I felt a tinge of nervousness as I stepped out of Joey's car in my high heeled boots, black tights, and the black neoprene skater dress I had worn on my birthday.
CJ met me at the foot of the stairs to his house and wrapped me in his arms. I let my head fall onto his shoulder, "You doing ok?" CJ asked.
"Lesson helped take my mind off the drama," I sighed, "I'm glad I'm not home right now. Whitney's been texting me, she's freaking out, I would get no studying done."
"That's what I'm here for," CJ said, we let go of each other and CJ took a seat at his kitchen table. Across from him, I took off my coat, revealing the outfit that made me look like I was coming over to get some. In reality, I had the dress on for ballroom lesson and was on my way out the door nearly three hours ago when CJ offered for me to escape the drama of my house for the night and study at his. The next text that buzzed in before I had a chance to respond was CJ's additional offer for me to spend the night at his house.
If this was last year, I wouldn't have thought anything of it. But this was a new year, and the offer to spend the night felt heavy on my chest. CJ's apartment didn't have a couch anymore, and CJ didn't have a girlfriend anymore.
"Do you want pajamas?" CJ asked, his eyes flicking from the hem of my dress to my bare shoulders.
"Yes, please," I smiled, and CJ reappeared from his room a moment later with a pair of plaid flannel pants and a white t-shirt. When I swapped my black dress for CJ's clothes, I looked in the bathroom mirror and sighed. The black dress was what a girl who was trying to impress a guy would wear, this old white undershirt and slightly-pilled flannel pants was what a girl who already had the guy would wear. And after the drama-filled day I had had, I felt so much better in the latter choice of outfits.
I curled up opposite CJ at the kitchen table, and he got me a bowl of cereal as a post-dance snack. I realized CJ and I were dressed alike, both of us in white undershirts and plaid pj pants. We studied until about 12:30, when we both were on the verge of passing out on our laptops. When we finally closed the screens of our computers, I felt another twinge of nervousness.
Yesterday, CJ and I had been studying all day, until CJ proposed nap time and we both ended up curled up in my twin bed. At first we were just sleeping on two different sides of the bed, and then CJ went to check his phone, and when he came back, he put his arm around me and pulled me close. It wasn't a friendly cuddle, there was a necessity for closeness in the embrace. If we were going to spend the entire night in a the same fashion, there was about to be no way we could call this just friendship anymore.
We crawled into CJ's bed, and instead of falling asleep, CJ and I kept talking. We were casually chatting until CJ said the same sentence he had been saying since we became friends again: "Kaitlyn, you make me so confused sometimes."
My head shot up from his chest and I looked CJ right in the eye, "I don't understand that sentence," I spat, my heartbeat picking up in fury, "It doesn't make sense to me CJ. Either you like me enough to actually do something about it, or you don't-"
I didn't get to finish my sentence before CJ's lips were on mine.
CJ Anslow had officially made his move.
It was several seconds until we broke apart, and it wouldn't be until maybe the next day when the shock wore off.
"This is kind of a big deal for me," CJ admitted, "You're the first girl besides Sarah who I've kissed in five years."
"It's about damn time," I smiled.
"It's only been a week-"
"CJ, when you told me a month ago about why you didn't talk to me all summer, you said you didn't want it to change anything between us. And for me, it honestly didn't. Even if you said you had feelings for me, the true fact was that you didn't do anything about them. You either like me, or you don't, and if if you don't want to do anything about it then that's not liking me in my mind," I spit out the truth that I had been trying to say in nicer words for a while, "But something changed for you when you said it. I saw it in how you looked at me.
"Yeah," CJ whispered, looking down, "It did."
"I don't half ass things, especially where my feelings are concerned. Its black and white: either you like someone enough to do something about it, or you don't like them."
"I'm sorry, I'm a wuss," CJ kissed me again, and this time he didn't stop. It was a while into our make-out session until CJ's hand slipped up my shirt.
We pulled apart for a brief moment, "This doesn't have to go anywhere you're not comfortable going yet," I said softly.
"Thanks," CJ smiled, "If there's one thing I know you know how to do, it's follow my lead."
I giggled, "It's like we're dancers or something," I smiled, and then I leaned down and kissed him.
"There's so many things I want to do, I just don't know if I'm ready yet," CJ returned my kiss.
"I'm in no rush," I smiled darkly.
There is always something about hooking up with a new guy, a feeling of getting to know someone so intimately. When CJ took his plaid PJ pants off of me, I didn't feel that feeling at all. We already knew each other so well, it was as if this new intimate connection was merely an extension of what we already had. Nothing felt weird or foreign or new, and that was a good thing. Maybe part of it was because we spent so much of our friendship dancing together, we were just already so physically connected.
We didn't have sex. We did everything but that, at CJ's discretion. And it felt right, not to rush things. CJ said he wasn't ready, and maybe I wasn't ready either. I wanted to make sure this was for real before I went all the way.