I've been hanging out with Cal a little bit since December. I felt a little sorry for her, the way James and Derek cut her out of the "group" after the burglary incident. Whether Cal was really to blame, the fact that we have to rely on each other means we should be more careful about how we treat each other. We've met up for coffee a few times, and she even convinced me I might enjoy the Lego movie, so we went to see that tonight. I thought it was really funny!
Afterwards, we stopped off for a drink. Cal's not the biggest drinker, but I guess she's been trying plenty of new things since we got to Van City. As out first drinks arrived, I told her how much I had liked her last post, that it was nice to see her in a cheerier mood. She said she was really starting to enjoy pushing herself, and to look at "our" situation... not long ago, we barely knew each other, had none of the same friends, and now we're pretty close. This is true. It's not that I would have had anything against Cal back in Lowell, but we just didn't run with the same groups. We didn't relate. Now we're a bit more mature, and we have something in common. Something really serious, and known only to a few.
"So I mean..." she said quietly, folding and re-folding her paper napkin, "If we get, I mean when we get back, are we still going to be friends?"
"Of course," I said. "You're a really nice person."
"That's good," she said, "I was so worried that if we went back, then everything would just... revert. I'd wake up one morning and we'd be strangers again."
"Cal," I smiled, "Trust me, I won't be forgetting what we're going through."
"You should call me Angie, probably," she said.
"Do you ever think about what we'd do if we were stuck, though?"
"I try not to."
"So you're looking forward to being a girl again?"
"Definitely!" I said.
"Why?" she asked, "I mean, I've been both, and I really would prefer to be a guy. No offense."
"None taken," I laughed, "It has its advantages. But I mean... it's not just about having a body, it's about having a home. Being with people you care about. I miss my family, I miss my dog, I miss Lowell... I had plans for my life, and they didn't really include this. If we had to stay, I'd make the best of it, I guess, but I'll be happier when we go back."
She agreed that was a good way to look at things. After a little longer, she finally worked up, I guess, the nerve to say what had been on her mind.
"Listen, Robbie, I just want to say I think you're such a great person... male or female, I really enjoy spending time with you."
I squirmed a little. I could see where this was going, but I wanted to let her get it out.
"I really like you, Robbie. Trish. Whatever happens, whatever we look like, you're someone that I would just... really like to spend time with. I think we should... like, date."
My heart sunk. I've been in this situation a few times before, where one side has feelings the other person just can't return, and I hoped that in these mixed-up bodies we could escape that. But I guess hormones have a strange way of working on a person. As much as Cal is a very nice person, I just didn't see her that way.
"I understand," she sighed. "It's too complicated anyway. I don't even know who I am anymore, you know? And plus, it's probably wrong to do that sort of thing in these bodies."
"Yeah," I said, just trying to make sure I didn't say anything to further disrupt the situation. "We're really not in a position to start anything."
The conversation continued a little further, but she was clearly sullen. I dropped her off at home and told her I'd text her later.
What can I do? Just be sorry, but it's really not my fault. I value her friendship, I don't want to lose it.