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I was living with my wife, who was also my ex-girlfriend, in a two-bedroom apartment we had just rented. Sleeping in the same bed didn’t make sense since the break-up, so moving into a two bedroom was the sensible thing to do. Her boyfriend, Lucas, who was also my friend, was staying with us for a month or so. Having a friend around was fun, I had someone to play FIFA with and watch soccer games. The weirdest part is that it never felt weird. At least not for me.


He would always make breakfast, but that morning it was me and my wife’s turn. Birthday breakfast for hungover birthday boy. French Toasts -like the good ole days- and freshly squeezed orange juice. We tried to wake him up but couldn’t. He grunted something. “Let him sleep” my wife said as she rolled her eyes. We took a picture of the French toasts to later show him that we had made the effort, and then ate it all. We didn’t have time to waste, we had to clean the apartment and get it ready for the party that night. 


Hours passed. Eventually, he got out of the room looking as disoriented as a bear after hibernation. “Well look who’s up!” I said. He stood there, yawning and scratching his head like a caveman. “What time is it?” He asked. “It’s four!” my wife said, in incriminating manner. She had planned to have a special lunch with him. He grunted something. Then he went to the fridge, poured himself a glass of cold water, and went straight to the balcony to roll up a cigarette. He rolled it in silence. My wife looked at me as if saying “d’you see what I have to deal with?”. I looked back at her as if saying “your choice darlin”. “Come!” he shouted from the balcony. We went. He hadn’t done anything necessarily wrong, but the air was thick from all the baggage. It was like that all the time. I knew exactly what it felt like, I had been in that position not long ago. “Should we drink something?” He suggested. “I’ll bring beers” I responded. I brought three Coronas. The day was lovely, bright and sunny. The beers were ice cold. The tension-meter went back to its lower limit, which was never zero, but it was tolerable. 


“ are we looking for tonight?” I asked. He shrugged. “I hope nobody comes” he said with a smirk. Then he laughed. He was always walking a fine line between sarcastic humor and plain cynicism. “You’re such an asshole” my wife said. She sat on his lap and kissed him on the cheek. “The only people that matter are here” he said and raised his Corona. We toasted. We spent the rest of the day in the balcony drinking beer, smoking hand-crafted cigarettes and making up songs on the guitar. The Sun blessed us with its company for hours, and before departing, painted the heavens in a gradient of reds, yellows and violets. 


Most of the guests arrived at the same time. Our group of friends consisted mainly of musicians and witches; mind-in-the-clouds dreamers who lamented reality but had no other choice than to inhabit it. The evening looked a lot like any other Friday, with the exception of the chocolate cake my wife had baked for her boyfriend. 

An unexpected guest arrived at around 1 AM. She was interesting looking; you could see that she cared about the way she presented herself to the world. Oxford jeans, white crop-top shirt with a black and white picture of Keith Richards, bangs, gypsy eyes, Spanish accent. An old friend of the honoree, I later found out. “You stole my wife, throw me a bone here you son of a bitch” I joked with him. “Bro, go for it. She just broke up with her boyfriend” he replied. I wasn’t sure how to approach her. There’s a healthy balance between making things happen and letting things happen, which has always been difficult for me to find. I lean towards the former; the latter, I leave for them prettier folks. I approached her as any host should. I would have done the same even if I hadn’t been attracted to her, but it so happened that I was. “Make yourself at home, let me know if you need anything” I welcomed her. “Thanks!” she smiled as we did the one arm greeting hug, “Your hair is amazing” she said. “Well, you’re just stating the obvious” I said, trying to make it explicit that I was joking. She laughed. We were off to a good start. We exchanged a few more words and I left before I’d have to face a silence. Any silence is an awkward silence to me, which leaves me with the option to either be creative or want to die. If this is the reason why I’m quick to come up with jokes, then I welcome it. 


The night went by as any other Friday night. At some point birthday boy collapsed in his bed and there were but a few guests left. I had barely interacted with the mysterious guest, so when I saw her going out to the balcony for a cigarette I offered to join. She accepted. Our first conversation was enjoyable, but first conversations are easy. It’s second conversations that are hard. The flirting was obvious from both sides. We smoked four cigarettes in a row while people abandoned the apartment with Irish goodbyes. In the same second that the last person closed the door after his departure, she wrapped her arms around my neck and put her entire tongue in my mouth. We had been waiting for that moment for too long, or at least we acted like it. We spent the night in my bedroom. It was a good night. There’s nothing like those initial moments. Those where you delude yourself into thinking you’ve found “the one” because she had a Keith Richards t-shirt. I love those moments and no amount of rationality seems to be capable of killing them. Thank God! 

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