There should be a support group for people like me.

“My name is Dee.”

“Hi Dee.”

“I’m in love with my best friend.”

“Me too!” someone else yelled and laughter rippled through the room. Strained and sad, but there we were.

“So I did something really really stupid,” I said with a sigh as the laughter died out. “I slept with him. Thought we could do the friends with benefits thing.”

“Oh snap,” a bitter mumble, mummers of assent. “How’s that working out for you?” someone called out. As if they didn’t know.

“I thought I could control it. Make it just about sex. No kissing or cuddling…”

“Is the sex good?”

“All you hoped it would be?”

“That doesn’t matter,” an impatient voice called out. “Where did it go wrong?”

“Where didn’t it go wrong? But the breaking point, well what I thought was the breaking point, was seeing him out socially. Flirting.”

I nodded at the sympathetic noises. “Yeah. That hurt. So I thought I had to end it. And I tried. But…”

“He held you.” His chest warm against my back, his hands holding mine.

“He touched you.” His hard body over me, pressing me into the bed, making me feel safe.

“He looked at you.” His eyes, full of heated desire, hard with determination, then gleaming with hope.

I nodded. “Yeah and I couldn’t walk away from him. So I told him I wasn’t comfortable seeing him in those situations. That he could call me when he was done for the night.”

“Booty call!”

A ripple of uneasy laughter. Then someone stood up and asked, “So how do you do it? How do you keep it just sex? How do you not fall in love with him?”

I looked at the woman, realised it was me, my reflection in the mirror. So I answered honestly.

“You don’t. You pretend you can but you can’t. So you take what you can get, as much of it, for as long as you can. You stop pretending it’s just sex, stop pretending you don’t care. That didn’t work, so it’s time for a new plan.”

“So what’s the new plan?”

“When it’s just us, when we’re alone together…” I trailed off as I thought about what I was about to say. Words had power and once I said them, I couldn’t take them back.

“Yeah? What then?” someone called out anxiously.

“I’m going to act like he’s mine forever. See how good it could be so that one day.” I blinked away tears. “One day when it’s over, when he’s moved on and fallen in love.”

“Fuck that,” someone whispered. Maybe it was me?

“He might never think about me again but I’ll have those memories.”

“So that’s Plan B?” a voice said incredulously.

“That’s it,” I whispered. “Plan B is pretend he loves me like I love him.”

“When it falls apart, you know where to find us,” someone said kindly.

“We want to hear about the good stuff too,” another called out and I laughed at that.

“This is not a good idea,” my reflection whispered and I knew it was right.

That didn’t change my mind though. It had been two days since he’d walked out on me. He’d given me the strangest look but after the way I had freaked out, I deserved it. Now to make it up to him, show him I was okay, we were okay. I sent him a text:

Me: You free tonight? I can make dinner then help scratch any itches you may have 😉 See you at 7?

Jay: I have an awful itch, dinner may have to wait… see you soon baby 😀