We were good friends before we dated. We’d been there for each other quite a few times: when one of our mutual friends was suicidal, when each of our significant others broke up with us, and we’d kept each other company online during many all-nighters.

Eventually, we started flirting and fell in love, all of which led to this one particular night, where I was waiting for her on the lawn of some sleeping homeowner at two in the morning.

The car pulled up to the curb. I tried to ignore it, while sticking to the general area. There was no way of being sure that it was her, and the alternative—that the car was driven by a cop, or by a parent I knew—was a terrifying thought.

But not a minute later, she had charged out of her car, straight into my arms, and pressed me tightly against her, holding me in a long, sweet embrace on the dark street corner.

That night, the streets, the lawns, the front porches—all of suburbia—belonged to us. We walked for miles and miles, talking, holding each other, kissing each other, until, eventually: “It’s getting really cold, and these damn bugs won’t leave me alone. Let’s go back to my car.”

It was the first time I’d ever done anything remotely sexual in the backseat of a car, and it will probably be my last. Sure, it was a bit cramped, and not the most comfortable location, but the ecstasy, and the solid hour of holding each other tight, declaring our love and damning the sun for intruding on our tryst, that followed it was worth the sore legs. We spent many happy hours in that backseat, hidden from passing cars and sleepless residents by the fog we made on the windows.

And, far too soon, it was over. We were over. We’d never be there to help each other with our problems again, and all-nighters got much, much lonelier.

And no matter how beautiful it was, it wasn’t worth it. I still miss her, not as a lover, but as a friend.

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