our morning coffee routine after work.
Being night-shifters our worlds seem to rotate in sync with each other. We just seem to “get” each other. There has never been a “date” though, and the dating conversation never came up, except for tonight. But, then that could have been the alcohol.
Hell! We got separate hotel rooms for this overnight layover in our drive. There had been no plans to “hook up.” Was I crazy to think that he had been serious? We had a late supper across the street. It had been a long drive and it was nice not to be moving.
Okay, that’s it, this is crazy, impulsive, and Silvio was drunk. He’s probably passed out on the bed anyway. I took a step toward my room and gave the shiny brass room number one last look before I cracked my door open. It wouldn’t hurt to check on him. He could always stumble to the door, throw up in the sink near the coat closet and tease me about taking him too seriously. He’ll have years of material to torment me. Then we could laugh off the last couple of hours and I could go on with my life.
I latched my room door and slid over to Silvio’s. My first knock was timid, but the second knock was louder. I stood a minute or two. Nothing happened. What is this sinking drop in my stomach? Am I disappointed or relieved? But Silvio is probably too far gone to answer.
I pushed my door open and almost stepped over the threshold when the obnoxious giggle steamrolled the hallway’s quiet. I looked over my shoulder and I saw a young blonde staggering in the hallway. Holding her upright was Silvio’s sturdy frame. He paused and checked her face for whatever reason.
“We should get you to bed sweetheart, ” he said a little too loud.
The woman busted into laughter, the notes of cosmopolitans coloring the pitch. She tried to look alluring, a comical attempt at flirting. She shoved her hair out of her face,
“I would love for you to take me to bed,” she cooed.
Silvio smiled, but I couldn't watch anymore. I knew I was stupid for taking him seriously. I was even madder at myself that I had enjoyed the flirting over supper. I shut the door literally and symbolically on the whole idea of playing with Silvio in a more adult way.
The blonde in the hallway was more his type anyway. Of course, he went hunting for a sure thing. I’m not easy, and he knew it. He knew my last relationship was the most serious I’d been with a partner. I swore off love and maybe I was smart to do so.
If jerks like Silvio are willing to lead me on… Why am I angry? He's not my boyfriend, not even a friend with benefits. I enjoy his company once in a while, that's a far cry from promise rings and love confessions. I’m letting this get to me. I’m letting him get to me. Okay, okay, I need to calm down. I need to take my mind off what’s happening next door. Oh, God, I hope she's not a screamer.
Alright, television, T.V. I needed a distraction. I turned on the T.V. and flipped through the channels, I finally settled on a T.V. Land-type marathon. I needed a laugh.
I tried to wash away the memories of the evening with colorful nostalgia. I remembered watching this episode at a babysitter’s house. I remembered I liked it. My mind kept betraying me though, if I tried to lay down I still heard the jukebox at the restaurant blasting Charlie Daniels.
Silvio asked me to dance. The song was fast but it was soon obvious he wanted an excuse to touch me. He slid a hand on my waist and brushed the hair away from my face. I smiled because it felt good to have male attention. He had wanted to kiss me, hadn’t he? Maybe I was reading the situation wrong. I wanted him to kiss me, I had even prepared for it.
When it didn’t happen, I pulled away. He threw his arms around me from behind. His breath was thoroughly soaked in bourbon by that time. He pressed me close to him,
“You know, if you wanted me to, I wouldn’t say no,” he whispered.
The jukebox was loud but his whisper was louder. My heart began to beat harder. Did I really want, that? He never talked like that before. Not even when he complained about his own romantic dry spell. We always commiserated, but it never went beyond mutual empathy.
It wasn’t that Silvio wasn’t attractive. He was built like a football player. He preferred long hair, but I was kinda into that. He dyed his hair silver a while back, but it worked for him. He kept his facial hair trimmed and his fashion was simple. I could totally use him for fantasy fodder. Fantasy was all I had anyway right?
I felt pathetic. Silvio was drunk and he hit on me. Case closed. I shouldn’t have taken him seriously.
I kept my eyes on the T.V. My eyes were finally getting heavy and they watered slightly. I was just about to nod off when the knock shook me awake.
I went to the door,
“May I help you?” I called out.
“It’s me, Silvio.”
I could hear my heart in my ears. I opened the door and forget to unlatch the slide lock. I fixed the mistake and tried again.
“Everything okay?” I asked
Silvio shoved his hand into his hair. He dropped his eyes,
“Yeah, I just wanted to sober up a little bit before I came over.”
I wasn’t just going to let him in, for all I knew the blonde was taking a shower next door.
“Can I come in?” he asked softly.
“Don’t you have that girl waiting for you?” I didn't like my tone, it definitely sounded jealous.
Silvio inhaled sharply, his face was surprised.
“I just walked her to her room. I saw her outside the hotel and some idiots thought they had an easy target. I just stepped in to help her. That's it,” he answered
“Well, that was very noble of you,” I replied.
I tried to shut the door, but Silvio stopped the motion with his hand.
“You’re jealous, ” he teased.
“I’m NOT jealous, ” I insisted, maybe a little too harshly.
Silvio leaned closer,
“Please let me come in, if you don't want anything to happen, nothing will happen. I promise I will be a perfect gentleman.”
I studied his eyes, he was being honest. I stepped back to let him in,
“Come on in, the next episode of The Golden Girls is about to start.”
“Sweet! Dorothy is the da bomb!” he boomed.
I laughed as I settled onto the first double bed.
“She’s my favorite too,” I replied.
A few minutes passed and I looked over to Silvio, he was lounging on the second bed with his hands folded on his head. His legs were stretched out on the bed. My body bloomed with a passion I hadn’t felt in quite a long time. I tried to calm my racing mind, this wasn’t the night for sex, jumping him would probably lead to an awkward conversation in the morning.
I may be lonely and hormonal, but I wasn't desperate. Not enough to ruin this friendship. Still, Silvio reminded me how it felt to be wanted.
“Are you just going to stare at me all night or are you going to sit next to me?” Silvio asked, a playful grin turned up his lips.
Typical, Silvio, he knew my thoughts. I pushed off my bed and climbed up on his bed. Before I slid down into the crook of his arm, I kissed his lips.
Just like my knocking on his door earlier, it was timid, but when he opened his mouth to deepen the kiss, I did the same. My body lit up with the passion I was trying to hold back. My hands reached up, but they stopped on his stubbled cheeks. It was enough for now, I pulled away and we smiled at each other. He seemed to know it was enough. I laid down against him and finally drifted to sleep.