I don't exactly know how it happened, but somewhere along the way I started actually having a life.
Somewhere among all the 6 AM girltalks with Alexa, sassing Rafe at work, and hunting for apartments with Maddie, I started thinking to myself, I actually like things about this life. I'm starting to take a little bit more ownership of it, beyond just choosing a new place to live: I got my hair cut to a shoulder length wavy Kristen Bell look that I much prefer over the fairy tale princess halfway-down-my-back style I had maintained from Valerie. I started buying more clothes for myself, and not just for functional purposes but because I think they might look good on me. And I'm seeing less and less reasons not to give in to Maddie's insistence that we start some kind of business together.
It gives me a bit of pause because if we're living together and invested in a business, that could easily be too much of each other. But it's my best option to make something of myself right now. I just had to hope before I committed to anything that I didn't end up getting sick of her - I warned her I can be a bit of a house-mother and it's not a role I love.
So we went out and we found someplace that looks good, only we need a third roommate to cover costs. Nobody else we know seems to be looking. All seemed hopeless, until Maddie gave a wincing "Welllll, there is one option..."
Her sister, she explains, is looking to move back to New York after living in Asheville, NC for a while. Getting her to admit this was like pulling a tooth. "We're twins, but she's not really like me... she's a bit wild, impulsive."
"Listen, if you vouch for her, I'm sure she's fine."
Maddie nodded in a way that seemed to say "What choice do I have?"
Charli, Maddie's sister, agreed to the place sight unseen. It was all such a whirlwind because we need to move in on the 1st of November since I already gave Ryan my notice and time was running out when we found this place.
He played dumb as to why I might want to leave, and I generalized that this was no longer the right environment for me, as if it ever was. I thanked him and Alexa for the break they got me on the rent but I'm doing okay now. And I really don't know if I can spend another moment pretending he and I did not have sex behind Alexa's back while I thought they were breaking up, because I gave in to that little crush I had.
Alexa said she was sad to see me go and leave her as the only girl in the house. I said we could hang out anytime, and even though she should hate my guts (if she ever finds out, and doubly so because I kept it from her) I hope she knows I meant it.
"One other thing," I said to Maddie as we were preparing to sign on the dotted line, "If worst comes to worst and I... give in to temptation and invite Rafe over now and again, you won't judge me, will you?"
She managed a sympathetic smirk. "I would never! Not out loud anyway."
I smiled. "Good friend."
"You said he was good, right?"
"I... very reluctantly admitted he has some talent, yes." Embarrassingly, I will admit to you here that "good" doesn't really cover it.
"Well, every girl has needs. But if you get too carried away - remember, he's totally not boyfriend material - I won't hesitate to smack some sense into you."
"By all means."
"I love you too much not to."
That last bit gave me pause. I'm still getting used to the way women throw around words of affection with each other. It's hard not to feel like my old heterosexual male self is being teased out a little bit hearing it even thought I know that's not what she means.
Off to pack!