Sequel of Let's Waste Time

There was a man in my house. It was the first time in my life that I lived with a boyfriend. It wasn't so bad. This particular man was actually kind of special. He toured the country a lot for work, so I didn't always get to see him. But we dealt with it. And when he was back home again, the apartment would change. It became messier, beer cans would appear where they weren't before, dirty socks showed up in random places. Not to mention, the sheets were often warmer and wrinkled from excessive use. At the moment, the fact that there was a man in my house was glaringly obvious. I was looking directly at the result of it. He'd left the toilet seat up.

I went to the bathroom in the morning with a cup of coffee. My dark brown hair was messy from a night of rough pillow friction. My glasses were crooked because they broke when my boyfriend rolled over onto them. I had to tape the arm back on with duct tape.

It was amazing how different things were when you cohabitated with another person. It used to be that the apartment was all mine. I picked out the curtains for myself. The dishes were hot pink and used, but they were mine. I could leave my underwear on the floor and my roommate, Ultra Pepe, never complained about it. He didn't make any noise, and he never left the toilet seat up. But he was also a goldfish. So things were obviously different now that we were living together. It was something I was really not used to.

We'd had a bizarre start. Chris moved into the apartment next to mine. We met when I took a mug of cough medicine outside and sat on the stoop to clear my mind. We decided to start hanging out. We watched Lord of the Rings, ate pizza, and drank beer. This became a regular thing to us. We weren't really friends at first. Just two people who hung out on occasion and ordered take-out. We were an excuse to waste time. It was clearly the result of two people who didn't want to be alone.

But then, one day, we had a conversation that changed the entire course of our relationship. He and his girlfriend at the time were in an open relationship, and I was dating a man who had a wife who was pregnant. I naively believed my boyfriend and his wife were divorcing. It took me a very long time to realize this was a lie. Regardless, I was lonely. And he was lonely. And it was a different kind of loneliness. Not the kind that could be solved by having someone to hang out and eat pizza with once a week.

Chris was hot. And while I knew this to be true, I never thought of him as within my league until he stated that he also thought I was hot. And then my mind and my body went into overdrive. And his did too. And eventually, one day, this led to us ripping each other's clothes off and having sex.

We made a lot of stupid rules about how this wasn't allowed to get personal. At the time, I stupidly believed I was in love with someone else. And Chris had a girlfriend too. So the last thing we wanted was the drama that came with a real relationship. And I never thought that he could want me in that way anyway. I was just a means to an end. But, to be fair, so was he. So we were comfortable with this arrangement. Until we fell in love.

It had caused what I liked to call a clusterfuck. It resulted in Chris breaking up with his girlfriend to be exclusive with me. Only he hadn't told me this because he didn't think I wanted him to be my boyfriend. And I was still seeing a guy named Trent. So even I didn't think I wanted this. But then, one day, Chris came clean. He loved me. And I very clearly loved him. So I did the only reasonable thing I thought I could do to fix this situation. I ended it with both of them.

Then I didn't see Chris for a long time. I got a new job, and I moved into a new apartment. And when I finally got around to going to see him, he'd moved on too. It took my three best friends tracking him down at a baseball practice game to bring us back together. Chris showed up at my new apartment with beer and pizza. We watched Star Wars, and we confessed feelings. And then when it was all said and done, I took him to my bedroom. And for the first time ever, we had sex as a couple. Not as two people who were merely a means to an end. Not secret lovers or anything else. From that moment on, I was Chris's girlfriend. And he was my boyfriend.

He spent the night with me. And the next day, I actually got to meet his family for the first time. Which lead to me meeting his teammates. And it was the first time in my life that I actually felt secure in my relationship. We rebuilt our relationship on honesty and emotions, and we'd been together and strong ever since.

We dated for about six months before Chris asked me to get a place with him. It was partially because his lease was up, and he was looking for a new place anyway. Partly because he hated the idea of leaving his place empty for months at a time when he was gone, and partially because—well—we were just ready for it.

Now we had been living together for six months. We'd been together officially for only one year. Even though we'd known each other, both in a literal sense and in an intimate sense, for a pretty long time. We'd already concluded that we loved each other. But the idea of marriage was still something we didn't talk about. It only ever came into conversation when his good Catholic mother asked us when we were going to stop living in sin. If Chris was ever going to ask me—well, I couldn't promise that I'd say yes. And I was pretty sure he knew that. Which was why he didn't bother to ask.

I sipped my coffee as I looked over the odd way the toilet looked with the seat up. I supposed I couldn't be mad about it. Guys forgot things like that all the time. I grew up with two brothers, so I'd learned to always check the seat before sitting down from a very young age. I hadn't fallen in. I'd noticed it right away. And it irritated me. I wasn't sure why. It wasn't a big deal.

I decided to ignore it. I wasn't going to start a fight just because I woke up irritated. It was obviously not the first time he'd left the seat up, and it could be solved by me simply reminding him. He wouldn't be a jerk about it. He'd probably just say, "Sorry, babe. I'll pay more attention next time." And he would actively try to do just that.

I'd have to just ignore it. I did the quickest bathroom session I could get away with. I was late for work. This was Chris's fault. Usually, I had a hard time getting to sleep at night. When he was traveling, I'd lie awake for hours staring at the ceiling. However, when he was home, he had the magic touch that could cure this problem. Sex with him always knocked me out cold. Then in the morning, I'd hear my alarm go off, and I'd ignore it. Which was precisely what happened. We had amazing sex the night before. And the next morning, I said, "Fuck it," and slept through my alarm.

I raced out of the bathroom and back into the bedroom. I'd taken a quick shower and didn't bother to get dressed again. So I was only wearing my glasses. I did own contacts, but I only used them for special occasions. Chris was still asleep. Half his face was smooshed up against the pillow. His mouth was open. His sandy blond hair was messy from where I'd run my fingers through it the night before.

Chris and I didn't seem very much alike at first glance. He was tall, and I was short. He had tattoos, and I had none. He was a jock who dressed like a basic white man in his twenties. And I was kind of a huge dork. But we weren't actually opposites at all. And once people got to know us, they figured that out pretty quick. Chris was actually as big of a nerd as I was. He just also liked baseball as well as Star Wars. We also had pretty much identical senses of humor. So sometimes, we'd be able to have an entire conversation without having to say much. And the two of us would be keeled over with laughter over it while everyone else stared at us like we were idiots.

We also liked most of the same foods. And we both really enjoyed having sex with each other. But, obviously, these things weren't always the basis of a good relationship. Because if you looked past all that, the truth was just that I loved Chris more than I'd ever loved anyone in my entire life. And while I couldn't speak for his thoughts, he told me frequently that he felt the same way.

"I'm late. I'm late!" I squeaked, throwing clothes around as I searched for something clean to wear.

I wasn't exactly a good housekeeper. Even when Chris was away. My laundry only ever got done when I ran out of clean clothes to wear. And I flat out refused to do Chris's or let him do mine. I didn't like people touching my underwear, and I didn't want to touch his either. Even though I'd touched what was under his underwear plenty of times. Even put it in my mouth. But the underwear itself? No thank you. That was weird.

Chris woke when one of my shirts landed on his head. He sat up slowly and looked at me with sleepy baby blue eyes as I shuffled around the room with nothing but broken glasses.

"You should just stay home today," he suggested, rubbing his eyes. "Take another sick day."

"I can't take a sick day. I took one last week. This is all your fault, Christopher." He grinned lazily. I finally located what was probably a clean enough pair of underwear and yanked them on. His smile fell.

"Damn," he said. I flipped him off. Unfortunately, he viewed that as an invitation. He reached out, wrapped his arms around my waist, and pulled me back onto the bed. I let out another squeak.

"Chris! I can't! I'm late!" He rolled me onto my back and buried his face in my neck. He kissed me and tickled me, and I responded with a lot of giggling and shrieking. I tried to push him away so I could get ready. But it was only halfhearted. I didn't hate when he was in these kinds of moods. I only hated that I had to go to work.

"C'mon. Stay with me. I'll do the thing you like if you stay home."

"Oh, you're going to do that later anyway. You owe me. I did the thing you like last night in the shower, and I almost drowned." He laughed.

"Yeah, but it was fun."

I pushed him off of me, and he flopped over onto the mattress in defeat. I pulled on some dirty jeans, an actually clean bra, and my favorite shirt that he got me from a crab shack in Maine. Then I shoved my feet into my shoes and grabbed my bag. I went back to him, so I could kiss him quickly on the lips. But I made sure to get away from him before he got the bright idea to drag me back into bed. He was naked and warm, and I wanted almost more than anything to stay there with him all day. I knew I'd give in if he put up enough of a fight.

"I'll be home later," I promised him. "I'll bring home dinner." He grunted in response. Apparently too tired to put up that fight. "You left the toilet seat up again, by the way!"

"Sorry. I'll try to remember." See? It was as simple as that. The irritation about it vanished. He was sweet. And I had no reason to be irritated about something so small.

"It's okay," I told him honestly. "I'll see you later." I made it all the way to the bedroom door before he spoke again.

"I love you," he said. Then I had to stop and smother my own smile. It never failed to get one out of me. Sure, it had only been a year of actual dating. But I knew, without a doubt, that this time what I felt was real and good. And I was so stupidly in love with him that I almost ran back to bed and crawled in, just to smother his face with kisses.

"I love you too," I told him, turning around again for just a moment. He gave me a lazy smile before I disappeared into the living room.