I didn’t know what to think when Evan came and sat down next to Chris and I at the bonfire, smoothing out the blanket so he wouldn’t get sand on his khakis. We just kind of stared at him and he nodded at us. I hadn’t seen him for about two weeks, since he got back from England, and that was just a quick hello while he put down Luna’s suitcases at the front door. Since then, Luna’s greek lessons with him seemed to have been relocated to the local coffee shop and I couldn’t get up enough energy to ask her why he stopped coming to the house. But here he was.
“How was England?” I said, pulling my hand slowly out of Chris’s and smoothing out my blanket like I had just seen Evan do.
“Amazing as always,” he said. “Lots of sheep wandering in front of the car…old men in suspenders, pubs with kids running around in them. You would have liked that.”
I nodded and wished again for a moment, that I had been with him. Chris picked up a little shell and threw it.
“How is it being back from tour?” Evan said at Chris. “Enjoying your local celeb status?”
“Sure” he said. Their tone was making me feel a little tense. Evan knew that Chris moved out, so surely he knew that Chris wasn’t exactly happy with his situation. I was gathering there was something weird going on here that I hadn’t been filled in on. Then Chris said, “Hey thanks for that email while I was on tour. That was from you, right?”
Evan laughed abrubptly, “Yes but…clearly you didn’t listen.”
“Listen to what?” I said. “Are you guys speaking in some sort of code? Please don’t do that.”
Chris shook his head then looked at the fire like he was extremely bothered by what had just transpired, which was odd since he was the one who brought it up.
“Listen to WHAT?” I said again, looking at Evan.
Evan got up. “I’m getting more wood for the fire, it looks pretty pathetic to me right now.” Then he walked off and Chris shook his head and murmured, “asshole.” He looked at me. “Why do you always make friends with the winners?”
I frowned at him. “I don’t understand. First, why you won’t tell me what he was talking about, or why you have a problem with him? He’s never done anything bad or mean to you. In fact, I happen to know that he respects you…a lot.”
Chris looked at me suspiciously. “And how do you know that?”
I thought about when I had tried to kiss Evan, right about where we were sitting right now, and Evan wasn’t having any of it since I was still technically married to Chris. But I wasn’t exactly going to be using that story as an example. “He just always speaks really well of you whenever your name comes up,” I said…which wasn’t really true since his name never came up around Evan. But if it did, I was sure he would be nice.
“Whatever” Chris shook his head. “I don’t care.” Then he smiled. “I’ve pretty much become immune to any emotion short of fight or flight.”
“Me too actually!” I said.
“We’re like two peas in a pod” he said turning to me, with his nose practically touching mine. I thought for a second he was going to kiss me and I was a little mesmerized. I guess he picked up on that because then he did, softly and gently, almost in a plutonic way. Then when I lingered he pulled me in for more. It was surprisingly amazing. I was completely lost in him for a few moments, then when we stopped and looked around a couple of people were looking at us slightly stunned. North Shore threw a coin at us, “Get a room,” he said.
“He’s not as dumb as he looks” Chris whispered, pulling me close to his face again. He smiled. I could feel his breath on my lips and I realized I wanted him to kiss me again. Once again, he read me like only he knew how and said, “Come on. We happen have the best room on the beach.” He jumped up then pulled me up with him and said, a little too loudly, “See ya losers.” And we hurried off laughing, me with embarrassment, towards the pathway leading to my little patio and sliding-glass doors. I glanced back to see Evan walking towards the fire with a big pile of wood, and as he looked up to see me walk into my bedroom with my husband I caught the beginnings of the logs falling out of his hands to the sand.