The four of us stumbled up the stairs to Amanda's bedroom. Amanda got under the covers in her futon and put on a Joni Mitchell tape, one that I never particularly liked. Lissa sprawled out on the couch, soon falling asleep. I put a blanket over her, then joined Amanda under the covers; a couple of minutes later, Paul joined us.

I start wondering why I was asked here. If Amanda just wants a warm body, Paul was already available. But since their friendship remains as best-friend platonic as ever, I suspect she wants more than mere warmth. Good. At your service, madame. Or is this some sort of test? I seem to be presented this: Amanda behind Door #1, Paul behind Door #2... or all-of-the-above? None-of-the-above? Am I supposed to be making some choice here? This is because of the Perry thing, isn't it?

One day, Amanda caught Perry and me kissing; there was no particular passion or intent to it - we were just two spaced out little boys playing with a new toy while under the influence. Perry was ecstatic that I was able to get the exact tortured-Gojirasaurus roar he wanted while I was tweaking the DX7; his joyous hug somehow became a kiss on the cheek, then one on the neck, one on the lips...

It gave us another talking point later on: same-sex attractions; Amanda mentioned that she probably wouldn't be averse to bedding this or that female friend or acquaintance. I didn't have much to contribute to the dialogue: the thing with Perry was just some spontaneous drug-induced shit - were it not so, surely I'd be in bed with him instead of having this conversation over beers in a sub shop. I did admit that I thought, back when she and Paul were still in high school, that he was kinda cute (cuter than her, in fact - I didn't mention that part), but I was just trying to prop up my end of the chat.

So here the three of us are, on her futon, though it looks like Paul has passed out; to me, he's a fifth wheel anyway - I was only there because Amanda was. I pick Door #1, Monty! I put my specs on the table; Amanda, with a smile I hadn't seen in ages, pulls me down to pillow-level, close to her. We commence, with the last bit of wakefulness we have, some good old-fashioned makin' out in our drunken state; after several minutes, she whispers the first words:

"I missed you!"

Finally she's willing to admit the feeling is mutual. The room gained a glow; the future gained possibilities. The Joni tape was actually listenable; I found myself enjoying it for the first time, while enjoying Amanda for the first time in way too long. We can somehow heal this thing and make it work.

"I missed you, too. But you already knew that."

We would eventually tire and drift toward sleep, a united arc of affection and love, a love mending itself there on the edge of the futon. My last memory is of a series of gentle kisses, first her nipples, breasts, and neck, then, after she turned over to go to sleep, traversing the region of her right trapezius and shoulder blade, as "A Case of You" played in the background; I marveled at how good it sounded, and how wonderful it felt to experience again the soft textures of Amanda's body, the unique-as-a-snowflake contours, her firm embraces, and, now, the firm grasp of her hand holding onto mine as we drifted into dreamland - we were no longer tentative or separated by the ten-foot pole. We were for real again. We had peace. Peace.

In the morning, I awakened to Amanda hurriedly putting on her jeans and t-shirt; Paul and Lissa were gone - I could hear their voices downstairs, talking about breakfast. I said a bleary "Good morning". She said "Forget this ever happened, OK?", then laughed a brief, nervous laugh. But this was no joke. She left the room, bounded down the stairs, and went out to breakfast with Lissa and Paul.

I'm reminded of Neville Chamberlain.


  1. Names, locales, chronologies, etc, may have been changed or obfuscated to protect the innocent.
  2. Maybe not.
  3. This film is rated PG-13. Do I look like Svaha to you? Try aisle nine. Just us prudes here.
  4. There's more. You can continue, if you wish. I would advise against it, and suggest you look for a node that's actually good. Failing that, here's two more:
      a) take the skinheads drinking
      b) "Choose." (multi-part)

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