Perfectly Imperfect by Fabiola Francisco

“We lay on the couch for a while, him softly running his fingers through my hair and me relaxing into him. As I begin to dose off, I feel Grayson shift and carry me to my room. He lies down next to me. He puts his arm around my middle and pulls me into him. I stiffen at his heartfelt gesture, feeling a little too comfortable in his arms. We’re just friends. Friends cuddle, right?

“Ugh, what are you doing to me Grayson?” I ask rhetorically.

“The same thing you’re doing to me,” he says, but I refuse to look at him, afraid I may see more than what a few simple words could mean.

I wake up the next morning alone in my bed. Where’s Grayson? Maybe he left for work already. It’s still early, but he’d have to go home and change. I look around my room and see his phone in the nightstand, so he must still be here. I walk into the kitchen looking for him and find him at the table with two coffee mugs. “Déjà vu,” I say quietly.

He smiles at me, “Your coffee’s ready. I figured you’d have to go to work and would want a cup before getting ready. How’d you sleep?”

“Thanks. Yes, coffee is always a must, especially this early. I slept surprisingly well. You?” I respond, taking my lower lip between my teeth.

“I’m glad to hear that. I guess sleepovers aren’t that bad. I slept great.” He beams at me and his eyes sparkle with delight. “You don’t have to be nervous, stop chewing your lip or I’ll remove it myself with my own teeth.” He winks at me, sending a rush through my body.

He’s happy this morning, and deep down I know it’s because I slept in his arms without argument but try to push that thought away. The lines are starting to haze. Maybe Steph is right. Grayson and I aren’t friends. Is it inevitable that eventually we’d end up together, or end up hurting each other?

“I gotta go. We’ll talk, okay?” He says as he stands up putting his coffee mug in the sink and leans in to give me a peck on the lips.

“Yeah,” I murmur, feeling surprisingly sad about his departure. It’s ridiculous. He has to go to work and I do, too, but I always feel so comfortable around him. It’s like he doesn’t care who I was or where I came from, he just likes me for being me, free of judgment. He knows that I sleep with people, have my mommy issues, yet still accepts me no questions asked. And the scary part is that he fits in my life so perfectly, so completely, a piece of him in me that was missing.

Before he leaves, he turns to me saying, “It might surprise you, but I don’t tend to do sleepovers either. It’s different with you, though.” His eyes darken a little with specks of green, and they look uneasy with his admittance. Maybe we’re more alike than I thought.”

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