We did not set out to live a Melissa Etheridge song, it just kind of turned out that way. Of course, I had a key to the house. I arrived at Lily’s fairly late – it was about 2 am. I drove straight through to get there as soon as I got off work.
I knew she was still up or had just gone to bed. She worked second shift and it takes time to wind down after work. That, and the Red Sox had won that night. I’m sure she had danced around the living room about that.
Completely bypassing the front door, I went to the bedroom window, which was already partway open to let in the night air. It was August and the weather was hot. She lived a few blocks from the ocean, so the breeze was not as strong here, but there was enough to allow some relief from the summer heat.
I opened the window the rest of the way and climbed through. I had been doing this for years. I used to use the door when I arrived, until the Big Commitment Fight. Since that, I always entered through the window when I first arrived.
We had been playing this game for about 6 years now. I had a key. I used to use the front door. Lily started talking about commitment and moving in together. We had been through this before. The last time she talked commitment, I moved out of state (there were other factors that went into that decision too). Yet, I still kept coming back. When someone is your soul mate, you are still drawn to them, no matter how scared you may be.
Well, the Big Commitment Fight, I stated that I would not move in. I didn’t have a reason, or at least, not a valid one. The reason was fear. I was young, I was broken, and I was terrified of commitment to something good. You see, I was much better at self-sabotage than I was at making things work.
Well, anyways, in the course of the Big Commitment Fight, Lily screamed at me “The next time you walk through that door, you better be prepared to stay.” Thus, the reason why I now climbed through the window when I first arrive.
She knew I was coming. I always called or sent a text message ahead of time. Sometimes she had weeks notice. Sometimes I said “I’m at Trader Joe’s (in Hyannis) what do you want for dinner?” I always gave a heads up of my arrival. Even though I had a key and an open invitation, I didn’t want to abuse it. After all, I didn’t live there.
We were friends, first and foremost. We had this unspoken agreement. If one of us was with someone, we were just friends. The times when we were both “available,” we were with each other. I knew on this particular visit that Lily was alone.
I climbed through the window at 2 am. Lily stirred, so I whispered “hey it’s me,” and she went back to sleep. I crept to the kitchen and put my car keys on the table before settling in and getting ready for bed.
That was another part of our unspoken arrangement – the car keys. We always traded keys via the kitchen table. Lily’s Prius had the necessary roof rack and ties to transport my surfboard that my Corolla did not. Her Prius also had all the requisite stickers and tags that allowed me access to the beaches using a local vehicle. When I drove the Prius into beach parking, they never even checked my license to see I wasn’t a Massachusetts resident. They just noticed all the tags on the car checked out. Lily would take the keys to my New York Corolla so she had it for work and errands.
Keys on the table, I jumped in the shower quick before bed. I was careful not to get water all over the floor. One of Lily’s complaints every time I visit – “there is sand everywhere.” I didn’t want to make a bigger mess than necessary.
Shower taken, I climbed into bed. Tomorrow was Saturday. I was going to get up and take my board to one of my favorite beaches. Lily had to work, but that was okay. We had the morning to spend together before she had to work. I fell asleep looking forward to tomorrow.
To be continued …