Life is tough and unfair. You don't have to tell me that. For the last year, I'm the one it's been unfair to. But lately, things seem to have leveled out for me, or at least reached a tentative agreement.
I had been complaining about being stuck in my routine (and about losing Cyndi as a friend) until acquiring Leo as a non-committal sexual-relationship-partner-type-thing. It's added the level of thrill that my life's been missing since, well, way before I was a girl.
It wasn't long before the girls started noticing my more upbeat attitude and quickly called me on it. It had been hard keeping the whole affair secret from them. It isn't that I didn't want them to know. I didn't want it getting back to Cyndi, but it seemed pretty obvious that if I told them "If you ever see Cyndi, don't tell her I'm screwing her ex-boyfriend." I just didn't want to deal with any of the possible outcomes of this being public knowledge. Didn't want Leo hanging out with us, didn't want them judging me for having casual sex, didn't want them to question why after a year of lack of interest in the opposite sex, I was suddenly happy to jump into this... and in one particularly paranoid, unlikely scenario, them realizing somehow that I was really a guy having sex with another guy.
(I'd like to reaffirm once again that it's been many months since I've thought of myself as "really a guy." I may be a guy again someday but I'm really not anymore.)
When I admitted it to them, it was with a lot of explaining and doubling back on myself. "It's not serious, you guys, we're just fooling around, we don't want to date or anything." They pointed out, rightly, that "I" had tended to fall hard for guys, very quickly, and that "keeping it casual" was not really "my" MO. (Which begs the question of what, exactly, she and Rob were supposed to be.) Raine in particular was judgmental in that even though she knew Tori could be mercurial toward guys, the "old Tori" at least pretended like a fling could be a permanent relationship. Sara defended me by saying at least I was being realistic. They then proceeded to compare notes on Tori's past relationships, their own past relationships, their current relationships, and a lot of other stuff I'm not properly informed about. In the end they agreed, more or less, that I wasn't doing anything wrong, but that I should prepare myself in case this ends badly. I told them I already was.
Jana and Ken got married yesterday. I want to write down all the hectic stuff that went into it from my side, but really it's just typical wedding stuff. Dress-shopping was a pain since this was the first time I've had to look for something formal. I got a nice, peach dress that billowed nicely in the autumn breeze... I looked rather pretty in it, if I do say so. The family and I all went in on some kitchen essentials for the Bride and Groom.
I was unexpectedly emotional at the reception. Looking over at Jana in her white dress, and her bridesmaids, I began to wonder if this lays ahead in my future. If I'm stuck as Tori -- which sometimes I remember is not yet the case -- it would logically be possible somewhere down the line. If I met the right guy. But it wasn't that long ago, including post-transformation, that it all seemed utterly impossible that I'd ever find anyone. I was sort of resigned to loneliness. The idea of someday trying on a while dress was both comforting and terrifying.
The day brought with it all sorts of stresses, including inebriated groomsmen looking to score with their buddy's emotional, technically-alone. I found protection with one of the bridesmaids, the only single one. We shared stories of dating disasters, which I mainly drew from Tori's diaries.
I told her I was seeing someone, sorta, but that it wasn't serious enough to want to bring him to a wedding. She grinned and said she knew what I meant.
I had actually made plans to meet up with Leo after the wedding, and I probably could've used it, but something got in the way. See, what I didn't mention is that for a while now, I've been in contact with Buddy. He had kept putting off replying to me, apparently out of nervousness (how sweet... and typical of him) but he finally got his wits together (with a glass of Jack Daniels) to reply. His work had brought him to Baltimore, 2 hours south of here, and it was possible that some weekend he could come back for a visit.
"Some weekend," as you might guess, turned out to be last night.
I had intended to visit with Buddy for only a little while and then go off to hook up with Leo, but Buddy and I got back into our "first date" rhythm and I suddenly really liked being around him again. He told me funny stories about people he'd met as a "nomadic graphic designer," and ribbed me about staying at the call center when I "obviously had better things ahead of me."
I felt the need to keep my fling with Leo out of it.
We even caught a showing of The Social Network (very good!) and got coffee before he admitted he had to get back to his friend's place to crash. I offered him my couch.
There was just a hint of an implication in that.
He declined, either being a gentleman or oblivious, insisting he had to get his stuff together and head back to Maryland in the morning, and he "knew how much I liked sleep" (this was a conversation we had long ago.) I hugged him goodbye, pressed him against me... and every inch of me was urging my lips to kiss him, but it didn't happen. I felt like he probably wanted it too, but the Leo thing, the wedding, my hormones... I'm maybe a bit too mixed up right now to take that kind of risk.
But it's really already destroyed my comfortable balance.
I was so put off that I texted Leo saying I wasn't feeling up to meeting that night. He simply said "fine."
Fine indeed. But I think things won't be fine much longer.