They had parted ways when they finished dinner at Perkins that day, and Bryson had gone home to watch some TV. When the visit occurred he had been sitting on the couch watching Charles Carmichael, aka Charles Bartowski, worm his way out of another tight spot as the titular repository for all things CIA in the TV show Chuck. He hadn’t seen Mike and Melanie in a while and assumed they had found a little hotel for a romantic bit of hanky panky where it didn’t matter where they were when they dropped trou. As that thought occurred to him he laughed at the ridiculous amount of times he had seen Melanie naked and there was a knock at the door. He got up to open the door and was surprised at the site that greeted him: Monica in a gray trench coat similar to the one that he wore on a cold day over his service uniform in the military. The site struck him odd for two reasons, the first being the fact that she was wearing a heavy coat in the middle of summer. Secondly, he had no idea what she was doing there, as they had set up their next apartment hunting meeting for the following day after work.
As he stood there, about to ask why she was there, she sauntered past him and turned around by the couch leaning on the arm waiting for him to close the door. Slowly he closed the door, and a puzzled look crossed his face as he turned around to question her, but before he could get out a word she spoke first.
“I know you’re wondering why I’m here,” she said in a quiet seductive way as she unbuttoned the trench coat, “I just felt we had something to get out of the way.” The trench coat slid down to the floor revealing nothing more than what God, or nature, had given her at birth to let blossom for this day. This glorious day he thought, but he couldn’t uproot himself from where he stood. What if this was a dream? What if Mike and Melanie walked in to find him asleep with his hand down his pants grinding against the couch? Even worse, what if in the middle he called out Monica’s name and they told her about it? Well, in that unlikely case he would have to tell them unless they wanted him to see Melanie naked one more time, or if they didn’t want him off their couch they would keep their mouths shut.
“Are you going to stand there all night?” she asked quietly, and his mind finally clicked and said, Fuck it, and his body followed his brain’s advice. What followed was nothing short of miraculous as the room and everything in it disappeared. Nothing existed for Bryson and Monica for those short minutes and he would be happy to live in that world for the rest of his life. Was this how cocaine felt? Marijuana? Heroine? No, it was ecstasy, pure uncut ex. Knowing how he felt he dared to open his eyes, and the look on her face showed him that he was making all the right moves. Besides the active parts of their bodies, they had become numb to the world around them, as if past present and future had all melded into one and had become timeless. The moment lasted forever and was over within the blink of an eye, and when the moment had passed they were both satisfied having reached that moment together at the same time.
They stared into each other’s eyes for days it seemed (now Bryson had the corny thought that they really were peering into each other’s soul before the thought caused him to nearly spit beer all over his Dell) as the world faded back into view. That was when they heard in a whisper of horror and fear from the edge of the couch, “My couch!” They hadn’t realized that they weren’t alone, and hadn’t been for at least five minutes. Bryson smiled internally as he thought: At least I’m not sitting here with my hand down my pants grinding against the couch.
“Oh hey, I believe you know Monica,” was what he wanted to say, but what came out was, “Umm, a little privacy.” At least he had witnesses he would think later, but the witnesses didn’t matter because he never told anyone. After that day, when Mike and Melanie had left the room and Monica threw on her coat and gave him a smile and peck on the cheek, he didn’t even talk to her about it.
Things almost went back to normal after that. At first, Bryson thought her plan had worked. He wasn’t worried about getting into her pants, and she didn’t spend her time flirting with him. Sure, he thought about it, but typically not when he was with her. Generally he only thought about it before going to bed or, on rare occasions, when he woke up. That was before he came home from a late night at work to see her making out in the living room with some dude she met at the bar. His heart started racing, his hands became clammy, and his throat went dry. The first though to pop into his head was, “How could she cheat on me?” That was when he realized that the most glorious moment of his life was the equivalent to breaking the seal on Pandora’s little toy box. On the outside of the box there were only words of lust and like written bright colors to attract the casual viewer. He broke the seal and peered inside, just a casual glimpse, or so he thought. The moment that box opened he couldn’t jam the word love back in, it settled in his mind and corrupted his soul. If he let it, it would find him on the street with nothing but the clothes on his back and its evil in his soul.
He couldn’t let it go, though. The words never crossed his lips, and he tried to maintain himself around Monica. As time went on though he found himself going out less unless he was with her, and he spent a lot of time waiting for her to come home. He found lots of things for them to do together as friends, but in his mind they were dating.