I was able to keep my feelings for A at bay while our friendship continued to blossom, like the single rose that blossomed on my bedside table.

After “American Horror Story” ended, we found new ways to spend our time. Sometimes we went out for drinks; sometimes we watched a movie; once, I got two free tickets to a wine tasting.

Of course, neither of us used the spit buckets, so by the end of the night we were wasted. We stumbled onto the train, and I realized he was coming home with me when he didn’t get off at his stop.

We got back to my room, and I threw my black leather Frye briefcase onto the floor. “I think I’m getting bigger,”

he said. I turned around and saw him taking off his pants, thinking he was coming on to me – but he was completely flaccid. “I’ve been gaining so much muscle, none of my pants t anymore,” he clarified, before collapsing face first onto my bed.

His legs were muscular and hairy, and his ass stretched his briefs

to perfection. My palms got sweaty.
I took off my pants, lying down next to him. He started scratching my back, sighing. “I’m not used to drinking this much,” he said happily, putting his arm around my waist. I turned to him, our faces close – but he was already out cold.

I saw him again that weekend. We had New Year’s Eve plans. (I wore a stunning black deep V/ shoulderless top with black short shorts.)

“I don’t really know anyone here,” he whispered to me, sipping a glass of wine.

“I don’t really like anyone here,” I whispered back, on my third (or fourth) glass of champagne. We smiled at each other, sticking next to each other the whole night.

Later, champagne in hand, we counted down from
10. When we got to one, I turned and kissed A, softly, on the lips. He didn’t pull away, but when I finally did he looked shocked. And not in a good way.

“Sorry,” I said, finishing off my champagne. “Just a friendly peck between friends.” He relaxed, and I realized any attraction I picked up from him was all in my head. A only saw us as friends. That’s all he ever saw us as, and all he ever would.

I put on my knee-length wool coat, legs freezing, and started walking home. It was my own fault, I knew that.

He never led me on. I led myself on.

My phone buzzed – a text from A. “Let me know when you’re home safe.” I bit my lip and tried not to smile.