Taking Chances

I promised myself that the next time I had the chance to kiss Lara that I would. I didn’t think that chance would present itself again for a long time. I thought considering how close we had come to sharing that moment that it might be enough for Lara to act and end things with Emma. I wanted things to be done the right way round, if we were going to get together I didn’t want it to be under the black cloud of betrayal.

It wouldn’t be long before the chance I was so certain wouldn’t come up again did. First and foremost I had Heidi and Sam on my case again. The following night were were all out in town and Sam was asking me why I had bailed on my chance to kiss Lara. Great, she had told him everything. I made it very clear that the only reason I stopped anything from happening between us was because of her situation, I didn’t want her to think that I was leading her on just to reject her. 

Lara’s behaviour towards Emma became more and more detached, Emma couldn’t help but realise something was wrong between them. Again, I was the go to person, she would ask me often what I thought she was doing wrong, why Lara had lost interest in their relationship. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable in my life, when I look back now the right thing to do would have been to tell Emma how I felt and that I wasn’t the best person to speak with. At the time, that thought just never occurred to me. 

About a week later Lara invited me over to hers for a movie night. All the times that we had stayed up late we had talked about films we had enjoyed, since I’m such a rom com fan she wanted me to watch her favourite and she was surprised Id never seen it before. It was a good film, we watched ‘A Walk to Remember’ and marvelled at the fact that I never seem to cry when watching films. Not when I’m expected to anyway, however the opening scenes of Tarzan where the baby gorilla is killed by the tiger gets me every time, and one episode of The Simpons when Bart is getting bullied, random huh? Anyway, I digress. 

I remember that we had gotten too comfortable with each other, we were snuggled up on the sofa together. In the back of my head I’m lying to myself saying ‘This is Ok, friends can do this, hadn’t I done this with my friend Jenna years before while watching horror films?’ sure I had, but we weren’t falling for each other, this was different and deep down I knew it.

When the film ended and the titles began to role we were in the darkened living room, the rest of her family had already gone up to bed for the night before I’d even arrived. The only light in the room was the glow of the television, Lara was lying on the sofa next to me and as the film ended instead of going to the DVD player to eject the disc she just looked at me, waiting. This was it, the second chance I’d been waiting for, there wasn’t anyway I could not kiss her, it had already been decided before this moment.

What I hadn’t planned on was everything that followed, our first kiss would have been enough. However the first kiss turned very quickly into the first time we slept together. Afterwards neither of us wanted to move and we were just lying in each others arms on the big sofa in the living room, in that moment not thinking of all the consequences that were to come.

That moment didn’t last long, I saw my phone going off out of the corner of my eye and wondered who would be calling me so late. It was Katy, I answered and discovered that she was right outside Lara’s house, she knew I was there because my car was there. Emma was with her. We hastily got up and composed ourselves as much as we could and I left.

As far as Emma and Katy were concerned we had stayed up watching films, it was something that we’d done plenty of times before so it wasn’t out of the ordinary. Katy wasn’t convinced and said that she saw us through the window cuddled up on the sofa, she was blagging it, the curtains had been drawn and three cars were parked on the drive she’d had to have been directly in front of the glass peering through a tiny crack in the curtains, it wasn’t likely.

Still, Katy did a good job of making me feel guilty. I already felt bad enough about getting with Lara behind Emma’s back. I didn’t really know what I expected to happen next. I knew one thing for sure, I wouldn’t let anything happen with me and Lara again while they were still together. I wouldn’t ask Lara to chose, but I would make that much clear.

When Emma turned up at Lara’s with Katy that night it was clear that she was hurting. She had invited her girlfriend to spend time with her that evening after work and instead she had made plans with me. They couldn’t go on pretending to each other that they didn’t have problems in their relationship. By this time they had been seeing each other less than two months, when I had to leave that night I got jealous for the first time.

I hated that Lara would now be spending the rest of the evening with someone else when she’d rather be with me, I was annoyed that she hadn’t done anything about the way she was feeling. I gave it a couple of weeks, I attempted to patiently wait for her to end things with Emma and let me know where things stood between us. It didn’t happen, it took me nearly two weeks to decide to walk away from the situation.

During these two weeks we had to pretend that everything was all Ok, we were just good friends and Lara carried on pretending things were Ok between her and Emma. It was Heidi’s birthday and we had all agreed to meet her for drinks in Level One, Katy arranged to meet me first and we’d walk into town together.

On the way into town we were chatting about the good old days between us. It was surreal, even though we had been getting on just fine when out with our friends there was typically still snide remarks to remind each other of the hurt we had caused each other. That night it all seemed to vanish.

Katy grabbed my hand as we were walking into town and pushed me into a shop doorway and kissed me, it seemed to come from nowhere, I pushed her off me and said that we weren’t going to do that this time. She claimed to want me back, to want to give us another go. I said no. We continued to walk on into town in silence for a while, eventually Katy let fly with the accusations, saying that the only reason I reacted the way I did was because I was getting with Lara, she was trying to trip me up. I doubt she ever wanted me back, she just wanted the reaction to prove that she was right.

Before Lara arrived at the club I text her to let her know what had happened between Katy and I on the way there that night. I felt it appropriate to forewarn her so that she could react to the news appropriately when Katy would spring the information on her to test her too. That was a wise move, Katy wasn’t going to be keeping it to herself, she took delight in telling Lara that we had kissed on the way to the club that night while we were all in a group at the bar.

Emma’s delight at this news was evident, she was clearly growing suspicious of our friendship too. I attempted to put the record straight and clearly cut Katy down and said it certainly wouldn’t be happening again. By this point the birthday girl, Heidi, was well on the way to being ridiculously drunk. Heidi, Sam and I were on the dance floor and Heidi kept dragging Lara away from Emma and Katy to dance with us. Then Sam and Heidi would split as soon as Lara and I were on the dance floor together, it was too much. After a couple of their attempts at this I called Emma and Katy over to us and left the dance floor myself.

The following week I was sat at work, at my second job in the evenings and texting Lara as I waited for more admin to come in. I’d been telling her that things were getting too difficult for me and that I wasn’t going to be the other woman any longer, I told her quite clearly that two weeks had passed, if she couldn’t end what she had with Emma then she couldn’t truly feel as strongly for me as she claimed, or that she must feel stronger for Emma than she claimed. In either case I wouldn’t wait around to see how it panned out, I told her I couldn’t do it anymore.

After I sent that message I expected a reply of some sort. I received only silence. When I finished work that evening I attempted to call her, nothing, her phone was off. I couldn’t make sense of it at all. Three agonising hours later I finally heard from her, she’d broken up with Emma. Lara hadn’t told Emma the truth, she kept it from her that we had feelings for each other and that had been the catalyst in their break up. So whatever happened next between us would still be kept between just the two of us, for a while at least.

I’d taken so many chances, and they had eventually paid off. I finally kissed Lara when I had promised myself that I would with the next opportunity. I took the massive risk of calling things off in an attempt to do what was right, when I did that I had no guarantee that Lara would end things with Emma. It just worked out in my favour that was what she did. Now we were both free to pursue what had already begun between us. It wasn’t the best way to start a relationship, but it had started.


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