Thursday was errand day. In our practically-married-couple life, Tuesdays were for doing homework after we both got off work around 3, Wednesdays were for bagels after class, and Thursdays were for errands and homework and evening drinking after dance. Fridays were for work and dance practice instead of going out, Saturdays were for ballroom lessons, and Sundays were for work and more dance. Mondays didn't really have a purpose, as they don't in the grand scheme of life.
Just before noon, CJ picked me up from my house and I trooped down my white porch with the two bags of laundry I needed to do at his house. My washer and dryer were coin operated, and the dryer was currently broken. CJ's washer and dryer were free and fully functional. I slid into the front seat of CJ's car and CJ dropped a white paper bag onto my lap.
"Good morning," CJ smiled.
"Washtenaw Dairy donuts?" I peered into the bag excitedly, a smile spreading across my glossed lips.
"Yep!" CJ confirmed that the beautiful donuts staring up at me were in fresh from the best bakery on campus.
CJ knew that there were two ways to my heart: one was through my stomach, and the other way is through my wardrobe. CJ could only take one path, but he did a good job with it generally.
We went to drop off CJ's dry cleaning, and then came back to his house to do laundry and homework. CJ made us a late lunch, and when I closed my laptop announcing the end of my paper that signaled the end of my month of school doom, I closed my eyes and leaned back against my chair, "It's over," I sighed.
"You did it," CJ held out his hands for a double high five and then held my hands, "So... does this mean it's nap time?"
"It's nap time," I concluded, and like the naive idiot I am, I thought nap time meant nap time. Like nap time on Monday when we both ended up snuggling in my bed.
We were snuggling in CJ's lofted full bed, his arms tightly around me, and for some reason we were talking about clothes. I was telling the story of the sweater I was wearing when CJ cut me off, "I only see one problem with this sweater-"
"What's wrong with my sweater?" I asked, my eyes narrowing.
"It's that you're wearing it."
"Why would this sweater look better on someone else? I can pull anything off," I snapped.
CJ rolled his eyes, "It's a sex joke."
I rolled over and glared at CJ, "We do not make sex jokes about clothes, clothes are serious business."
"You're ridiculous," CJ laughed, and his hand brushed along my jawline, guiding my lips to his.
It wasn't long until my pale grey v-neck sweater came off, and I pulled off CJ's striped henley.
"Wh-what is that?" CJ asked, staring at my white lace bralette.
I giggled, "It's a bralette."
"Is it like, a short cami?"
"Essentially. It's a bra that can be used as an accessory too."
CJ paused, "How do I take it off?"
I laughed, and pulled off the bralette, to reveal the yellow lace bra I had underneath. CJ reached to snap it off, unsuccessfully.
"Want some help?" I smiled.
"Uh, yes," CJ smiled back, and I unclasped my own bra, tossing it to the side of the bed where the the pile of our clothes were growing.
I could see the the sun beginning to set behind the slats of the shades, orange stripes of sunlight glowing on CJ's untucked sheets and across our entwined bodies. My heart was racing when we found ourselves at the same point we were at Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning, when we stopped.
CJ flipped me beneath him, and he kissed my throat, the side of my neck, all the way to my ear, "I'm going to fuck you now."
"Ok," I smiled, and CJ smiled back, before hopping off the bed. I heard the unmistakable rip of a condom wrapper.
"If I dare say so myself, I'm quite good in bed," CJ said, crawling on top of me.
"This is the one occasion I won't call you out on your massive head," I rolled my eyes, and we laughed, "Truth be told, I have no idea what I'm doing."
"All evidence to the contrary so far!"
"Guys aren't exactly pounding down my door to have sex with me," I admitted, only the slightest bit of sarcasm biting at my tone.
"I have a hard time believing that," CJ said, "Have you never-?"
"There's only been two other guys, it's not exactly loads of experience but-"
CJ cut me off with a kiss, "I can roll with that."
Something was different with CJ than it was the other two times I had sex: it felt natural. It was as if this new physical relationship was just an extension of the deep connection we already had. It was fun, and we could be ourselves, I didn't feel like I needed to impress CJ in bed. The naturalness of it all felt so right.
A while later, we heard the apartment door open and the sound of footsteps ascending the stairs, "Shh," CJ said to me, "Yev's back, we have to be quiet now."
"Damn," I hissed.
I had no idea how we got to this place. Physically, we were laying together on CJ's bed, both of us exhausted. But beyond that, how had we gone from friends, to friends with feelings? How had we gone from friends with feelings, to friends who actually acted on their feelings? How had we-
"Oh my God!" I was forced to stifle my laughter into CJ's chest.
"What is happening?" CJ was trying not to laugh. We had heard Yev, talking on the phone, troop down the stairs a moment ago, "I swear he was going to go to the gym-"
There was now a female voice joining Yev's as we heard footsteps ascend up the stairs.
"How did he not tell me he had a girl coming over?" CJ said, "Our stuff is all over the kitchen table, he would usually knock on the door and tell me to clean up or something-"
"Oh come on, Yev's not an idiot, he had to know we were hooking up-"
"My coat is on the chair, and my bag is next to it. And your coat is on the floor, and your pile of mismatched socks is still on the table. And we are nowhere to be seen!"
"You've got a point," CJ nodded, "And you're not that quiet," CJ winked.
"Shut up," I said, shoving him.
CJ and I laughed and then he pulled me in close, "This is about to be real awkward."
"Ok, we need a plan of attack: how do we escape the house with the least amount of awkwardness?"
And we spent a few moments scheming, before we pulled on our clothes, CJ having to drop me off at home before going to practice. As I pulled on my black lace thong, I was acutely conscious of CJ's eyes on my ass, watching my every action of adjusting my underwear. How had we come to this point?
"Ok, ready?" CJ asked I as adjusted my ponytail so that it hopefully looked less of a mess.
"How do I look? Not like we've been having sex? Not that it's any mystery..."
"You look fine," CJ said, and he wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me in close and kissing me before unlocking the door.
We said a quick hello to Yev and the girl, CJ darted for the bathroom, and I made small talk as I pulled on my coat, grabbed CJ's car keys and laundry bag and raced down the stairs and out the door as fast as socially acceptable. I kicked open the door to the basement, piling CJ's last load of laundry into his laundry bag and then skating across the frozen street to his car.
A few minutes later, CJ joined me, with my two bags of clean laundry, "I just suffered such a dilemma: Yev's girl's bag was right by your laundry and I wasn't sure if it was yours or not, and I thought about it for a long while and then noticed there was a container in there that she brought Yev cookies in the other day, so I realized it wasn't yours."
"So moral of the story: you almost stole her purse?" I raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah," CJ looked and me and we laughed, "Ok, also we need a new rule: we have to do this at least an hour before practice, my legs are going to be so sore."
"At least I've got a solid two and a half hours to recover, but we can make that a thing," I smiled.
Through the bay window in my bedroom, my roommates all witnessed CJ lean over and kiss me goodbye when he dropped me off, and I was forced through their interrogation before I ended up on the phone with Alyssa. Midway through the phone call, CJ came over to raid my pantry under the offer of driving me to practice for food. I liked that I didn't have to entertain him, merely throw a salmon burger in the microwave and point him in the direction of my cheetos. He plopped down on the couch with my roommates and I returned to my room to finish my conversation. That was friendship.
"Yeah, gotta be at least an hour before practice next time, I was such a mess," CJ said when we left for practice, "I kept telling Alison I didn't know what was wrong, but yeah right."
"Three hours later, I feel fine," I shrugged, "Did you get anything done at practice?"
"Yeah," CJ said, and continued about his practice while my thoughts flew back to three hours earlier. I was still slightly in shock, I couldn't believe that it actually happened, let alone how intuitive it felt.
"Oh yeah," I stirred from my reverie to answer CJ's question about what I needed him to help us on today, "We need the explosions for Viennese Waltz. I just hope a million newbies don't ask us questions like they always do when we practice at the studio, it's so unproductive for us."
"Just pawn them off on me, I'm just going to be there helping my newbies, and you guys."
"Thanks," I smiled as CJ snagged a parking space. We kissed before leaving the car, and when I went into the studio, CJ went to 7/11 for another bag of cheetos. This way, it was less conspicuous that we came to practice together. It was only force of habit that I was careful about making sure CJ and I didn't seem too tightly involved in public, maybe now I could stop caring, CJ was single after all.
As practice continued, it didn't feel like anything was different between us. I would catch CJ watching us dance, out of the corner of his eye, when he was helping his new mentee couples, but that was normal. It felt like it was last year, we were best friends again, now we were just best friends who had sex. And by the sounds of it, this wasn't about to be a one time deal.... And I was completely ok with that.